Any holiday that serves as an excuse, or better yet as a motivation, to get creative in the kitchen (or anywhere else) and to be generous to others in some way, it is a very welcomed chance and you can certainly count me in.
Velentine’s day is no exception, but if, like me, you’re running a little short on time or just looking for a fast and simple treat to prepare at home, then you’ve come to the right place! This truffles are decadent, but only take a few ingredients to make and you can whip them up in an afternoon. They have no added sugar, except for the sweetness from the homemade dulce de leche, which is balanced out with the use of dark chocolate and pure cocoa powder. The nut butter adds protein as well as a nice contrasting taste.
First of all, lets learn how to easily make oven baked dulce de leche. Despite the traditional method, I choose to make mine in the oven, after hearing some scary stories about boiling cans of condensed milk exploding all over stoves and up to kitchen ceilings, so I am going the safe way here, by removing the milk from the can before caramelizing it. I also like the oven method better because you can check the doneness and consistency of your dulce de leche.
Oven Baked Dulce de Leche Recipe.
This recipe yields approximately one (1) cup.
300 ml. sweetened condensed milk (one small can).
Dash of sea salt (optional).
Preheat the oven to 425 °F.
1. Transfer the condensed milk to a glass pie plate or a shallow baking dish and stir in the salt, if using. Cover tightly with foil.
2. Place the pie plate within a larger baking pan, such as a baking tray or Pyrex and fill it with warm water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the pie plate.
3. Take to the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour, until caramelized and golden brown in color.
Allow to cool and set aside.
Dulce de Leche, Nut Butter and Dark Chocolate Truffles.
Makes approximately 55 truffles.
1 cup homemade dulce de leche.
½ cup nut butter of your choice (I used peanut) (almond, hazelnut or cashew butter would go great too).
5 ounces unsweetened or bittersweet dark chocolate ( I used unsweetened).
2 Tbsp. heavy (whipping) cream, cold.
¼ cup pure cocoa powder for dusting the truffles.
Line a large serving plate or a tray with parchment paper and set aside.
1. Using a double broiler, melt the chocolate over low heat. Once it is completely melted and smooth, remove from the heat and add the cold cream. Mix well until it thickens to the consistency of ganache.
2. In a medium bowl and using a spatula, mix the dulce de leche, nut butter and chocolate ganache and stir until just combined.
3. Using a measuring spoon, take ½ tablespoon of the mixture at a time and place it on your palm to form medium sized balls with your hands.
4. Place the truffles on your prepared tray and take it to the fridge for 15 – 30 minutes, until the truffles harden a bit.
5. Put the cocoa powder in a small, not too deep bowl and take your truffles out from the fridge.
6. Dust each truffle with the cocoa powder, shake out the excess on the rim of the bowl and place them back on the tray.
At this point the truffles are ready to eat.
To store the truffles, place them in an airtight container in the fridge. When ready to serve, remove them from the fridge and let them reach room temperature.