200 grams dark chocolate, 62% cocoa, chopped roughly
2 tablespoons whiskey
½ cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
½ cup cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons butter
⅓ cup cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
Put the chocolate and whiskey in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
Put the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Use a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals on the side of the saucepan. Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the sugar is a deep caramel colour, gently swirling the pan for even browning.
Take off the heat and immediately pour in the cream, taking care as it will bubble up furiously, then add the vanilla, brown sugar, salt and butter. Place back over the heat for 1 minute and stir until the caramel is smooth again.
Pour the hot caramel over the chocolate and leave for 2 minutes then stir until smooth but don’t over mix. Cool then cover and refrigerate until firm.
To finish: Put the cocoa into a shallow dish and line a flat tray with baking paper.
Scoop out teaspoons of the mixture and drop into the cocoa then roll to coat, shaking the dish to move them around. Don’t use your fingers, as the truffles will start to melt. Use a spoon to lift them out of the cocoa and place on the lined tray. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. If making ahead, store in the fridge in a sealed container lined with baking paper but remove half an hour before serving. Makes 20 depending on the size you make them
Cook’s Tip: The caramel needs to be cooked to a dark golden colour for a rich, deep flavour but watch it carefully as there is a fine line between that and being burnt.