Strawberry Shortcake Truffles
Spring is here everyone! As I'm sure you have heard, we have had a pretty tough winter here in Boston. I have to say though, I really enjoyed all the snow. My husband and I have only been on the east coast for about a year after spending a few years in Los Angeles. I missed the snow so much during that time that I still get excited when I hear there is going to be a snow storm. That being said, I am looking forward to warmer weather. While it isn't quite popsicle weather yet, today's recipe is inspired by the classic strawberry shortcake popsicle. The flavors of creamy strawberry and vanilla will transport you to warmer days and the bells of the ice cream man.
While making candy always involves a bit of patience, these are relatively easy to make. You will need a chocolate or candy themometer to temper the chocolate, a food processor, wax paper and most importantly, time. The strawberry filling needs to spend a few hours or overnight in the fridge to thicken.
Strawberry Shortcake Truffles
Makes approximately 50 truffles
2 cups frozen whole strawberries
24 ounces white chocolate in bar form, divided
1/4 cup strawberry conserve
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup unsalted roasted cashews
1 tablespoon vanilla powder
15 vanilla wafers
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
Add the frozen strawberries, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir the strawberries often. When the liquid starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low and simmer the fruit for approximately 20 minutes. Again, stirring often. Remove from the heat when the liquid is thick and the strawberries are falling apart. Let the strawberries cool for a few minutes before adding to the food processor.
While the strawberries are cooking, add the cashews, vanilla wafers, vanilla powder and 1 tablespoon of the condensed milk to a food processor. Pulse a few times until soft crumbs are formed. Remove 1/2 cup of the crumbs and set aside to top the completed truffles. Add the remaining tablespoon of condensed milk and process for a few minutes until you have a thick paste, Add the strawberries and the strawberry conserve to the food processor with the paste. Process until incorporated and smooth. Add to a large bowl.
Add 12 ounces of white chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave in 10 second increments until melted. Stir the melted white chocolate into the strawberry mixture and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
When the strawberry filling is done cooling, temper the remaining 12 ounces of white chocolate. I followed the directions on this website and had great results. Note the white chocolate should be heated to 110 degrees F and cooled to under 87 degrees F. If following the directions on the site, the chocolate will cool further while waiting for the test sample to set. If you aren't doing the test sample, the chocolate still needs to sit for approximately 5-10 minutes to cool down. If the chocolate is hot when it is placed on the strawberry filling, it will start to melt.
It's now time to finish up the truffles. Since the filling is soft and malleable, I found it difficult to dip into the chocolate. My preferred (and much easier) method is to spoon a small circle of white chocolate onto wax paper. Using a 1 1/2 teaspoon cookie scoop, scoop the filling onto the white chocolate circle. Now spoon white chocolate onto the truffle and spread around the entire truffle. You can find a picture of this process above. The truffle will now be coated completely. Sprinkle some of the crumbs on top of the truffle while still wet. Repeat the process until your truffles are complete! Store in the refrigerator.