Baked Goods Basket : Chocolate Almond Truffles

As I mentioned in the last post, my college suite mate recently asked me to donate a baked goods basket for a fundraiser in response to the earthquake in Nepal. Her mixed martial arts studio, Pentagon MMA, was hosting an event to raise funds to help support relief efforts. There were going to be games, free self-defense lessons, a backyard barbeque, and a silent auction - what an awesome idea and cause!

Even more exciting than the opportunity to help this fundraiser through baking was deciding what to make for the basket. I busted out a pen, notepad, and arsenal of recipes. These had to be recipes that would survive in transport and could keep at least one night ahead of time. Game on!

After careful deliberation, four recipes made the cut: 

>> 1. Chocolate Almond Truffles

What a killer line up! None of these recipes were terribly difficult and I tried to stick with ingredients that were practical without being bland. I'll review each of these in future posts but for now, let's focus on the Chocolate Almond Truffles from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking (pictured below, on the left).

These truffles are decadent, luxurious, and sinful. I would LOVE to dunk one in a warm cup of coffee and let it slowly melt on a fall morning. They would be just as good chilled on a summer day! I would compare them to a less processed version of those Lindt chocolate truffles you see everywhere. The ingredient list is extremely short and sweet (oh come to me dark chocolate) but don't let that fool you. They are the most labor intensive to make and need time to set. You have to form each individual ganache ball, dip it in melted chocolate, and then sprinkle on the fixings.

The saving grace of this recipe is the truffles can be made way in advance and frozen until show time. This definitely kept my mind at ease knowing there was an army of bons bons waiting in the freezer.  Should anything go wrong, at least this one thing was right and ready!

The other cool part about the truffles is that they do not have to be almond flavored. There are three, yes three, different versions in Baked. These could have been a gift basket by themselves! Get creative and make your own modifications with a dash of peppermint extract or a dusting of Oreo crumbs. Nothing's better than a versatile recipe!

Please note on the side of this blog, there is a section titled "good karma" where I try to recommend charitable efforts.  From an earthquake in another country to a puppy that needs surgery, I strongly encourage and support helping those in need. It's not about doing nice things in hopes you will receive something in return. The world simply needs more compassion and generosity. Just being thoughtful is huge! Thank you!

The recipe for these delicious Chocolate Almond Truffles can be found in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. This is one of my few go-to baking books and a worthy investment!