Gingerbread Spiced Truffles
GINGERBREAD SPICED TRUFFLES & STRASBOURG
“Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man” …. Well, I think I’ve caught him. In Strasbourg, on the border of France and Germany.
Holy Christmas Markets … Strasbourg is oozing with Christmas spirit, just 10 days out from the big day. It’s also killing me with its cuteness … I can’t believe how adorable Strasbourg is. I’ve been staying in Petit France, the historic part of the city, right on the canal that surrounds the island that is the town centre. There is a lot of security, with most of the bridge access closed into the town centre, due to the unfortunate risk of terrorist activity, and they're on full alert after the tragedy in Nice. The bonus is that the centre is virtually a pedestrian only space, and it’s super easy to walk everywhere.
The markets are as adorable as the city, and in complete contrast to Paris. They’re charming and relaxed, not overcrowded, and everything is artisan made, and from this Alsace region, so the wines, honey, cheese, gingerbread in every form, and the mountains and mountains of little biscuits are made locally. Craftspeople of every sort are selling their wares in their individually decorated little wooden chalet huts, across the town centre. There are candlemakers, artists, ceramicists, wood sculpters, glassblowers and the most finely decorated handcrafted little mini buildings that resemble the historic buildings in the city are in abundance. And of course there is ample Vin Chaud, pretzels and sweet treats like waffles and crepes. There is a really interesting mix of French and German culture in the city, and it’s the most charming little city ever, and every corner you turn reveals another storybook vista.
Many markets are tucked under the imposing main Cathedral, but you don’t need to wander very far to find the pockets of other markets (nine in total!), often themed and specialising in goods from a particular region. The markets in Broglie place are full of artisans, and there’s a real party vibe going on there. Until 8pm sharp, when the stalls immediately shut up shop, and they become sealed little wooden boxes, hiding their magical contents. Portugal is the guest country this year, and the warm freshly baked Portuguese tarts have made me never want to settle for anything less.
But gingerbread spices are king here. So many stalls and retail shops are specialising in their own spicy twist on gingerbread in every form, from hard ‘biscotti’ like fingers of gingerbread with almonds, to soft gingerbread loaves with a cake like consistency, and Mireille Oster’s exotic 7-spices gingerbread squares that I’m determined to recreate with my own version of spices. Gingerbread men and women adorn every conceivable retail item including ceramics and fabric, and hang from the streets in Christmas light displays. I’m not going to deny it, it’s great. Who doesn’t smile when they see a gingerbread man? Pics below at bottom of post if you're interested!
So this recipe seems perfect to be posted from Strasbourg … it’s my gingerbread spiced truffles. The gingerbread dust that they’re rolled in, is perfect dusted over hot chocolate also, for a Christmas spiced treat. Replace some of the icing sugar with caster sugar, or raw sugar, and it’s super for sprinkling over buttered toast to make a Christmassy spiced gingerbread toast like cinnamon toast, or sprinkle over pancakes or muffins or whatever takes your fancy.
The recipe has some gianduja in it, as it just gives it a super dooper hazelnut undertone, but if you can’t get gianduja, simply replace it with milk chocolate.
These truffles will keep for a couple of weeks, airtight in a cool dark place, and wrapped up they make an amazing Christmas gift … or serve them as petit fours, or in bowls for your Christmas entertaining.
GINGERBREAD SPICED TRUFFLES & STRASBOURG
For a print friendly recipe, CLICK HERE!
200g Thickened cream
1 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoons mixed spice
60g liquid glucose
460g milk chocolate
25g gianduja - diced
20g unsalted diced butter – room temperature
Bring cream to boil.
Add ginger & mixed spice – stir and set aside for 15mins to infuse.
Add glucose and bring back to boil.
Pass through sieve, and pour over chocolate, let sit 20 seconds then gently whisk using a spiral motion from centre to outside, then reverse til combined.
Cover with cling wrap touching the surface, and let sit at room temperature overnight, or whip after 2 hours to aerate and make lighter and fluffier!
Roll/shape into round truffles, let sit for around 4 hours at cool room temp or refrigerate for an hour.
Dip in tempered milk chocolate & roll into spiced powder.
SPICED DUSTING POWDER
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
280g caster or raw sugar
2 cups pure icing sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
Sift spices with icing sugard and cocoa powder and combine with caster sugar.
PICS - STRASBOURG - DECEMBER 2016