For centuries the sweet chestnut was the most important staple food in Ticino. Even today the spiny fruit takes center stage at many festivals. This Ticinese specialty, chocolate truffles are enriched with chestnuts, fresh or canned. For even more flavour, add some fine-chopped toasted almonds or fresh-grated nutmeg.
1. 24 hours ahead: Melt the butter and both types of chocolate in the hot bain marie. Stir the chestnut purée, sugar and orange liqueur or orange flower water until creamy. Mix in the chocolate mixture. Keep the truffle mixture in the refrigerator for 24 hours to set.
2. For the decoration, toast the almond slivers in a nonstick pan without fat until light brown. Chop (not too fine) and place on a plate. Mix the chocolate sprinkles on a second plate. Place the chocolate chips on a third plate.
3. Shape the truffle mixture into little nut-sized balls. Toss them in the different decorations. Dust the chocolate chip truffles with icing sugar. Place the truffles in ‘petit four cases’. Keep in a cool place until ready to serve.
Do not prepare the truffles more than one day in advance. The truffle mixture can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for a week.