This Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Diageo. All opinions are mine alone.
The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #CollectiveBias #thewhiskey5
The hint of pepper in these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles is fun…and delicious!
Good things come to those who wait. Or at least that’s what my Dad taught me when I was a kid. As much as I disagreed with my Dad’s advice back then, I have to admit now that he was spot on. I’m definitely on the ‘slow and steady wins the race’ team. Take homemade bread for instance. Baking homemade bread takes time. It’s a labor of love. But the incredible smell (and taste!) of fresh bread right out of your oven is just beyond words. That same concept can be applied to these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles, but more on that later. And speaking of these truffles, who would’ve thought that combining raspberries with black pepper would lead to something amazing? But it totally works!
From blue cheese to green olives to vinegar, my taste buds have evolved over time. And combining sweet with a bit of savory in these truffles totally falls into that category. Another one? Scotch. And whiskey. (Well, to be fair, scotch is whiskey, too. It’s just whiskey that’s been produced in Scotland.) Laura and I traveled to Scotland a couple of years ago, and it was seriously an amazing trip. Before we went, my boss at the time had given me a bottle of scotch for Christmas. Laura and I didn’t think we liked scotch, but we decided we needed to learn to appreciate it before we made the trip over to Scotland.
So for a few months there, we would pour ourselves a tiny glass of scotch while we hibernated in our basement watching tv. (It was winter in upstate New York…so that meant hibernation was in full force.) At first, we didn’t like the flavor. But then the strangest thing happened. We slowly found ourselves appreciating the flavor of scotch. When we were in Scotland, we stopped at a number of different distilleries. (I swear you can’t go 10 miles…err, kilometers…in Scotland without stumbling across another distillery!) And now we actually enjoy trying different scotches. We do enjoy the taste, and it also brings back memories of our trip across Scotland!
Do you like scotch? What about whiskey? I recently discovered the Whiskey5 website which separates a variety of scotches and whiskeys into 5 tasting categories: Smooth, Spicy, Bold, Sweet and Smoky. You select 2 of those 5 flavors, and then adjust the slider bar to set the intensity for those 2 flavors. Then the website will give you a list of several scotches and whiskeys that match your taste preferences. How cool is that?
I took the test and selected Smooth as my top choice. (Smooth whiskeys are described as rich and creamy…a mellow and soothing adventure for your senses. Sounds like me!) I knew the website was spot-on when it included Oban Single Malt scotch on the list as Oban happens to be one of my favorite scotches!
In addition to Oban, the Whiskey5 website also recommended the Singleton of Glendullan 12. As I mentioned, Laura and I love trying new scotches, so we decided to give this one a shot. And we love it! The Whiskey5 website did a solid job of predicting our taste preferences. So what does the 12 after the Singleton of Glendullan mean? It means this single malt scotch has been aged for 12 years before bottling. Remember that whole thing about ‘good things come to those who wait’? Well it certainly applies to scotch! Can you imagine making a recipe and then having to wait 12 years to try it!? Oh, and fun fact that we learned in Scotland: scotch is aged in wooden barrels, and over time a little bit of that scotch evaporates. That evaporated portion, roughly 2% of the total volume of the cask each year, is called the ‘angel’s share.’
As we were driving down from Inverness to Edinburgh near the end of our trip, Laura and I stopped at a distillery where we did a chocolate and scotch tasting. At first glance, scotch and chocolate don’t seem to be likely partners. But the flavors totally play well together! After all, scotch is often enjoyed as an after-dinner drink, so it makes sense that it should be accompanied by a bit of nice chocolate. And that’s where these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles come in!
Let’s revisit that ‘good things come to those who wait’ concept. In addition to scotch, it also applies to these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles…although you don’t have to wait 12 years to eat these truffles! Making homemade truffles is a bit of a process. Similar to baking homemade bread, there are a number of steps. Each step isn’t terribly difficult, though. Making the ganache filling for the middle of the truffle takes the most time…but it also produces tasty results! I mean the rich raspberry taste combined with chocolate and just a hint of black pepper makes it worth the effort!
I also chose to temper the chocolate that I used to coat the outside of these truffles. Tempering chocolate is a process of taking melted chocolate to different temperatures in order to produce a smooth chocolate that has that characteristic ‘snap’ to it. If you want to shorten the process a bit, you can often find chocolate melting wafers in the store that are already tempered and ready for dipping.
Laura and I sat back and enjoyed nibbling on these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles while we sipped on a glass of the Singleton of Glendullan 12. We prefer our scotch either neat or with just a couple drops of water. Honestly, we always thought we only liked our scotch neat (i.e. no ice or water), but the bartender on our recent Rhine river cruise convinced us to try a glass with a couple drops of water. That water really opened up the flavor profile of the scotch, and it tasted totally different! So what flavors do you look for in your whiskey? Check out the Whiskey5 website to a find a list of scotches and whiskeys to try. Click here to find out where to buy. Then go make some Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles to enjoy with your selection! Cheers, friends!