Delectable beer infused chocolate truffles, covered in sweet, crunchy, beer-soaked pretzel praline. Surprisingly easy to make and super addictive. Man-friendly. Woman-friendly. Crowd-friendly. These Beer Chocolate Truffles with Beer Pretzel Praline are the perfect party treat this holiday season!
Chocolate is one of the reasons why I became a food blogger. Every time I nibble on a piece it turns into brain sauce and gives me ideas and inspiration. I love experimenting with different flavour combos with chocolate either as the centerpiece of just part of the puzzle. Is chocolate really a woman’s best friend? You better believe it.
Any holiday where chocolate takes precedence is a great holiday in my book. Halloween, Christmas and hey, even Valentine’s Day (probably the only good thing about this day) have the right idea in mind. But Christmas isn’t just for the ladies now is it? So how do you make the boys feel welcome? With a healthy dose of beer is how.
Today, I’ve got a real doozy for you guys. This is a surprisingly easy, yet super addictive truffle recipe that combines a lot of good things in life into one delicious bite-sized treat.
Chocolate? check. Beer? check. Caramel? check. Pretzels? check. If these Chocolate Beer Truffles with Beer Pretzel Praline aren’t going to win you over some friends this holiday season, nothing ever will! 🙂
These are delectable chocolate truffles, infused with beer (because chocolate and beer are always a great pairing) and then studded with crunchy pretzel praline that has ALSO been infused with beer. I wasn’t sure the beer pretzel praline would work although I desperately wanted it to. I did it on a hunch and I was super excited when it did work! 🙂 So much so that I made another batch of it just for myself. To nibble on. Fringe benefits, you know.
It goes without saying that my favourite part about these chocolate beer truffles is the pretzel crust. I made it by soaking crushed pretzel in beer and then mixed it with caramel and baked it till it was dry and crisp. And then crushed it in the food processor. The result was a gloriously crunchy and sweet pretzel praline with a warm hint of beer. I recommend using a good quality beer that you like. I used Schlafly Christmas ale (St. Louis brewery), a special seasonal release that has notes of cinnamon, clove and the likes with sweet caramel malt.
But feel free to use whatever type of beer you like, or even replace it with a different type of alcohol – rum, brandy, whiskey, cognac would be my choices.
These truffles are incredible. They are light and soft – melt in your mouth soft with that beautiful warming hint of beer. I used a mix of milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate so it’s a litte sweeter than a plain dark chocolate truffle. But you’re more than welcome to use dark chocolate only if you prefer. Just make sure it’s a good quality chocolate that tastes good, because crappy chocolate = crappy truffle in this case.
And since I’m not coating these truffles with any chocolate, the pretzel praline needs to be pressed into the truffle for it to stick. The way I did it was to take the piped truffle into my hand (the truffle itself sets fairly quickly and is not sticky at all) and then roll it into a roughly-shaped ball, then I took some pretzel praline into my palm and placed the truffle ball on top and pressed it into the crispy pretzel bits. Cover the whole truffle this way.
- 150g / 5.3oz semi-sweet chocolate - either chips or chopped
- 150g / 5.3oz milk chocolate - either chips or chopped
- 85g / 3oz whipping cream (not whipped cream)
- 20g / 0.7oz corn syrup
- 20g / 0.7oz beer (a beer with notes of different spices or coffee would be better)
- 15g / 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 70g / 2.5 oz salted pretzels
- ¼ tsp salt flakes, crushed
- ½ cup white sugar
- 3 tbsp of beer
- Preheat oven to 250°F/120°C. Line a baking tray with a silpat or parchment paper.
- Place the sugar in a dry saucepan and heat over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, place pretzels in a ziploc bag and crush into smaller pieces, using a rolling pin or a meat hammer.
- Transfer this and the salt to a metal bowl or heat proof glass bowl. Add the beer and mix well.
- Check on the sugar to make sure it's melting evenly. When all the sugar is dissolved and is turning amber in colour, remove it from the heat and add this caramel to the crushed pretzels. Mix well until the caramel is distributed throughout.
- Transfer this to the prepared baking tray, and bake for 30 - 45 minutes (check every 15 minutes, and move it around using a spatula to prevent the pretzel praline from burning). Keep an eye on it, as the exact time may depend on your oven. The pretzel pieces will still be soft, but slightly darker in colour.
- Let it cool completely. It will harden as it cools.
- Break it into smaller pieces, and then pulse in the food processor till you have even smaller pieces. Avoid crushing it completely into dust.
- Leave it aside in an air-tight container until required.
- Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl.
- Heat the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan until it steams and is just under the boiling point. Pour this over the chocolate chips, cover the bowl and let it rest for about 1 minute.
- Gently mix the cream and chocolate together to create a smooth ganache. If any unmelted chocolate pieces are still present, microwave this for 15-20 second bursts, mixing in between to get a smooth mix.
- Add the beer and mix it through until smooth. Next, add the softened butter and stir through until the butter is completely melted. Set aside for the chocolate mix to come down to room temperature. It will thicken as it does so (See notes for ideas to speed up this process).
- When the chocolate mix has thickened and is at room temperature, use a spoon to mix this very fast (in a whipping motion). This should agitate the chocolate mix and thicken it further, and the colour will change from dark brown to slightly less dark brown. It'll look like whipped ganche (which is basically what it is at this point).
- Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip pastry tip and spoon the chocolate inside the bag. Pipe 1.5 inch mounds of chocolate onto parchment paper (yield is 30-32). It will “harden” at room temperature in about 30 minutes, after which you should be able to pick it up without it sticking to your hands (or else let it harden in the fridge).
- Take some pretzel praline onto your palm and press the truffles into the praline pieces so that they stick to the truffles. Cover the whole truffle this way. Repeat with all the truffles. For best results, eat within a day. The pretzel praline will be less crunchy and more chewy after 24 hours.
To make it cool down faster, you can keep it in the freezer or fridge, but make sure you take it out to give it a stir every 5 minutes until it has thickened and cooled down.
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The truffle itself has a creamy, chocolatey center, but when covered in that deliciously crunchy praline, it’s a whole different kind of sweet. Both in terms of flavour and texture. It’s an amazing grown up treat that you can treat all your grown up friends to this holiday season, and my hubs and I enjoyed it in true grown up fashion with a chilled beer in our hands. While watching How to train your dragon on Netflix. Hey, I LOVE Toothless OK?
Just a note though, the pretzel praline won’t remain crunchy after the first 24 hours. It will still be insanely delicious with that combination of beer and caramel flavour, but it will be more chewy than crunchy by the second day. So put ’em in a box and make a gift out of ’em, if you don’t mind sharing. Mr K has been taking them to work as his after lunch treat this week. And I’m nibbling on one right now as I write this. With a hot mug of coffee to complement it. Fringe benefits, you know.
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