Since Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, I’m spending the week sharing recipes that I think would be perfect for celebrating mom, whether it be with a homemade breakfast-in-bed, a nice brunch, or a sweet treat. I started with the Cinnamon-Almond French Toast yesterday, moved on to these truffles today, and will be closing out the week with two desserts. I think of breakfast and brunch pretty much interchangeably except for one key difference – mimosas usually aren’t served with breakfast, but are a staple on most brunch menus. I’ve never been one to indulge early, but if I find myself out to eat for brunch, more times than not I will order a mimosa. That combination of crisp, tart orange juice, paired with bubbly champagne – it’s a perfect start to an extra-special meal. I was leafing through a local book while we were in Florida in March and saw champagne truffles on a brunch menu. My mind immediately went to mimosa truffles, and I made a mental note to experiment ASAP. Turns out, mimosa truffles are awesome. Infused with orange, and made with a combination of white chocolate, cream, and champagne, they definitely deserve a spot on your next brunch menu.
To create these truffles, I first infused the cream for the recipe with chopped fresh orange peel. I thought about using orange zest, but I didn’t want little pieces of zest in the finished truffle, which I preferred to be completely smooth. I also didn’t want to use orange juice, because I thought it would dilute the other flavors and not provide as natural an orange flavor as the orange peel infusion would. The infusion worked beautifully – you can do it for as little as 30 minutes, but the longer you let the orange peel steep in the cream, the stronger the orange flavor will be. You can easily make it as subtle or as strong as you’d like.
The other key ingredient to a mimosa is the champagne. In order to include this, I replaced some of the cream with a little bit of champagne. The flavors are just like the drink – crisp, clean and fresh. They also taste a little like an orange creamsicle, which is also awesome. I love these for Mother’s Day, or anytime you might be planning a brunch or a shower. They’re sure to be a hit!
Place the heavy cream and chopped orange peel in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the cream begins to simmer, remove from heat, cover, and let steep for at least 30 minutes.
Remove the orange peel from the cream and reheat the cream over medium heat until it just comes to a boil. Add the chopped chocolate, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Stir in the champagne until completely combined with the chocolate (it will separate at first, but keep stirring - it eventually comes together). Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and place plastic wrap over top, pressing it against the surface of the ganache. Refrigerate overnight.
When ready to roll the truffles, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Use a small cookie scoop or a melon baller to scoop out heaping teaspoons of the ganache. Quickly roll in the palm of your hands to form a ball. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat until you have used up all of the ganache. If you are finishing the truffles with sparkling sugar, place a few tablespoons of white sanding sugar in a small bowl and roll the truffles in the bowl to coat with the sugar. Return them to the baking sheet. Refrigerate to set, at least 30 minutes.
If using the white chocolate coating, refrigerate the truffles for at least 1 hour, otherwise they will begin to melt when dipped in the chocolate. When they're ready, microwave the white chocolate and vegetable shortening on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir, and then continue to microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth. When ready, drop 1 truffle into the melted chocolate and, using a fork and working quickly, turn it over so it is completely coated and then lift it out, letting any excess chocolate drip off. Return to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining truffles. Refrigerate to set, at least 30 minutes. If you wish, you can drizzle with orange candy melts - melt according to the package directions and then use a Wilton #2 decorating tip to pipe decorations on top. Let set for at least 15 minutes. Store any leftover truffles in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve them.
Note: It's important to use good-quality white chocolate here for the smoothest and best-tasting truffles. I always prefer using Lindt white chocolate; just be sure not to use white chocolate chips - they will not melt down well.