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Boozy Purim Truffles

Forget those stereotypes about Jews abstaining from alcohol. At , Jews must drink. The Talmud instructs: “A person is obligated to drink on Purim to confuse the difference between the phrases ‘cursed be Haman’ and ‘blessed be Mordecai.’ Megillah (7b). Why not aspire to Purim tipsiness by downing some boozy truffles.

A fitting recipe, for alcohol-doused-truffles, comes from the Holocaust story of writer and editor Lisa Hoffman. Chocolate soothed her refugee transition and also secured her survival.

In the late 1930s, Lisa’s mother instructed her in homemaking skills so that she would be prepared to work as a domestic in England. Lisa, a self-diagnosed chocoholic, learned the tricks of dipping forks to form perfectly shaped truffles, among other things. Finally, visa in hand, Lisa escaped Germany on August 18, 1939. Looking back on that time when she was without family and classified as a foreign alien, she wrote:

I carried inside of me all of the lessons my mother had worked so hard to get for me. I could make chocolate, cook for large families and carry soup without spilling. But more importantly what she’d given me was a belief in myself. It’s stood me well through the years, this gift from my mother.

This spirited bon bon gift from mother to daughter makes a great addition to Purim gift baskets of mishloach manot. As Lisa offered, “These truffles make a wonderful present and are the ultimate in chocolate richness.”

Image by Deborah Prinz

Boozy Purim Truffles

Lisa cautioned: “Always use the finest ingredients.”

Makes about 30-35 truffles

2 ounces unsalted butter
3 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 pound bittersweet or dark chocolate, broken into pieces
½ cup heavy cream (fresh, not ultra-pasteurized)
½ cup quality Cognac (or rum or a liqueur)
Cocoa, finely chopped nuts or powdered sugar, for rolling

1) Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. In a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, heat the butter and sugar until melted and dissolved. Add the chocolate and stir continuously with a wire whisk until it starts to melt. Add the cream and continue to stir with a whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the Cognac. Stir until thoroughly integrated.

2) Cool in the refrigerator overnight, or set a bowl over an ice bath and continue whisking until cool (this technique creates a lighter truffle and allows you to complete them sooner). Use two teaspoons to form chocolate balls, and roll in cocoa, finely chopped nuts or powdered sugar. Place the chocolate balls on the prepared baking sheet. Store in a cool place in a covered container.

Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz]( “”) lectures about chocolate and Jews around the world. Her book, On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao ([Jewish Lights) is in its third printing. The book is used in adult study, classroom settings, book clubs and chocolate tastings. Prinz blogs at The Huffington Post, The Jewish Journal, On the Chocolate Trail, and elsewhere.


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