Chocolate and Chill

It makes no sense that a blogger should have to proclaim this at all, but here we are anyway: I’m a writer.

Words are an important part of my life. Equally important are the characters and stories I bring to life through words. Case in point: A few years ago, a close friend and I were collaborating on a storyline involving a sweet darling boy and his best friend on the cusp of  advancing their relationship. He’d made “Romantic Truffles” for the occasion, and that stuck with me – or at least the hopeless romantic side of me. I’d wanted to try my hand at making them since, and finally got to it last week.

Few years late, but better late than never!

It also helped that I was foraging in my fridge for things to throw out or to use up before they went bad, and found a small box of cream. And because I’m the sort of person to always keep around butter and dark chocolate buttons, I had everything I needed right at home.

I love it when the stars align to let me cook on the spur of the moment like that.

I used this recipe from Fine Cooking, and substituted the rum for amaretto. And, can I say: the amaretto actually works better than I imagine rum might have, if only for the simple fact that almonds and chocolate make such a beautiful marriage of flavours.

If you like nuts in your chocolate, I would suggest rolling the little balls of delight in toasted nibbed almonds to complement the amaretto here. Full disclosure: I don’t often crave chocolate, but when I do, I want it simple and velvet-smooth – so, nuts to that.

C’est moi talking about my truffle-making experiences in a 7-minute video.

Points of discussion include, in no apparent order:

  • My first encounter with truffles
  • Three important things to note when tampering chocolate: texture, refrigeration, the un-importance of rolling.
  • I put cream in my carbonara – purists avert your eyes.
  • My first time baking with chocolate. SPOILER ALERT: It didn’t end well.

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The ganache mix definitely needs to be refrigerated before they can be piped onto chocolate powder. I would suggest having a knife, or a spoon on hand to scrape each mound off as you pipe; otherwise, they tend to hang. Check out the end of the video above, near the seven-minute mark, and you’ll see what I mean.

I managed to store my ganache over a week in the fridge without it going funny. This recipe makes about 50 – 60 small luscious bites. Once you roll them out in cocoa powder, you’ll want to store them, covered, in the refrigerator. The cocoa powder starts to absorb into the ganache overnight, but worry not – they’ll taste just as good. They’re especially perfect with a cup of hot bitter coffee, so do give it a go if you’re a chocolate person.

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