Friday, November 23, 2012

Chocolate Cointreau Truffles

Tomorrow night we have been invited to a Thanksgiving dinner. Which begs the questions a) What sort of weird yummy American food are we going to be treated to and b) What to bring?
Clearly we'll take a bottle of wine. That's a no brainer. But what about a gift for the lovely hosts, who we don't know very well, and who are in fact headed back across the Atlantic in a few short weeks.
 I had been trawling Pinterest looking for fabulous things to make. I found beautiful decorations but most involved pumpkins, which  really aren't in season here, and while I'd most like to make them something they can keep ( like a beautiful box to place lists of the things guests are thankful for and then read out during dinner) I realise that they are indeed moving, and no one wants more stuff to move.

Chocolate Truffles it is. Sure I'd package them up nice, but these can be eaten, enjoyed, and then the packaging can be tossed, but is small enough to keep and reuse. Truffles have been my fall back ever since I found the recipe years ago in my Good Taste magazine at a time when I was very very broke. My friends, The Smiths would always invite me to hang out at their house, and I loved to visit them. However, I had been raised to always take something when visiting someone, especially when going for a meal. But I really couldn't buy anything nice. Then I found this recipe, and realised, that even using cheap chocolate the results would be pretty good. I was right. The Smiths loved those truffles.

When I got married, the question of the bonbonairie arose, as it often does. I can't stand getting "things" as a gift at weddings. You never use them, but you can't throw them away. Well I can't anyway. Too sentimental. We were, of course, on a budget, so Truffles were the perfect, delicious solution. I made about 150 of the bloody things, made the boxes to put them in ( cheaper than buying them ready made, less than 50cents) tied them with a pretty bow and "Bibbity Bobbity Boo", beautiful, cheap, tasty and incredibly satisfying.

Now this recipe is incredibly fiddly, and I have since found an easier, Busy Womans' Recipe, but I'll share that next time. For now, try this one. Worth the effort!
Chopped Chocolate.
Chocolate and cream

Chop or break up 200g dark chocolate and place it in a bowl. I use Whittakers Dark Ghana, Mr Frogs favourite. Add 1/2 cup cream. Heat in the microwave for one minute (but adjust for your microwave). You can use the double boiler method, but I find this is so much easier. After a minute, stir/flatten the chocolate, remembering that it will hold it's shape as it melts. The cream will help it melt, so give it a really good stir before microwaving further. I gave it another 30 seconds and it was done. Then add your booze of choice (or some your favourite essence) stirirng well. I usually use Cointreau, but Bailey's, Rum or Frangelico would be nice too. Place in the fridge to firm up for a few hours.
Now at this point I sometimes take it out of the fridge to soften a little because sometimes it REALLY hardens up, making it a bugger to get a teaspoon into let alone roll into a ball. See how you go. Roll teaspoons full into little balls and place on a tray. You'll see in the picture that mine look a little textured... that's because the oils start to melt quickly, making this bit the hardest part. Work fast. Then pop them back in the fridge back in the fridge for a bit to harden again.

Something Nigella-esque springs to mind.

Next, melt another 200g chocolate in the microwave, for about 1 minute and stir it until smooth. Use 2 forks to dip each truffle in the chocolate letting as much as possible drip off. You'll need to work quickly, unless you're using the double boiler method because you can't reheat the chocolate. After dipping them all, stick them back in the fridge to set and congratulate yourself for not losing your mind in the process.

After that comes the fun part. Wrapping them up and giving them away! I went with a Thanksgiving Orange and brown theme for mine.

This is literally a cute jar, some string and some scrapbooking paper. Easy peasey!

Bon Appetit!



Kimbo J said...

I love that you go through the same long convoluted decision making process as I do. Must be a DG thing....

Sam said...

Yeah, it's usually a case of talking myself out of a grand plan and into a plan I can actually do in time, and without giving myself a stroke!

rebecca @ older and wisor said...

I'm literally salivating just reading this - YUM! Love your presentation too :)