Let’s celebrate the passing of the old year and ring in the new. Whether you are staying home for a quiet evening watching the televised celebrations around the world or you go out on the town with a group of friends, enjoy all that has been good about the past year and let’s look forward to what lies ahead for the new year.
A glass of bubbly and a little chocolate is a lovely indulgence for New Year’s Eve or any special occasion and if you are going to have chocolates, truffles are seen as special.
If you go to a famous chocolatier, you will pay dearly for a small box. The nice thing is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money for truffles. No matter if you are just learning to cook or are an experienced gourmet chef, you can make your own. Making truffles is as simple as it gets….all you need is good quality chocolate and cream and you can have decadent chocolate truffles. This is a basic recipe for truffles that can be adapted to your tastes.
- 1/2 c. whipping cream
- 1 (10 oz. package) approx. 2 c. chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet) or finely chopped quality dark chocolate
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier (optional)
- 1/4 c. sifted cocoa powder for coating the truffles
Place the chocolate into a glass bowl. Bring cream just to a boil, remove from the heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit until the chocolate starts to melt then stir until smooth. (If the chocolate isn’t thoroughly melted, place in the microwave for ten seconds and then stir again.) Stir in the vanilla and Grand Marnier, if using. Cover and let sit for several hours or over night until the mixture firms up. (Can be placed in the refrigerator to firm if your kitchen is warm. If you refrigerate, watch that the mixture doesn’t get hard…you just want it firm enough to be able to form soft balls.)
Line a baking sheet with parchment, foil or a Silpat. Scoop out small portions of the chocolate mixture with two small spoons…one to scoop and one to push it off. Place the chocolate on the lined baking sheet, then refrigerate (a few minutes) until firm but not hard. When firm, roll pieces of chocolate between your fingers to shape the truffles (if your chocolate is hard, your can roll in your palms but the chocolate will quickly soften). Then roll truffles in cocoa powder. Instead of cocoa powder, you can use finely chopped nuts or other ingredients of your choice.
There are so many things you can do with this basic recipe. Different liquors and extracts can be added as well as ground nuts, grated orange peel, sea salt, espresso powder, chili powders, etc. The truffles can also be rolled in a variety of chopped nuts, shaved chocolate, coconut flakes or covered in a hard chocolate shell. Just use your imagination and experiment until you find your favorite combinations…they will be delicious.
I would like to take this time to say “thank you” to all the readers that have stopped by this year. Whether it was the first time or you were a regular, I appreciated your kind words about my travels, recipes, homes and gardens. I look forward to the new year with you following along as I explore more back roads. Let’s celebrate the passing year and welcome in 2013 with glee.