The challenge :
"...all you have to do is randomly select a recipe that includes chocolate somewhere in the ingredients, cook that dish and then write about your experience on your blog..."
This challenge was perfect with Valentines day coming up on Friday, especially as my valentine loves chocolate.
Nigel Slater's 'Real Food' has a section called 'CHOCOLATE' and I randomly opened it at page 282 CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES.
I was a bit worried to begin with as I don't have much chocolate making experience. I know that chocolate can split when heated, and there's nothing that you can do, but to start all over again with a new batch.
But it was easy as pie. There are only two ingredients, good quality chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids, and cream. You don't have to heat the chocolate, just the cream. Then pour the warmed cream over the finely shredding chocolate in a warm bowl, melting it in the process. Simple.
It makes a shiny chocolate ganache that you beat until it's smooth and glossy.
If any of the chocolate remains unmelted you can place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that it doesn't touch the bowl, and then heat until every last little bit has melted down to a velvety sauce. I couldn't resist a taste at this point. It was scrumptious but I know that my valentine has a very sweet tooth and I'd used a good quality dark Ecuadorian (fairtrade) chocolate, with 72% cocoa solids. I suspected that it may be just a little bitter for his taste. So I added a couple of dessertspoonfuls of golden syrup.
I then chilled it in the fridge for about an hour until the chocolate had reset. Then the fun began. You take spoonfuls of the ganache and roll it into rough balls or log shapes, then dip them in cocoa powder. I also dipped some in powdered icing sugar because my valentine loves truffles made that way.
I used half the recipe ingredients in the book but the same as the recipe on this link. I made at least twenty large truffles, but it's difficult to be exact because a few may have accidentally fallen into my mouth whilst I was making them...
This was a really fun project to do, and one that kiddies may like to join in with...I'm sure there would be lots of finger licking. Great for a Mother's or Father's day gift with a little help from a grown-up.
I made simple cones from thick wrapping paper to hold them. I used a dinner plate as a template cutting out a circle of paper and than halving each on to make two cones. Rolling each one into a cone and securing with a little bit of double sided sellotape.
Or you may like to link to a clip art pdf of printable template for sweet little gift bags perfect for holding these, here, or boxes here and here.
...have a happy valentines day...