Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hey, want to impress your loved ones -- or your loved one's coworkers -- this Valentine's Day? Don't buy chocolate truffles, make them.  This Martha Stewart recipe is a good starting point.*  (There are more difficult recipes out there -- most involve butter.  I like this one because it is, as Alton Brown might say, so gosh-darned easy.) You can adapt it quite nicely by using flavored chocolate, as long as it does not have lumps in it; Cost Plus sells some tasty chipotle chocolate.  And, if you are good at this sort of thing, you can carefully melt some chocolate and dip the truffles in them and coat them with things like very finely chopped crystallized ginger instead of the traditional cocoa.  It scales up and down, as well: the basic recipe is one ounce of heavy cream to two ounces of chocolate, although it is difficult with larger amounts to know exactly how long to let the mixture sit. You can get nice decorative boxes from party stores or craft stores.

So, am I doing this for Valentine's Day? Of course not.  The Rocket Scientist is.

*Let the truffle mixture cool until it is just spreadable, and it makes a wonderful, if rather stiff, icing for chocolate cake.  The Rocket Scientist's favorite cake from me is a dark chocolate cake, with truffle icing made from chocolate with 72% cocoa. The kids don't like it because it isn't sweet enough.  The Rocket Scientist once said it was "a cake for consenting adults."

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