Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dark Chocolate Truffles- 4 Flavors


I first published this post years ago on my Napa Farmhouse 1885 blog and have been making versions of these truffles forever. A new addition is chile flavored ...perfect for New Mexico or anywhere else. You should make these for your Valentine.

I am not a huge dessert fan...would rather have a little more of the main course...and my favorite way to end a meal is with a bit of chocolate with my last glass of red wine. These truffles fit the bill perfectly...excellent chocolate, either plain or subtlety flavored with my favorite herbs, fruit and/or balsamic vinegar. For Valentine's Day, I thought I would make four of my favorites for those I love.

Please don't be put off by the thought of the herbs, chile or balsamic vinegar...give it a try. As my husband Peter..a die hard plain chocolate advocate says..."They are surprisingly delicious".



My Valentine gifts this year are going to be dark chocolate truffles! I don't think it can be Valentine's Day without chocolate, do you? But, here is the best part, homemade truffles are really easy and they don't have to look perfect. I think the handcrafted look looks best anyway.

This recipe makes an equal amount of four flavors of truffles...pure dark chocolate, chile, balsamic, and lavender. Use the proportion of 2 to 1 chocolate to cream to make fewer flavors...I like the variety! And, because there are only two main ingredients, use the best quality you can afford. The ingredients really do make the difference...

**IMPORTANT** if you are making more than one type of truffle be sure to label each bowl as you go...otherwise, they all look the same and you will need to taste to know which is which*** (not really a hardship)

Dark Chocolate Truffles- 4 Flavors
16 oz best quality (70% cacao) bittersweet chocolate (I use Scharffenberger) well chopped
1 cup organic heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp dried organic lavender buds
1 tbsp New Mexican red chile powder (chimayo and/or chipotle) plus more for sprinkling
2 tsp good quality pure balsamic vinegar
1 tsp pure Tahitian vanilla
best quality chocolate cocoa powder (I use Valhrona)
additional lavender buds for garnish
1 tsp pine nuts, sliced in half lengthwise
finely chopped pecans


For lavender truffles:  bring 1/4 cup whipping cream and the lavender buds to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat and let steep for about an hour. Strain lavender buds from cream (discard lavender) and return to stove. Bring back to a hard simmer. Place 1/2 cup chopped chocolate into a small bowl. When cream is ready, remove from stove and immediately pour over chocolate in bowl. Let sit for a couple of minutes without stirring. After 2-3 minutes, whisk chocolate into cream until smooth. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.


**note...the lavender cream is delicious on its own...try it drizzled over pound cake and strawberries...or poured over any fresh fruit***

chile truffles:
Thoroughly wash all cooking equipment to avoid taste crossover. Bring 1/4 cup whipping cream and the chile to a strong simmer. Place 1/2 cup chopped chocolate in a small bowl. When cream is ready, immediately pour over chocolate in the bowl.  Follow rest of directions for lavender truffles.

balsamic truffles:
Bring 1/4 cup whipping cream and the balsamic to a strong simmer. Place 1/2 cup chopped chocolate in a small bowl. When cream is ready, immediately pour over chocolate in a small bowl.  Follow rest of directions for lavender truffles.

pure dark chocolate truffles:  
Follow the balsamic truffles directions, substituting the vanilla for the balsamic.

Remove truffle mixture(s) from refrigerator after a couple of hours and allow to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. The chocolate should just begin to soften. I use a mini ice cream scoop for the next step, but you can also use 2 spoons. Starting with one flavor of truffles, shape mixture into small round balls...whatever size you like. Place each ball on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Remember to label each flavor on the sheet. I just use a post-it. When you have finished with all flavors, refrigerate truffles overnight.

Remove from refrigerator. Place nuts on one plate and cocoa powder on another. I roll the lavender, chile and balsamic truffles in the cocoa powder and top each lavender truffle with a couple of lavender buds, a sprinkling of chile on the chile truffles and the balsamic with 2 pine nut slices...looks pretty and identifies the flavor. I roll 1/2 of the plain truffles in more cocoa powder and 1/2 in the chopped nuts. The fun part of this step is you can be as creative as you want...roll in cocoa, nuts (any kind you like) powdered sugar, sanding sugar, melted chocolate...whatever you like.

Refrigerate truffles until ready to eat.



Winter means comfort food at Food Network and this week we are celebrating Chocolate for Valentine's Day. Do you have a favorite chocolate recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

The Lemon Bowl: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Creamy Cheese Frosting
Feed Me Phoebe: 
Dark Chocolate Beauty Bark with Chia Seeds, Pepitas and Goji Berries
The Heritage Cook: 
Gluten-Free Black & White Brownies with Orange Glaze
Virtually Homemade: 
Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Coconut
Creative Culinary: 
Raspberry Boccone Dolce (Pavlova with Chocolate and Raspberries)
Daisy at Home: 
Mocha Mousse Marshmallow Cake
The Mom 100: 
Molten Chocolate Peanut Butter Cakes
Dishin & Dishes: 
Espresso Truffles
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
The Cultural Dish: 
Moroccan Pots de Creme
Red or Green: 
Dark Chocolate Truffles- 4 Flavors 
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Chocolate-Coconut-Cashew Bark with Sea Salt
The Wimpy Vegetarian: 
Chocolate and Pretzel Bark with Sea Salt
In Jennie's Kitchen: 
Fudgy, Chewy Brownies {dairy free}
Haute Apple Pie: 
Mississippi Mud Pie
Taste with the Eyes: 
Chocolate Mint Parfaits with Chocolate Hearts
Food for 7 Stages of Life: 
Everyday Chocolate Granola
FN Dish: 
Melt Hearts with Handmade Chocolate Sweets — Comfort Food Feast

Best,

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