Damned lies, chocolate truffles and an awful truth

Monday, October 3, 2011

Right, so I lied to you in the first post (what a way to begin). It did not actually go ''3, 2, 1... aaaand published!''. No. It went more like this: ''Ok... previeeew (click)... ... um, wait... what just happened?''. 

So yes, I accidentally clicked Publish. I guess my browser got fed up with all the previews or something. Eventually I sighed, murmured something along the lines of kismet, and closed the window. What I'm trying to say is that I kind of took this accidental click as an indication that I should start writing. How deliberate of me (come to think of it, my main computer which holds all my photographs crashed just last week; now, perhaps I should have taken that as a sign).

And now for the reason why I am truly mentioning this: I am simply trying to excuse my tardiness with the new post (remember how I mentioned that my computer crashed?). Insert smile and batting lashes.

Now that we got that out of the way, perhaps we can start talking about things that truly matter: like food and photography. So here it comes, a terrible truth about me: I don't like chocolate. I hardly ever eat it, and when I do, it has to have 90% of cocoa in it. I listen in disbelief as my (girl)friends talk about their 'addiction'. Shelves of chocolate products in supermarkets are completely lost on me. I secretly think that my friend who eats chocolate with bread for breakfast is a little crazy. I think by now you got the point.

But to cook with chocolate? Oh, my. To melt it, shape it, add stuff to it... That's where I go to the opposite extreme. You know the craving you get as you mix the perfect chocolate-y batter? I certainly do (I admit, I've licked more batter-dipped spoons than I, well, than I care to admit). I love its earthy, cocoa color, its versatility, and the elegance of its movement as it is being poured out of the bowl. So you won't see me hesitate to use it in recipes, especially when cooking for my loved ones (layla says: cocholate). I love it in desserts.

In addition to being a feast for your chocolate-loving friends' palate, with this dessert you can be easily creative in terms of presentation and ingredients. You can roll it in sprinkles, have whatever surprise you want in the center, and even mix the ganache with ground almonds, cocoa, cookie crumbs... The possibilities are endless. 

Chocolate is fun, what else can I say?

I am sure that most of you are already in a committed relationship with chocolate (and will, therefore, have no consideration for my chocolate-insensitive palate). Go easy on me please, nobody is perfect!

I will post the recipe below, and would love to hear from you about other variations you may have tried. Have fun trying it out, and I almost promise to post new ideas soon.

So there you have it. I've lied a little, I admitted to something terrible, and I made a dessert. What more can you ask for in a day? :)

Cocoa and Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles:

250 grams bittersweet quality dark chocolate (broken in pieces for melting)
125 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large egg yolks
1 cup (125 grams) confectioners' sugar
cocoa powder for dusting
hazelnuts as needed

Melt the chocolate in a large bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Remove from the heat and add the butter in about three heapings. Stir until completely incorporated. Add the egg yolks and powdered sugar whisking until the batter is smooth.
Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
When ready to roll, scoop out balls of ganache with a spoon, roll them in between your palms pretty quickly (the chocolate will start to melt) and place them in a plastic bowl lined with baking paper. I prefer to shape smaller size balls. At this point, you have two options. You can immediately roll the balls in cocoa powder (spread the cocoa powder on a baking sheet and roll on top of it), or you can refrigerate the balls overnight and roll them in cocoa powder the next day. 
To prepare the hazelnut truffles, start by selecting a hazelnut, and then scooping out some of ganache and shaping it in a circle around the hazelnut. Have chopped hazelnuts ready for rolling.
Keep them refrigerated until ready to eat.


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