I am chagrined to admit that I am envious of my husband. I don’t know why it took me so long to grasp this fact, but it’s true. A while back, we were in the cheese section of Earth Fare, picking up some Italian fontinafor a fondue, when he extracted a Port-Salut, took a long whiff of the plastic wrap, wiggled it in front of my nose and asked if I had ever had any. “No, I hadn’t….yet,” I slowly said with emphasis on the “t.” “Oh, my God, it’s so amazing! You’ll have to try it,” he quipped. He knows how much I love cheese! Then he mentioned we needed to get some French bread, too.
On my way to the bakery, obsessing about this astounding cheese, I realized I had a list going. My “I Have Never But Cannot Wait To Try/Make” food list that is, I am sorry to say, quite long. And, most of it is my husband’s fault. Because he will make a seemingly innocuous comment about some incredible food that he used to get in [insert worldly city of your choice] and I feel absurdly desirous of said pleasure. So, it goes on The List.
I might not be able to provide him with the luxury of fine European candy and confections, but I sure as heck can make truffles! (I crossed that off my to-do list many years ago). And you know what? Move over Phillipe, King of Belgium, Adam can’t get enough of these luxurious mouthfuls and swears they rival the memory of anything he ate all those years ago.
Chalk one up for the home town girl.
Making truffles could not be simpler. In fact, it’s easy. Messy, but easy. (That’s the fun part.) So, if you don’t mind getting chocolate all over your face and fingers, your kitchen drawers and cabinets, you can cross this one off your to-do list, too.
This recipe is one of my go-to holiday hostess gifts from our first cookbook. But, I warn you. Make sure you stash a couple three or four in the fridge because soon after making them, you’ll be itching for a silky, satiny chocolate orb and you’ll kick yourself for being overly generous. So, my advise: By all means, give into the spirit of giving this holiday season. Just don’t give them all away.
Milk Chocolate Truffles
- 12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Cocoa powder, flaked coconut, toasted, chopped nuts, for rolling
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with wax paper and set aside. In a double boiler over barely simmering water, combine the chocolates, butter and cream. Cook over low heat until the chocolate and butter have melted. Remove from the heat; add the extracts and stir until smooth and glossy. Pour the chocolate into the prepared pan and refrigerate until the mixture is firm enough to shape.
- Place the toppings in separate bowls. Shape the chocolate into 1-inch balls and roll in the desired toppings to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
…from the Picture-Perfect kitchen:
Planning: Feel free to add in a little splash (1 tablespoon) of your favorite liqueur for a grown-up treat. Bring the truffles to room temperature before serving.
Product Purity: Quality is always key, but especially when the ingredient list is short. Use high quality chocolate, like Valrhona or Callebaut and pure vanilla and almond extracts, like Nielsen-Massey, available at kitchen specialty stores.
Presentation: For hostess gifts, I place a sampler of truffles in a velvet box lined with waxed tissue and wrap it with a beautiful bow. For entertaining, I use the plate in the photo from World Market. It reminds me of an upscale candy box with the individual wells for the truffles. Make sure you have a nice assortment of textures, colors and flavors for an appetizing presentation.