Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cardamom-Scented Truffles for Valentine’s Day



With Valentine’s Day approaching, I’m excited to share some chocolate truffles with you. While eating chocolate is an almost daily experience in our house, this chocolate-inspired holiday calls for some extra indulgence and these rich, dark, silky truffles provide just that.


Truffles elevate any occasion and add an elegant touch of sweetness. Happily, they are quite easy to make, with only a few ingredients and a dusting of cocoa powder.


I usually prefer pure dark chocolate truffles with a whiff of vanilla, and you can easily tailor them to your taste just by adding a touch of bourbon, rum or your favorite liqueur.


Lately, though, I’ve discovered the joys of bitters. Scrappy’s Bitters, crafted here in Seattle, have a tempting selection of flavors. They enhance glasses of seltzer and make wonderful cocktails (we recently made this delightful one with grapefruit bitters).


My newest favorite is their cardamom. I’ve been adding a dash or two to my coffee, and just made a marvelous hot toddy with ginger tea, honey, bourbon and a few drops of cardamom bitters. So as I was making these truffles, I reached for that bottle of bitters sitting on the counter.


I didn’t want the cardamom to overwhelm, and with bitters a little bit goes a long way. A couple of dashes scented the truffles with a warm spice and blended beautifully with the homemade bourbon vanilla that was already mixed into the glossy bowl of melted chocolate and cream. After chilling in the fridge, I rolled small scoops in raw cacao powder to finish them.


Not too sweet and extremely rich, with hints of cardamom and vanilla, these truffles are divine and handmade with love. They have a rustic, charming appeal and are a luscious sweet to savor while snuggling with your Valentine.



Cardamom-Scented Truffles
Makes 28

1/2 pound dark, good quality chocolate (I use 70-85 % cocoa content)
1/2 cup organic heavy cream
1 tablespoon homemade bourbon vanilla (or store-bought vanilla)
2 – 4 dashes cardamom bitters, depending upon your preference for cardamom flavor (taste and see as you go)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder

Chop the chocolate and set aside in a small bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Watch it closely to make sure it doesn’t boil over or scorch. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and gently stir to melt the chocolate. Keep stirring until it is smooth and glossy. Add vanilla extract and bitters and mix in. Cover the bowl and pop in the fridge to chill until firm, about 2 hours (can make ahead and chilled overnight).

Sift the cocoa powder onto a sheet of parchment paper. Remove the truffle mix from the fridge. Using a teaspoon or very small cookie scoop, drop rounded scoops of the truffles onto the cocoa powder. Roll each truffle until it is well coated in the cocoa powder. Store the truffles in a covered container in the fridge where they will keep for 2 weeks.

28 comments:

  1. Ohh these sound and look amazing! Love cardamom and chocolate, these get a big yum. So do you send care packages? I'd love to be your valentine!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Orly! I'd happily send you a box of truffles. :)

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  2. Heavenly! I adore cardamon & chocolate, just such a wonderful combination. Would love to get my hands on some of those bitters too :)

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    1. Thank you, Mairi! The bitters are pretty awesome - there's even a chocolate one, which makes a terrific soda. I hope all is well with you!

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  3. I love cardamom and this is such a perfect treat for the V-day. :) These are beautiful and I love the elegant way you present them in the beautiful paper cup.

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    1. Thank you so much, Amy! The red paper cups were a happy find - so cheery and pretty. I always love polka dots! Happy Valentine's Day!

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  4. Amazing!!! I love truffles, love cardamom its a win win, What a beautiful post! Happy Valentines Day!!

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne! I appreciate your kind comment. Happy Valentine's Day to you, too!

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  5. I have never paired cardamom with chocolate but it sounds very interesting.

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    1. I hadn't paired these flavors together before either, but they are delicious and I'll be doing it again. Now I'm thinking about cardamom bitters in hot cocoa... :)

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  6. Oh I just love this -- next up will be my Morello Cherry version. Now I am intrigued to start playing with bitters - I have never bought any...Hmmm.

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    1. Thank you, Beth! I can't wait for your Morello Cherry Truffles...you'll share, right? Bitters have been a terrific discovery - I'm rather hooked. I just saw another local company that makes a Dandelion Burdock one and I'm trying to figure that flavor out!

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  7. I'm one of your Valentine's right? Do you need my address to send me some; they sound outright divine!

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    1. Thank you, Barb, you are a lovely Valentine! Speaking of addresses, I hope all is going smoothly with your move. Be sure to take lots of chocolate breaks! Happy Valentine's Day!

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  8. Wonderful post Hannah! I love the pictures and the detailed description of your truffles and your LOVE for chocolate. I look forward to making them soon. xoxo Juls

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    1. Thank you, Julie - happy smiles here! I hope we can share some more chocolate together soon. xoxo

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  9. My favorite spice! These are going on the "to make" list for sure. :)

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    1. Cardamom is a rather recent discovery for me and I'm so happy to have found it. I'm quite taken with it and delighted whenever I can add it to something delicious. I hope you enjoy the truffles, Karista!

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  10. I really need to get out there and try some not-Angostura bitters. I know there's been a lot of headway made in the artisan bitters department in the last couple of years. I had no idea there was such a thing as cardamom bitters, though! I love that you used bitters in chocolate-making because I always wonder what would I do with an entire bottle?

    Anyway, the truffles look delish and Happy Valentine's Day!

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    1. With the artisan bitters it's not hard to go through a bottle quickly, Lauren. Very different from the bottle of Angostura bitters that's been languishing in our liquor cabinet for years. These new flavors are ones to keep within easy reach. Happy Valentine's Day to you, too!

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  11. I never would have thought to pair chocolate and cardamom together but I bet it's decadent! The photos are gorgeous, I love the polka dot box.

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    1. Thank you so much, Anna! I'm always drawn to polka dots - they make me smile. I hope you give chocolate and cardamom a try together sometime!

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  12. Okay, wait a minute. Your New Years resolution was to drink more champagne, and you eat truffles nearly daily? I want your life! Love your life outlook.

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    1. I smiled reading this, Erina! Daily chocolate usually takes the form of a small square of dark...I agree, truffles everyday would indeed be over-the-top decadent! I appreciate your sweet comment. :)

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  13. Those are lovely! I had a cocktail of some kind (forget the name) last night with this brand of bitters in it that was fantastic (late night preschool meeting lol).

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    1. Thank you, Alyssa! Can I join your preschool meetings?? :)

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  14. Pretty truffles! I think cardamom is highly under-used...perfect here!

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    1. Thanks so much, Laura! I agree, I'd like to see cardamom shine a bit more. Happy to discover its flavor marries well with chocolate, so I'll be turning to this combo more now.

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