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.
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.