Tag Archive: chocolate

Chocolate-Orange Truffles

Wanna know what I like about Valentine’s Day? Chocolate. Otherwise, it’s just a normal day. Chocolate is what makes it special, makes it a celebration of love. Yes, love, because even if you don’t have a human love, you can still love chocolate. Besides, who cares about the sappy cards or flowers? And who wants to deal with thorns and vases when you can sit down, relax, and eat a truffle?

I don’t normally eat a lot of sweets, so any day when I can indulge my sweet tooth in the name of love is pretty awesome. My husband knows this and spends money on the good, Belgian stuff for me every year, lest I waste my sugar coma on junk. If he didn’t do that, I would make these. In fact, I used to make truffles for myself fairly regularly before I got married. If you make your own, that means you don’t have to share and not sharing means more truffles for you. Isn’t that a delicious equation?

The great thing about these truffles is that they taste like they require a ton of effort, but they don’t. That makes them DANGEROUS because, once you make them, you’ll want to make them again. And again. And again.

Your tastebuds will love it. Your thighs, on the other hand, will probably ask you to join a gym with all the money you’ve saved by making your own truffles.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate-Orange Truffles

  • 1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or non-dairy creamer, if you need to be dairy-free)
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1 tablespoon prepared coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Cocoa powder

Chop the chocolates finely with a sharp knife, then place in a heat-proof mixing bowl.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just boiling. Turn off the heat and allow the cream to sit for 20 seconds. Pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into the bowl of chocolate. With a wire whisk, slowly stir the cream and chocolates together until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in the Grand Marnier, coffee, and vanilla. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

With 2 teaspoons, spoon round balls of the chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Working quickly, roll each ball of chocolate in your hands to make it round-ish, then roll in confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, or both. Place on a second baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate overnight. These will keep refrigerated, in an air-tight container, for up to 2 weeks. Allow them to come to room temperature before serving. Enjoy! RNZZP3PPNH69

This is one of those cakes that you can take ANYWHERE. Dress it up with fresh, barely-sweetened, homemade whipped cream and it’s perfect for a holiday or dinner party. Serve it as is with coffee. Make it with bananas instead of pears and take it to a neighborhood potluck.

It’s pretty perfect and very delicious.

Right now, I’m making the banana version to bring to our friends’ house, where it will be enjoyed as we watch the Patriots crush the Jets in tomorrow’s NFL play-off game.

Edited to add:  So, the Pats didn’t win, but the cake was still delicious. Also, I’ve decided that I’m going to experiment and make this with fresh, in-season cherries this Summer. I’ll let you know how it turns out. My bets are on scrumptious.

Pear-Almond Cake with Chocolate Chunks

(adapted from Rachael Ray)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large pears—peeled, cored and thinly sliced (or two sliced bananas, if you are pear-averse)
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks (I just chop a good quality bar into chunks)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup granulated sugar, the vanilla extract, and the 2 eggs until pale yellow, 1 to 2 minutes; whisk in the butter. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined.
  4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and top with half of the pear or banana slices and half of the chocolate; repeat with the remaining batter, pears or bananas, and chocolate.
  5. Using a food processor, finely grind 1/4 cup almonds with the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Add the egg white and process until smooth. Drizzle over the cake and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup almonds. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly, then dust lightly with the confectioners’ sugar.