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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate truffles are an incredibly simple and decadent dessert. You can easily customize the flavors by adding different extracts or liqueurs and rolling in different coatings. If you’re looking for something special to make for Valentine’s Day, these truffles are perfect.

It’s important to use high quality chocolate in this recipe – 62% cacao or higher if you can find it. Since chocolate and cream are the only ingredients in basic truffles, using high quality ingredients will definitely give you a better end product.

I made my truffles from leftover ganache that I made to fill a cake. Now I always hope I have leftover ganache just so I can make truffles.


Chocolate Truffles
Ingredients:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
Extracts or liqueurs of your choice (Kahlua and Grand Marnier are my favorites.)
Coatings of your choice (I love almonds and cocoa powder.)

Directions:
-Place the chocolate in a bowl and set aside.
-Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it starts to boil.
-Once boiling, immediately remove the cream from the heat and pour over chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for two minutes. If you are adding liqueurs or other flavors, now is the time to do so.
-Gently stir the mixture with a whisk or rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted.
-Allow the ganache to sit until it comes to room temperature and then refrigerate for two hours.
-Prepare a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.
-Using a teaspoon, remove ganache and place on baking sheet. (I find it easier to remove all the teaspoons of ganache before I begin rolling, which can be a messy process.)
-Using your hands, quickly roll the ganache into balls. The chocolate will begin to melt on your hands, so don’t worry if you don’t get a perfectly round shape.
-Place back onto baking sheet and continue until all truffles are formed. Refrigerate overnight.
-Roll in desired coatings and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Source: Chocolate Ganache recipe adapted The Confetti Cakes Cookbook


Harvest Corn Chowder with Chorizo

It’s been incredibly cold all over the country, and there’s nothing better than a steaming bowl of soup to warm you up when it’s cold outside. Having just moved from Florida to Virginia, Eric and I have been craving soup a lot more lately. Seeing snow for the first time in over ten years can do that to you. Thankfully, I have plenty of recipes saved that I never got the chance to make while living in Florida.

This soup is rich and gets a great smokiness from the chorizo. The soft potatoes, crunchy corn and crispy chorizo give this soup a wonderful combination of textures and flavors. It’s the perfect way to end a cold day, and it makes fantastic leftovers.

Corn and Chorizo Chowder

Harvest Corn Chowder with Chorizo
Ingredients:
3 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3-4 large ears) or frozen kernels (thawed and patted dry)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ounces smoked Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 medium sized onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 pound unpeeled red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
sprinkle cayenne pepper
1 cup half and half

Directions:
-In a food processor or blender, blend 1 1/2 cups of corn and 3/4 cup broth to a coarse puree.
-Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
-Add chorizo and sauté until browned. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
-Add onion and remaining 1 1/2 cups corn to skillet.
-Sauté over medium-high heat until onion begins to soften.
-Add potatoes and stir until potatoes begin to soften.
-Transfer to a medium-sized pot and add thyme, cayenne, corn puree and remaining broth.
-Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.
-Simmer uncovered about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
-Add half and half and chorizo.
-Continue cooking uncovered another 2 minutes until soup is heated through.
-If you prefer the soup to be thicker, allow to simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Serves 4

Source: Bon Appetit, November 2009