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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Orange Basil Chocolate Truffles

I spent almost the entire past weekend in my kitchen baking and cooking up a storm which I have not done in awhile.  Something about it being so cold outside makes standing in front of a hot stove seem very appealing.  These truffles were one of my many weekend creations.  They are the perfect partner for a Saturday afternoon coffee break or an after-dinner delight.

This little gem of a recipe came to me from a book that I've had sitting on my shelf for awhile now and don't use often enough.  Maria Elia's The Modern Vegetarian is a fabulous book filled with so many fantastic recipes, inspiration, and beautiful photos.  Sprinkled throughout the book are fun little mini-sections dedicated to specific ingredients such as peas, coffee, and even beets (although I'll admit I bypassed that one because beets are gross).  Even on my most un-creative day, I can find inspiration in this book.

Below is my adaptation of her Chocolate Truffle recipe.  In the book she offers a plethora of unique flavoring ideas for these truffles.  I chose to try out the orange and basil combination.  I was not disappointed.  

Orange Basil Chocolate Truffles
2/3 cup heavy cream
7 oz dark chocolate, broken into small pieces (the higher cocoa percentage the better)
1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
Zest of 1 orange
A few basil stems

1. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat.  Mix in orange zest and basil stems.  Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes to infuse.
2. In a medium size bowl, place diced butter and broken chocolate pieces.
3. Reheat the cream to almost boiling.  Strain into bowl over butter and chocolate.  (I found a cheesecloth to be perfect for this) Stir until smooth.
4. Place chocolate mixture in plastic container and refrigerate until firm.  At least 2 hours.  Once firm, use a scoop or melon baller to form truffles (or you can be like me and freestyle it with a spoon and your hands)
5. Drop each ball into cocoa powder to coat.  Refrigerate until ready to eat!

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