Sunday, February 12, 2012

All Things Chocolate

Happy Sunday!  I'm not really into the whole Valentine's Day thing with the red heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and crazy candy bar bouquets at the grocery store, but I do think its a great excuse to make all kinds of chocolate treats!  This weekend I've been working on Tiramisu Truffles, Chocolate Chip Cookies with Valentine's M&M's, and Dark Chocolate Bark with Coconut and Sea Salt.

The Tiramisu Truffles tasted just like the actual dessert!  And with the cocoa powder on the outside they looked like it too.  I think I may try half white chocolate and and half dark chocolate for the ganache next time I make them for a little more intense chocolate flavor...

Tiramisu Truffles
(Inspired by a recipe from Not So Humble Pie)
Makes 20 -25 1 inch truffles

10 ounces high quality white chocolate, finely chopped (not white candy coating)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
2 1/2 teaspoons Marsala wine
2 steaspoon instant espresso powder (recommend: Medaglia D'Oro), divided
½ tsp rum extract
1-2 ounces dark chocolate
1 tablespoon dutch-processed cocoa

Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Set the chocolate aside and allow to cool until just lukewarm.

While waiting, dissolve half of the espresso powder in the Marsala wine.

When the chocolate has cooled a bit, whisk in the mascarpone until smooth then add the espresso Marsala and rum extract. Mix in the remaining powdered espresso, cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Grate the block of dark chocolate in a food processor.  Replace the grater with the blade and add the cocoa powder.  Process until fine. 

Scoop balls of the tiramisu ganache with a spoon or cookie scoop and roll quickly between your palms. If your hands get sticky quickly, dust your clean palms with a little powdered sugar between rolling.

To finish, roll the truffles in the shaved chocolate/cocoa mixture.

Store truffles in the refrigerator, but make sure you take them out and let them come to room temperature before eating.

For the chocolate chip cookies, I used my standard (but fabulous!) recipe and substituted Valentines M&M's for half of the chocolate chips.  

I also made some Dark Chocolate Coconut Bark with Chocolate-Infused Sea Salt...a deliciously simple treat!  All you do is melt dark chocolate (I used a 70% cocao from Calebaut) and add in some toasted coconut.  Then I sprinkle a little Chocolate Sea Salt on top.  The rich deep chocolate pairs so well with the buttery toasted coconut and slightly salty chocolate salt. 

And now after taste-testing all this chocolate, I'm going to go make myself a salad.....