Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heart Of Gold....And A Winner!

Happy Valentines Day! I've been a miner for a heart of gold.....a pure chocolate heart of gold with velvety bittersweet chocolate, just like love. Eureka, I found it! The chocolate came to me not from St. Valentine, but crossed the ocean from Belgium as a gift. Kate from Serendipity sent it to a group of bloggers to make a Valentine creation. I don't think I even thought about what I'd make, I just knew. When you have fine chocolate, it doesn't need much dressing up in a recipe. One of my favorite ways to enhance a flavorful quality chocolate is to make truffles. Since it is Valentine's Day, a heart shaped truffle only seemed befitting. Then like a lover's soft touch that glitters with warmth, I brushed a dusting of gold dust that looks like it came from love fairies themselves. I gave them away in small origami boxes that I make, tied with a pretty ribbon. I can't wait to see all of the creations from the other bloggers, for the "Chocolate Valentines" event. Thank you Kate for the inspiration and the very tasty chocolate. She sent 3 different types of chocolate, with suggestions on which one would be best for eating, baking or making a "wicked hot chocolate". I used the artisanal bittersweet chocolate from La Maison Saive for the truffles. Kate thought that would be the best eating chocolate. The rich dark color with a slight gloss shone through the cellophane. The bite into the bar was a firm crunch. It had a rounded cocoa flavor and as the name implies, a slightly bittersweet and smooth finish. I could tell from the first bite that this would be the one for the truffles. My instincts were right. I am no longer searching for a heart of gold!
Heart Truffles


6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
5 ounces heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar to dust
cocoa powder to dust
round tipped watercolor brush (I used a #6)
edible gold Luster Dust*
*available mail order from kitchenkraft.com

Break the bittersweet chocolate into small pieces and process in a food processor until very fine. Heat the cream until just boiling and pour through the food processor feed tube in a steady stream, with the motor running. Add vanilla. Process just a few seconds, until smooth. Transfer to a bowl to firm. This should take a few hours at room temperature. You may also put it in the refrigerator. Once firm, using a 1 inch melon baller, scoop out balls of ganache and place on a parchment lined tray. Place in refrigerator to firm, about 30 minutes. Dust hands with powdered sugar and roll ball between your hands to smooth into a round ball. Dust with unsweetened cocoa powder. Chill again until firm to touch, but not all the way through. If they are too cold, they will crack when forming into hearts. Holding a round truffle with one hand, hold the end of your paintbrush horizontally and make an indentation into the top, while pinching the bottom into a point. Try to do this quickly, since the chocolate melts with the warmth of your hand. Continue shaping into a heart. Each one will have it's own personality and don't need to be uniform with each other. Place on a clean parchment lined tray or silicone mat, and chill again until slightly firm. Finish forming by smoothing them into a final shape. Scoop out a small amount of the gold luster dust into a separate dish. Dip the paintbrush into the gold dust and brush the truffle with it. Layer until the color you prefer is achieved. Put into small individual candy cups and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 36.


Origami Boxes
Start with a square 6" x 6" (15cm x 15cm) origami paper. Flip the sheet so that the colored side is face down. Now make two mountain folds (a mountain fold is formed by folding the paper away from oneself) as shown. Using the mountain fold lines as guides, fold the four corners of the paper into its center. Then fold the right edge and the left edge into the center line. Fold the top edge down and the bottom edge up, as shown. Now undo the last two-and-a-half steps.Now comes the tricky part that makes the box. The center square will be the box bottom. Take the 2 small folded squares (just below and to the right and left of the top triangle), and fold in while folding the top part up, over and down. This will also bring the left and right sides up and form the sides and bottom of the box.Repeat on the other side. You now have the top of a 2x2 inch origami box! To make the bottom, do the same steps with a square piece of paper that is 1/4 inch smaller. I use sturdy paper, but not card stock. For the box above, I used origami paper, but I've made boxes from catalog covers, grocery bags, wrapping paper, greeting cards...just about anything. Recycle, re-use, repurpose. The paper has to be perfectly square for it to work, and have a non coated surface. I'd love to hear any of your ideas.

OK...now for the Valentine Giveaway of the Nordic Ware Platinum Rose bundt pan, sponsored by CSN. The winner is........lostpastremembered!! Congratulations! Also many, many thanks to everyone who left a comment. This was really fun to do and I hope to do many more. My heart always tugs, as I want to give each and everyone the giveaway. Just an old sap, I guess ;-) Please email your address lostpastremembered, and I'll pass it along to the folks at CSN to mail the pan to you.

Thanks again Kate at Serendipity for hosting the "Chocolate Valentines" event.

Heart Truffles recipe, click here.

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28 comments:

Linda said...

i am wowed by this post!
your time, effort & your "love" is truly a celebration unto its self!
thanks for the wonderful presentation & great tutorials...sending this along to all my v.day friends...could not think of a nicer way to acknowledge the day.

diane, thanks for the link to serendipity...lovely site.

lostpastrememberd, congrats & bake an awesome rose!

Maggie B said...

Such exquisiteness, made with love for Valentine's Day, just gorgeous.
Thanks also for the origami box tutorial, you made it look easy but I imagine it isn't!
~Maggie~

La Table De Nana said...

Diane.. everything you do is special.. right down to the gold dusting ,origami boxes and ribbons..what an honor for Kate..Lost Past Remembered good for you..It suits your style beautifully.
I love when instructions are shared for things we just know we may want to try..

You even photograph well with one hand!? And no age spots:)

Happy valentine's!

grace said...

excellent use for the chocolate! i struggle to make plain ol' circular truffles, and here you are making hearts. bravo. :)

Kate said...

So very special...your truffles look delicious. And....oragami boxes! What a great idea for these special chocolates! How very creative...

Bob said...

Awesome, now I know what I'm doing with the chocolate I have left! :D

nightowlchef said...

These are gorgeous! I love the heart shapes - the free-form style is very endearing. You have skill!

This is my first time stopping by your blog, but I'll be back! Love the heart macaroons you did previously, too.

~Katherine @ Night Owl Chef

once in a blue moon... said...

omg, i am so out of my league with you all...this is another breathtaking creation... i am awestruck with all you do, heart of gold she says with a hang dog head, hiding her green eyes of jealousy!

i am going back to edit food with style to add you into the valentines post, i want others to be just as heartbroken as me!

SPECTACULAR!

wishing you a happy valentines day! but we already got the chocolate so of course we are thrilled~

Thibeault's Table said...

Breath takingly beautiful.

Melanie said...

You are so creative! It's incredibly inspiring. Congrats to the winner!! ^_^

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Woah, this is amazing. I wish I was that creative. Mmmm looks so yummy.

Any chance (if you haven't yet) you could check out this post and enter the giveaway? It would mean a TON for my family (full details there):

http://shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com/2010/02/you-read-my-review-now-win.html

-Lauren

Cora said...

Lovely, just lovely! I am inspired and can't wait to make some special truffles in those adorable boxes. Thanks so much for sharing your many talents.

lostpastremembered said...

Thanks so much for this wonderful prize!!! I never win anything... it is a wonderful surprise and I can't wait to
try it out with that amazing cake recipe...the sour cream and almonds are brilliant additions and I even have turbinado sugar as well as enough chocolate to choke a horse (I have made 3 chocolate recipes in quick succession!).
SInce I can never leave well enough alone, and because I can't make chocolate cake every day, I'll probably use some of Kate's prune chocolate cake recipe too. Once again... thrilling and wonderful!!!

Amanda said...

What a gorgeous, gorgeous post! I am going to bookmark these, I am pre-planning a birthday party around the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and the ship in the book is the Heart of Gold. These will definitely play a role in the party! :-)

Hungry Dog said...

Wow! The origami boxes are as gorgeous and impressive as the truffles...but you can't eat the boxes so the truffles win. Great idea. Love your blog, I shall be back!

2 Stews said...

Thanks all or the lovely comments!

Maggie B....the boxes are really easy. I hope my tutorial didn't make them look hard. I just love origami!

Monique...I can take a pic with one hand way better with my point and shoot. However, for this shot I used a tripod and timer with my dslr. I only got 1 clear one, so that is the one I used!

Jain...on the contrary, I feel like such a slouch with all that you do and do so amazingly well! Your post on the chocolate left me wanting! Thanks for all you do.

Shooting Stars Mag.....will do :-))

lostpastremembered...congrats again. What fun that was. I'd love to see your creation!

Amanda...oh please let me know when you do this party..I'd love to see what you do. What a great idea for a theme.

Hungry Dog...hmmmm, edible origami boxes....hmmm, sounds like an idea to me!

Cheers.....Diane

Kate at Serendipity said...

Diane, these are adorable! I love the individual personality each one has, and the gold dust is beautiful!

I cant' believe you make those origami boxes. I do too! I've done that for years, and I've never seen anyone else make them. Wow.

I nevernever thought about putting chocolate truffles in them, though! Brilliant.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

hearts of gold AND origami boxes??!
I think I must be in heaven!

Junglefrog said...

I love the idea of those little gold hearts and so well done!! It looks beautiful and very fitting for valentine!

Sarah said...

Your hearts of gold are exquisite. Thanks for sharing this delightful post and the instructions for the box.

Linda said...

so excited...just had to comment again... made the origami box...your tutorial was EXCELLENT!!!
now i have to master the truffle...:)

Dinners and Dreams said...

I love these hearts of gold. Very creative!

Nisrine

My name is Noemi said...

Your hearts of gold are simple amazing and so well made! Thanks for sharing :)

Barbara said...

I've been watching what everyone did with Kate's chocolate.
But you are the chocolate winner! Those hearts are adorable and the origami boxes and the gold sacs are smashing. Altogether, a beautiful and delicious presentation! Kudos to you!

The Cooking Photographer said...

*Thud*

I have fainted from being in your talented aura.

Diane these are brillant!

Laura

Ry @ Sotto Il Monte Vineyards said...

Once again - I'm in awe. Not only the chocolate hearts - but the packaging as well. Just beautiful!

myfrenchkitchen said...

What lovely truffles, golddusted..romantic and delicious of course made with the Belgian chocolates and nestling careful in its own origami box..a little jewel...
Ronelle

2 Stews said...

Kate at Serendipity...we are kindred spirits!

All..I think I am just a romantic frustrated artist that likes to play with food!

Thanks for your wonderful comments!

Diane