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!♥
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.
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.