Valentine's Day means chocolate and I have stuffed myself with chocolate all week long. My Valentine gave me a large bag of my favorite chocolate candies, those lovely little candy-coated jewels that "melt in your mouth, not in your hand". But, I'm rationing out a daily portion to make them last as long as possible.
Years ago, I found one of the loveliest chocolate creations ever ... this Chocolate Truffle Croquembouche (say that three times really fast) from a 1991 issue of Bon Appetit and have made it for several wedding receptions and wedding anniversary events. It is quite involved, but the results make an elegant centerpiece for those important celebrations.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 pounds bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sour cream
6 tablespoons orange liqueur
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
Bring cream and butter to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Reduce heat to medium, stirring until butter completely melts. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in sour cream, liqueur and orange peel. Pour into a 9x13-inch baking dish and refrigerate about one hour or until firm.
Line four large cookie sheets with foil; sift powdered sugar onto two sheets and sift cocoa powder onto the remaining two. Using a 3/4-ounce ice cream scoop (1 1/2 tablespoons), scoop the truffle mixture into balls and place on cookie sheets, about 28 on a sugar-coated sheet and 28 on a cocoa-dusted sheet. Repeat with a 1/4-ounce ice cream scoop (1 1/2 teaspoons) forming 10 truffles on a sugar-dusted sheet and 10 truffles on a cocoa-dusted sheet. Freeze truffles 10 minutes.
Roll each truffle on sugar-dusted sheet, then roll in hands until smooth and round. Place on a clean cookie sheet. Repeat with truffles on cocoa-dusted sheets and place on the clean cookie sheet. Freeze one hour.
1 3/4 pounds imported white chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 pounds bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped
Candied violets - optional (I used a small amount of royal icing and piped on flowers)
Line two cookie sheets with foil. Melt white chocolate in top of a double boiler over simmering water, stirring until candy thermometer registers 115 degrees. Remove from water. Dip a sugar-coated truffle in melted chocolate using a fork, and tap gently on side of pan to remove excess. Use a knife and slide onto clean cookie sheet. Wipe fork clean and repeat with remaining sugar-coated truffles. Freeze 15 minutes. Reheat white chocolate and double dip each truffle.
Melt bittersweet chocolate in the same manner. Using the back of a spoon, do a quick drizzle over the white truffles in a zigzag pattern, then refrigerate.
WHEW!!! I said it was quite involved. In fact, just set a day aside for the process unless you want to make the truffles ahead of time, which you can do ... as much as three weeks ahead if you like. And you will like, or rather, you will LOVE these truffles. Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!
Linked up at ...