Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Health Food

I like to think of myself as a healthy person. I try to eat moderately, I think about exercising almost every day. I try to include something green on the menu at least once a week.

Thus it was that when I packed for our marathon road trip last week that I put in yogurt and granola for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and apples and granola bars to snack on. I know from experience the perils of having tasty snacks in the car - you end up snorking them all up out of sheer boredom. So much better and more sensible to pack light, healthy foods.

That's what I was thinking right up until about hour #8 of the drive. Then I started thinking, "Why didn't I pack some cookies? Cookies would be good about now." Hour #10 I started getting seriously itchy for some chocolate. "Why didn't I pack chocolate? What was I thinking making a drive like this without chocolate?" And by hour #11 I was gripping the steering wheel tightly screaming (inside my head, so as not to freak out my children in the back seat), "Where is the sugar? Why is there no sugar? I need sugar!!" Thankfully, hour #12 was spent navigating construction traffic cones in pitch black through a torrential downpour, so I had no extra thoughts to spare on the appalling lack of sugared items in the car.

I'm back home safe and sound. I can go back to pretending to be healthy, feeling smug because I don't eat Cap'n Sucrose for breakfast. But the veneer has been stripped off. I now know I'm only eight hours away from taking candy from small children, knocking over little old ladies for their chocolate cake, or holding up a bakery for some sugar cookies. So, if you're coming to visit, you might check that I've baked recently. Or it could get ugly.

Deep Dark Chocolate Truffles
adapted from The Great Book of Chocolate by David Lebovitz

3/4 cup heavy cream
8 to 10 oz (225 to 285 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 to 3 tsps cognac, to taste (or other favorite liquor)


4 oz (115 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (50 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream just to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Add the liquor and pour into a bowl. Let stand for at least 2 hours, or until firm. Alternately, you can cover and refrigerate it until firm, but you'll need to let it warm slightly before scooping.

Dip a melon baller into very warm water, tap off the excess water, and scoop the truffle mixture into 3/4-inch (2-cm) balls and set them on a plate. Once you've scooped all the mixture, roll each one with your hands until it's round.

Chill the truffles thoroughly.

Melt the remaining 4 oz (115 g) chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Spread the cocoa powder in a pie plate.

If you're right-handed, spread some of the melted chocolate into your right hand. (Reverse if left-handed). Pick up a truffle with your clean left and hand place it into your chocolate-covered right hand. Smear chocolate all over the truffle and drop it into the cocoa powder. Repeat until the truffles fill the pie plate, keeping your left hand clean. Shake the pie plate to cover the truffles with cocoa powder, then place them in a strainer to shake off the excess cocoa powder. Repeat with the remaining truffles.

The truffles can be served immediately or kept in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Remove them from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to serving.


Melinda said...

Yes, those definitely are healthy truffles. Yum.
When I come to cook with you, I am bringing plenty of healthy goodies for you.

Brilynn said...

Oooh these would be wonderful with the cognac in them!

DianneM said...

Oh my gosh you are such a riot! I love those truffles. Especially dusted with cocoa powder.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Gadfry! Thank you for sharing the cookies yesterday. Had you posted this before yesterday I might have been worried on our drive from Bellevue to Kirkland!
Wonderful fun read! The degeneration in your first sentence is wonderful!
I've not done truffles.

gigi said...

Ah, love it! You're too funny, I had a similar experience at an airport after everything closed.:)

P.S. the truffles look delicious!

Peabody said...

Yes, why didn't you pack chocolate!!!! :)
Those look so very yummy, and they are small so they have like no calories.

The Cooking Ninja said...

mmm...yummy truffles.They look fantastic!

Anh said...

Your truffles are excellent! I wanna have a piece...

VeggieGirl said...

hahaha, Lynn, your stories always bring a smile to my face :0) what lovely little truffles those are!!

eatme_delicious said...

Very nice looking truffles. I keep wanting to make truffles but I think I'm scared they'll not form up right.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Melinda - Yeah! We can be healthy together.

Brilynn - I think I used Kahlua because I wanted the dark coffee/ chocolate combo.

DianneM - Not too dark?

My Kitchen In Half Cups - You were safe on the drive. I'd baked. :-)

Gigi- Grrr - airports at 2:00 am are so frustrating! Always pack snack. If you can get it through security.

Peabody - I like the way you think, girl!

The Cooking Ninja - Thanks!

Anh - I'd be happy to share. Come visit and I'll make them for you.

VeggieGirl - That's why I'm here! If you're not smiling, you're not getting full value for your time here.

Eatme Delicious - Give it a try. They were surprisingly easy. I'd had a warning from my sister to not attempt this on a hot day, so I got up very early in the morning to do the dipping part. Between my chilly kitchen and my chilly hands, it worked like a champ.

*fanny* said...

Haha that's the exact same thing for me. I remember when I went on a 5 day road trip with one of my friends. We packed healthy yet filling food, but as soon as we stopped to a supermarket we couldn't resist buying some oatmeal cookies. I ate 3 and he had 4. Then we went hiking for 2 days and forgot to pack the cookies with us. When we got back to the camper van, he had the last cookie. I totally hate him for that.

You truffles look deliciously creamy and smooth.

ps. can you please tell me where I spent the last months. Mars, mercure or even jupiter. I still can't believe that I just found your gorgeous blog.


Nora B. said...

lol! I can very much relate to that. I learned the hard way about sugar cravings and boredom, so I do pack homemade cookies for car trips. These truffles look very naughty and yummy ;-)

Belinda said...

Lynn, that's so funny! You started out with the very best of virtuous intentions, but then of course chocolate had to have its way! :-) These truffles look gorgeous, so fancy and frou frou...love them!

Big Boys Oven said...

Dear Lynn, thanks for dropping by at our blog. We love your truffles and we also adore your beautiful tray. Will check on you soon.

Emily said...

Hey Lynn,
My mother let me have the last truffle......I went into a personal dream land for about 60 seconds( that is how long it lasted. )
Thank you,
They were awesome

Kelly-Jane said...

You are such a great writer, it's a lovely life skill to be able to make us all smile :)

Gorgoeus truffles!

Kate said...

lol u are really funny. I too would end up just like u if i would not get my sugar fix every couple of hrs. My dentist is crying and asking me to keep away from sweets and my demo s saying my acne will never go till i eat choc , but i still give a damn...how can u give up chocolate ???? and these truffles...yumm !

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Fanny - how nice of you to drop by and leave such sweet comments! Are you still friends with the cookie hog?

Nora - smart woman!

Belinda - Yes, good intentions will get you only so far. Then you need chocolates.

Big Boys Oven - Thanks for dropping by for a visit. The tray was a birthday gift from a totally sweet friend who thought it looked bloggable.

Emily - Mmmm, the amazing power of a truffle.

Kelly-Jane - Thanks, sweetie!

Kate - What's the point of life without chocolate?

Anne said...

My family wouldn't live without any chocolate flavored thing to eat...that goes to saying I always something on hand for them and for myself as well :) The truffles looks heavenly good!

Amy said...

Your truffles look perfect!