We come bearing virtual gifts: Chocolates, Flowers and Lots of Loaf for Everybody!
Happy Valentine’s Day everybody and lots of loaf & love from our little bakery. Although it is not really a big thing (but we are catching up fast!) Valentine’s Day is celebrated here in Holland. I do hope this day is more about sharing feelings and time with the ones you love than about buying expensive gifts, because most of us are still recovering from Christmas. It is a shame we cannot literally share our bread and baked goodies with most of you so you have to make due with our heartfelt wishes and virtual gifts like a long treasured recipe and pictures of chocolates, macarons, meringues and flowers.
The most wonderful kind of gift is the one that is custom made for you, expresses true feelings and comes as a surprise. That is why we were both a bit overwhelmed by the Valentine’s card we got from mega talented pastry queen Monica Kuhne. Just take a look at her website to see what I mean. The idea that someone would make something like this for us and expresses an understanding of what we are about really touches me deeply. Just look at the little details, everything is there, our loaves and jam and even a pink ruffled umbrella and a blue and white striped manly coffee cup for Ed! There are not enough loaves to thank you Monica! And we are promised the original drawing by post. It will of course get a top spot on the wall of the WKB!
I know it is not a bread recipe, but chocolate is another passion of ours. And as a little Valentine’s gesture, we want to share our favorite chocolate truffles recipe with you. What’s so good about these cream filled truffles is that they taste and look like the real handmade deal from a chic ‘maison du chocolat’ but are actually reasonably easy to make yourself. Making chocolates is challenging partly because you have to temper the chocolate to get the shiny coating and the right chocolate texture. With these truffles that is not the case, as you will discover when you make them. And making them is a big part of the enjoyment, with delicious chocolate and vanilla scents filling your house. Enjoy the fantastic ‘bite’ of the dark chocolate cover and the comforting smoothness of the creamy filling! Make a gift of them and you will be rewarded with lots of ♥♥♥.
Recipe for Cream Filled Chocolate Truffles
Ingredients for the Chocolate Truffles
Makes about 100 truffles
200 grams fine sugar
350 grams heavy cream (at least 35% fat content) with a pinch of salt
1 vanilla pod cut open lengthwise
250 grams fresh dairy butter at room temperature
Melted good quality dark chocolate (we use Valhrona 70 %) at about 40ºC /104ºF to cover the truffle fillings
Cocoa powder for dusting
Making the Chocolate Truffles
Cut the vanilla pod lengthwise and scraped out the seeds. Bring the cream with pinch of salt, the vanilla seeds and the vanilla pod almost to a boil and let it simmer very gently on very very low heat for about 20 minutes, so the vanilla can infuse the cream. Make sure it does not boil and do not stir either during this stage. Take the pan from the heat and add the sugar, and stir to make sure it all dissolves in the cream. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Beat the butter with an electric mixer to a very creamy consistency and keep mixing while you add the cream/sugar mixture slowly to the butter substance.
If the mixture starts to split do not panic. The mixture is too cold and you can warm it a little bit ‘au bain marie’. If it looks too thin; the mixture is too hot and you can cool it in a bowl of ice cold water while beating the mixture to the right thick creamy consistency.
Fill a piping bag with a wide round nozzle with the truffle filling and make little worm like shapes (about 3cm long) on a tray lined with grease proof paper and put them in the freezer for about 45 minutes until hard.
Now take 10 fillings at a time from the freezer and coat them one by one in a bowl of warm (40ºC /104ºF) chocolate and carefully place them in a tray filled with a layer of cocoa powder. Wait a few minutes until the chocolate is hard enough to roll the truffles around in the cocoa powder to coat them completely. Shake off any excess cocoa powder with the help of a sieve and put them in the fridge for storage. They will keep for about a week, but believe me they will be eaten a lot sooner. If you want to keep them longer, store them in an airtight container in the freezer.