By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
"They [truffles] can, on certain occasions,
make women more tender and men more lovable." --Alexandre Dumas
I woke up this morning craving fudge and truffles. But unlike last year this time, no UPS gourmet chocolate packages are on their way to my house. I didn't despair. I decided I'd take the homemade route. During my swim (bliss again) I thought fudge would be the easiest to make, especially after reading some complicated recipes that I could revise but it seemed like a lot of work. But then, I recalled chocolatey truffles, you know the ones dusted in superb cocoa and/or sprinkled with coconut and nuts. It was becoming a serious Libra indecisive day. Truffles or fudge. Fudge or truffles. So, I made the final decision a few hours ago. I made Fudge Truffles and enjoyed both worlds of chocolate...
Sure, I could have followed and created my own version of a hard to follow fudge recipe or go for the tried and true marshmallow foolproof one and add my own European type touches with a truffle effect. That's what I did and you can do it, too. It's similar to the easy to do recipe my girlfriends and I used when I was 16...
Cocoa Fudge Truffles
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups European Style Butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup semi-bittersweet gourmet chocolate chips
1/2-3/4 cup 60% cocoa chips
3/4 cup marshmallow cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a heavy large saucepan combine sugar, milk, and soft butter. On medium heat stir till boiling for several minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate and marshmallow cream till mixed well. Add vanilla. Spread into a 13" by 9" pan lined with parchment paper. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Cut into small squares like in the photo above left. Then, dust half of the fudge squares with gourmet unsweetened cocoa powder; the other half with fresh shredded coconut and walnuts. Place into round tin containers and layer fudge with parchment paper. Store in fridge.
I used my fave Hershey's tin and a forest green tin with a snowy Christmas scene complete with trees and a house. Now, I'm not going to fib and say these are better than some of the European style luxury chocolate truffles I received from chocolatiers. No way. They infuse their truffles with awesome fruits, herbs, and spices and use fresh ingredients--including cream.
But hey, these quickie homemade European Cocoa Fudge Truffles do taste good, the chocolate is good. The texture is smooth and rich like gourmet chocolate and not too sweet or crunchy like a run of the mill milk chocolate candy bar. I chose the European Style butter because it's sweet and creamier than unsalted butter. The best part, I have two tins of cocoa fudge truffles to savor and share.
And a new study confirms what I wrote in my new book The Healing Powers of Chocolate (due to be released this month): quality chocolate can help you to destress. (I have to write an article tomorrow: "Earth Changes Predictions for 2010".) Those umpteen feel-good compounds in chocolate should do the trick. Healing chocolate can boost brainpower and physical energy--and even make people like you, and me, more tender towards our demanding companion animals or any humanoids that cross our path tomorrow.