Monday, January 28, 2013
rosemary sea salt truffles
aaaaaaaand... I'm back.
Since this is, actually, a blog about food, and seeing as how I have remained woefully silent during the two most important months in a gourmande's year (gravy month and gingerbread month, I like to call them), it's high time for me to prove my continuing legitimacy as a cook. My time has been vacuumed up by other writing—so much writing—but lest you think I've been silent because I haven't been cooking, let me assuage your fears. This has been an inspired time for culinary experimentation, and in some cases I've been so far out on a limb that it's a wonder I didn't come crashing to the ground. Much of the R&D in soup and chicken will show up here, in one form or another.
But I'll tease no further. Let's get down to business with some truffles. Sure, for my first recipe back, I could have gone with a banana-kale-nutritional yeast smoothie or some such nonsense, to help you keep your New Year's resolution. But I'm more of a devil-on-your-shoulder kind of girl. I'd never advise a vegetable smoothie when there are truffles to be had. (If you're one of the veg-faithful, I'll be accepting your carrot-fueled snarky comments at the end of this post.)
Some of these truffles filled the gift boxes I gave away a couple of Decembers ago (and many of them were, ahem, gifted to myself as I compiled those boxes). People were floored that I had made my own truffles, and I just smiled, flipped my hair, and kept my secret to myself—these are so surprisingly easy to make. You won't believe it, really. My gift boxes were filled with lavender, espresso, and cinnamon truffles, too, but the rosemary with sea salt are my favorite. They're infused with this brilliant, herbal flavor, with just a hint of salt dancing with the chocolatey sweetness. These are right for any holiday (including a certain cherub-filled one just around the corner), but if you give them away, you'll want to make a few extra for yourself. And lick the spatula, heartily.
Rosemary-Sea Salt Chocolate Truffles
Makes about 2 dozen truffles
Use the best chocolate with the highest cocoa percentage you can find, and I don't recommend milk chocolate, which can be too sweet. These will last a week or so in the fridge, but the fresher they are, the better the flavor.
⅔ cup heavy cream
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
7 ounces dark chocolate, shaved or broken into small pieces
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
1. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the rosemary sprigs to the cream; let cool for 30 minutes to infuse.
2. Put the chocolate and salt into a medium bowl. Reheat the cream to a simmer, then add the butter and stir until melted. Strain the mixture over the chocolate and salt, stirring until melted and smooth. Pour the mixture into a plastic container, cool, and refrigerate until firm, usually 1-2 hours. The chocolate should be able to hold its shape, but not so firm that it's not easily pliable; it will be a bit sticky.
3. Using a melon baller or a small spoon, form the truffles into about 1-inch balls. Roll them in the cocoa powder, which will give the truffle a nice coating, and reshape it by hand until it's smooth. Refrigerate the truffles in an airtight container for up to a week.