Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chocolate Truffles

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Chocolate. One of my most favorite food groups. So the other day, browsing though my favorite blog, I found this amazing recipe for chocolate truffles. Hers had salt... yes... sea salt as the topper. I for one do not like salt on my truffles, but I did like her recipe. So I decided that a dark rainy day was a perfect time to attempt to make some chocolate truffles, since it was... well... a dark and rainy day, I figured it would be perfect.

Here they are... Mmmm I'm in heaven!

You will need one bar of 70% Bittersweet Chocolate... Now I like my dark chocolate, well... dark... but for most, 60% bittersweet will work just fine.

Break it up in to pieces.

Then grab a bar of Semi-Sweet chocolate. It really doesn't matter which bran of chocolate you use... as long as you like it!

Start up your double boiler. What? Haven't you seen the latest trend in double boilers? HA, Ok it's not the latest trend in double boilers but it works just fine. What you need is 2 pots, different sizes, and water... and tada!

Now there is one rule about this method of double boiling. And that is to make sure the "inner" pot is considerably smaller then the outer pot. Or you will have a very hard time trying to pull them apart. You see metal expands a bit when heated. And well, as you can see here, my grandmother didn't have much luck one day when attempting the "two pot" double boiler trick. I'm not really sure what she used to get the two pots apart, but as you can see... it wasn't pretty !

Take the chocolate pieces and drop them in to the pot.

See how easy that is... it's melting the chocolate w/o burning it.

Toss in all the chocolate.

But watch what you are doing.. or this will happen... oy. This is what happens when I'm paying more attention to my camera, rather then the where the chocolate is actually dropping. Try not to get any water in your chocolate as well.

Grab your sweetened condensed milk.

And pour one can in to the pot along with the chocolate.

Keep an eye on the chocolate and mix it from time to time making sure it is evenly mixed and melted.

Because vanilla is yummy... pour in a tablespoon. It will warm up the harsh chocolate taste... well it does in my book. ( Here you can actually add any flavor that fits your fancy! Mint? Orange? Banana? )

Don't worry, the chocolate will look kind of weird. This is ok. After the chocolate looks a bit like this, and is all melted, pour it in to a bowl to cool. Should only take about 2 hours. You can pop it in the fridge over night, but I warn you... you will have to slightly heat the chocolate to make it soft again in order to be able to mold it. And this will... well cause issues.

Here is my cooled chocolate. And yes I made the filling the night before, so I had to heat my filling so it would be moldable. This caused a bit of the chocolate oils to come out... but it still worked just fine.

Roll up all the filling in to balls. Think bite sized.

I absolutely love orange in my dark chocolate so half of my batch got a slice of a "candy orange slice" nestled in the middle. Mmmm

Take a bag of milk chocolate chips and pop them in the microwave for a few minutes, checking on them from time to time.

Tricky little buggers they are... they look solid, but if you touch them, they will moosh in to chocolate soup.

Take a ball of filling, place it on a fork and pour the melted milk chocolate all over it.

Tap the fork a few times on the side of the bowl to knock off the extra chocolate.

Then place the chocolate on a clean cookie sheet, or wax paper, or in to truffle paper cups (mini mini cupcake cups)

If you'd like to get a little fancy you can melt up some white chocolate too.

Put it in a sandwich bag and snip off the tip.

Then decorate the truffles any way you like. Pop them in the fridge to set the chocolate shell... And there you go... Enjoy !

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pineapple-Mango Salsa

If you like Mangoes and Pineapples... you will LOVE this Pineapple-Mango Salsa. It is so fresh and full of WOW flavors. And it's another wonderful recipe stolen... errr borrowed from my good friend Cynthia.

The line up :
1 Tomato
1 Shallot
1 c mango
1 c pineapple
1/4 c cilantro finely
1/4 c roasted red peppers
1 lime

Grab your mango, pick a good one, ripe and juicy !

Remove the fruit from the skin as best as you can, you want to try to keep all the "meat" of the fruit, no wasting in my kitchen.

Then chop the mango up in to small pieces.

For this recipe I used store bought pre peeled, cored and sliced pineapple. Trust me, when your making multiple parts of the meal from scratch it's nice to have some of the grunt work done for you.

Then chop up the pineapple in to small chunks about the same size as the mango. As for size.. think... well... salsa chunk size :-)

Grab a decent Shallot and remove the outer few layers.

Then dice it up good and small. Now remember I dislike onions so for this salsa I only used half the shallot, you go and use the whole thing if you like... that's up to you.

Grab a medium tomato and slice it in half,

remove the seeds,

then chop away.

Mmmmm Roasted Peppers. Again here I did not make the roasted peppers from scratch, I went the easy rout and bought them in a can... These worked out really well.

Grab a bunch and chop them up to make about a 1/4 cup.

Now toss every thing in to a big bowl.

Mmmmmmmmmmm cilantro my new favorite herb. Grab a nice handful

And chop chop chop away till it's nice and small and all aromay... aromay really is not a word, but it works here.

Toss the cilantro in to the bowl too.

Mmmm limey !

Grab your zester... my friend Cynthia has the best kitchen tools... I absolutely love love love this zester. Zest all the green off of one lime.

Look at all that limey goodness.

Ha, a bald lime.

Squeeze out the lime juice in to the bowl over the ingredients... if you have one of these fancy tools, that works too.

Mix up all the ingredients together. Cover and place in fridge for about an hour to marry the flavors.

Mmmmm every time I look at this photo all the flavors come rushing back... what a great salsa ! The Pineapple has this ZING flavor, the mango has this mellow flavor, the tomatoes bring in a rich flavor, the lime gives it a little kick, and the cilantro... Mmmmm the cilantro brings it all together....

This salsa is great over fish, like Mahi Mahi...