Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Valentine's Day Massacre: Dark Chocolate Balsamic Truffles

I recommend presenting them to your guests without bites taken out.
When you think of Valentine's Day, the first thought that pops into your head is probably a box of chocolates (or the desire to drink lots of wine possibly also in box form). The best thing about Valentine's Day just might be the awesome half-off box of chocolate sales the following day. There really is no better way to spend an evening than poking through the bottoms of an entire box of chocolates trying to figure out which one you want (and then leaving your family a bunch of chocolates with holes poked in them). Since I only had time for one kind and not a full box, I wanted to go with something special and unique that would leave a lasting impression. These super rich and intriguing dark chocolate balsamic truffles were the perfect chocolatey showcase to round out my Valentine's day of awesome (see Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes and Heart-Shaped Sugar Cookies).

Dark Chocolate Balsamic Truffles
Adapted from Food Network
Servings: 24-32 truffles
Time: 3 and a half hours (inactive for 3 hours)

8 1/2 oz dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup cream
3 tsp balsamic vinegar
Cocoa powder

Dear God, please don't seize!

I'm the best at making round shapes
  1. Melt the dark chocolate and cream together in a double boil over hot water. Make sure no water is in the top of the boiler and that the hot water does not come into contact with the bottom of the chocolate bowl or the chocolate will seize (and then you'll curse and have to start over again like me!).
  2. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and mix well. 
  3. Cool the melted chocolate in the fridge for an hour then remove and let it get firm at room temperature for 2 hours.
  4. Scoop balls out with a teaspoon then mold them by rolling in your hands to the desired size. Place the rolled balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Lightly roll the truffles in a bowl with cocoa powder until coated.
So much cocoa powder
I had to keep myself from popping these rich truffles like tic-tacs. The dark chocolate and balsamic lend themselves to a one-of-a-kind pairing that is strong and complex. Notes of sweetness, sourness and acidity from the balsamic vinegar help the powerful dark chocolate provide an even greater punch (punches with the power of kicks!). The only downfall to this dessert for me is the layer of cocoa powder. It was a little too well-coated for my liking and distracted from the amazingness that resided inside. To fix this (and give it more of a box of chocolatey feel), I would probably dip these in melted chocolate to form a nice hard chocolate shell next time (I'll also be sure to try my friend Courtney's recipe that produced some of my favorite truffles ever a few Christmases ago. Luckily, I was able to pry it from her.).
No! My perfectly good parchment paper is ruined. I had really grown attached to it.
Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to crash into the sugar coma that's been building for the past three days.

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