Chocolate is one of life's small glories. Affordable in some form even for those on a meager budget. Unlike some desserts that require table service, flatware and some pomp and circumstance to serve; it is complete within itself.
As a special treat for our guests I will sometimes make homemade truffles here at our Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast ... At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast. I sometimes prepare them for Valentine's Day, Easter and Christmas. They are always very gratefully received by guests. It is not uncommon for someone to come down our staircase at the inn just licking their fingers (they are sometimes a bit messy) and smiling broadly in appreciation.
By definition a truffle is: a ball shaped chocolate mixture dusted with cocoa. They can actually be rolled in nearly anything: coconut flakes- (toasted or raw-entirely your preference), pecans, confectioner's sugar or nearly anything you would enjoy.
Now, we all know and the lucky among us have experienced the joys of this decadent confection. It is petite, capable of being enjoyed while "on the run" though best enjoyed with a cup of coffee and due to its small stature one does not risk the possible consequences of overindulgence with just one.
For your enjoyment, I submit this extremely easy recipe for you all to enjoy and present to a loved friend or lover. Unlike some truffle recipes it does not require the user to amp up to the levels of professional baker, thermometer in hand, to get good results. We invite you to visit our Asheville Bed and Breakfast Recipes page for more recipe ideas.
A long time ago when I was much less skilled at confections than I am now...I believe when my husband and I first bought the inn, I made some of these for my two best girlfriends I had left behind in Florida on the first Valentine's Day after we came here. I also sent some to my Mother and new husband. She thought I was inspired and had one happy husband.
That was more than 10 years ago and not one Valentine's Day has come and gone since then that they have failed to mention those truffles. So, give it a shot. Make someone's day, let them know you love them and make your contribution to their day unforgettable.
At Cumberland Falls Simple Chocolate Truffle:
1 lb. as good a quality of bittersweet chocolate as the budget will permit.
1 cup heavy cream (You cannot use Fat Free for this)
2 tsp. Vanilla extract good quality
Chop the chocolate finely. You can use a food processor quite well for this application. Place in a large Pyrex mixing bowl (must be able to tolerate heat)
Bring cream to a just before a boil. DO NOT BOIL. Pour directly over chopped chocolate. Allow to sit 10 minutes; use a rubber spatula to gently incorporate the chocolate and cream until combined. Let mixture sit at room temperature just until it begins to thicken (about 15 minutes depending on kitchen temperature.) If you need to quicken this up, you can use an ice bath. Pour ganache into a shallow glass dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until mixture is very cold and set but still pliable. (About 30 minutes) Using a small spoon, scoop out ganache into 1-inch nuggets, place on parchment lined baking pan. Chill for 10 minutes. Use gloved hands to enhance shapes into balls. Roll in cocoa powder or your choice of toppings to coat. Chill in airtight container until ready to serve.
Present your creations in a container worthy of their greatness. The lucky recipients will be talking about you for many Valentine's to come. I promise!
Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls