(Family Features) Named for the earthy, exotic fungi they resemble, chocolate truffles require no hunting, digging or specially trained dogs and they won’t break the budget either. Real white truffles from Italy can set back the pocketbook more than $1000 for just one pound. Of course, chocolate truffles are a visual imitation only; they are sweet, addictive, and a great way to turn some organic chocolate, cream and butter into a decadent treat.
These ultra creamy truffles are made in the tradition of the Swiss style of chocolate truffle using heavy cream and butter to create what is called a ganache – a lovely French word for a mixture of chocolate and cream. According to Monique Hooker, Organic Valley’s French-born Chef, “using the best quality, organic cream and butter makes a difference.”
This recipe is so easy that kids can help and it is open to many variations. One option is to infuse the cream with some rich, floral Organic Madagascar vanilla extract, or split a whole vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the cream as it simmers. Or, try using white chocolate, and roll the balls in finely minced sweetened coconut. For decoration, top each truffle with a small piece of roasted nut such as pistachio or pecan, a tiny candy, or if serving immediately, add one perfect raspberry to each truffle. Serve for parties, birthdays, or any occasion that needs a little chocolate.
For more dessert recipes using organic cream and butter, visit www.organicvalley.coop.
Easy Decadent Chocolate Truffles
Makes 25 truffles
- 1/2 cup Organic Valley heavy whipping cream
- 12 oz best quality semisweet chocolate (preferably Fair Trade and Organic) chopped into small pieces, or 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons Organic Valley unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- In a small heavy saucepan, bring the cream gently to a simmer over medium low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate and butter. Stir mixture just until the chocolate has completely melted, using very low heat if necessary. Remove from heat. Pour the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl, and allow to cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least two hours or overnight.
- Line a cookie sheet or platter with baking parchment or waxed paper. Dip a teaspoon or small scoop such as a melon baller into warm water and scrape across the surface of the truffle mixture to form a 1-inch ball. Quickly roll balls in cocoa powder. Repeat with the remaining truffle mixture. Cover and refrigerate truffles. Serve in paper candy cups which are available in cookware shops or where cake decorating items are sold.
Variations: For a variety of truffles, roll balls in finely chopped nuts, finely minced sweetened coconut flakes, chocolate sprinkles, colored sugar or powdered sugar.
Tips: Truffles make a wonderful gift. Nothing says “I Love You” better than chocolate. Wrap a selection of truffles on a small red paper plate with cellophane and tie with a ribbon.
Source: Organic Valley
(Family Features) Need a little warming up after a day out in the cold and snow? The McCormick Kitchens are sharing “hug in a mug”-themed desserts perfect for coming together after a day outside in a winter wonderland. Completely customizable, these treats are a delicious way for the whole family to stay warm this winter.
This Fudgy Raspberry Mug Brownie for two is made in the microwave in less than 10 minutes and topped with whipped cream and raspberries. To enjoy cool mint flavor instead, use peppermint and vanilla extracts in place of raspberry.
Fudgy Raspberry Mug Brownie
- 3 tablespoons miniature chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 3/4 teaspoon McCormick Raspberry Extract
- Microwave chocolate chips and butter in microwavable coffee mug on high 30 seconds or until melted. Stir. Add remaining ingredients; mix well.
- Microwave on high 45 seconds to 1 minute or until center looks almost set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Note: For a Fudgy Peppermint Mug Brownie, replace Raspberry Extract with 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract and 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract.
Caution: Mug may be hot. Use pot holders when removing from microwave.
- 1 rounded cup fresh or frozen cranberries (about 4 1/2 ounces)
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons Angostura Orange Bitters
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
- If using frozen cranberries, spread berries out on cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut large cranberries in half.
- In large bowl, combine flour with sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nuts and egg; blend thoroughly with whisk. Stir in cranberries.
- In small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, orange zest, orange juice, bitters and vanilla extract. Add to dry ingredients and stir gently until fully moistened; do not over mix. Spoon batter into pan and smooth out top.
- Bake 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let rest in pan 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing.