Monday, December 24, 2012

Chocolate Truffles

When I received an email from William Sonoma's food blog, I was in for a surprised. Chocolate truffles made with only five ingredients? WHAT?!?! Really? I had to test their recipe just to see how easy it was. Holy sugar rush!!! Super easy to make. They also taste perfectly sweet since no additional sugar was added.

I skipped brandy when I tested this recipe. Next time, I will add something different... not sure what that will be yet. 

For the leftover truffles, add them to homemade ice cream or spread them on the graham crackers with homemade maple syrup marshmallows to make s'mores. The possibilities are endless.
Chocolate Truffles
adapted from William Sonoma’s Chocolate Truffles
makes approximately 30 – 40

1 cup heavy cream
10 oz. chocolate chips or bars
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

  1. Add the heavy cream into a pot and bring it to a soft boil (bubbles on the side).
  2. Turn off the heat and stir in chocolate and butter.
  3. Whisk until the mixture has a smooth texture.
  4. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and place in a refrigerator until firm, 1 hour or overnight.
  5. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking mat or parchment paper.
  6. Scoop generous tablespoonful of chilled ganache (about 1 oz).
  7. Roll it into a ball and place it on a prepared baking sheet.
  8. Chill for 10 minutes.
Coating Truffles

  1. Place cocoa powder, toasted coconut, or toasted nuts of choice on a separate plate.
  2. Roll the ganache balls in the cocoa powder, toasted coconut, or toasted nuts then place them back on to baking sheet.
  3. Keep the truffles in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Tips: Instead of coating the truffles, sprinkle them with toppings of choice.

Allergy Info: My chocolate truffles are free from or can be made without eggs, corn, legumes (soy), wheat, nuts, and fish. 

Depending on the coatings or toppings, these truffles can be made for nut free sweet tooth if use seeds (chia, toasted sunflower or pumpkinseeds) or dried fruits.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Maple Syrup Marshmallows

Brek luvs marshmallows. Since I was on a corn free diet, I didn't buy any prepackaged marshmallows for over a year. I was afraid of corn-taminations. One day, Brek and I watched Ina made marshmallows on her Barefoot Contessa show. Looked super easy to make, right? Yes!!! BUT she used corn syrup. I've always substitute maple syrup with corn syrup, so I gave this recipe a test drive.

The marshmallows turned out great. A hint of maple syrup was perfect. Brek luvs them. I feel great that he can have something sweeter without additives. Now that Camden is older (3 yrs old as of this writing), he also luvs marshmallows. The best part of making the marshmallows is getting my boys to lick the bowl and whisk while the marshmallow mixture is still fluffy... like marshmallow cream.

When I tested this recipe, the maple syrup was four dollars for a big bottle. Since then, the price doubled. So to save money, I've made these marshmallows with only half a cup of maple syrup. Still taste mapley. If option allows, test this recipe with one cup of maple syrup.

Maple Syrup Marshmallows
adapted from Ina's Homemade Marshmallows
makes: 20 to 50, depending on the shapes and sizes

3 packages (0.5 oz) unflavored gelatin (Knox or Great Lakes)
1 cup (8 oz) cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups (10 oz) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz) maple syrup
Confectioners' (or powdered) sugar for dusting

  1. In the bowl of stand-alone mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the gelatin to 1/2 cup of cold water. Set aside and allow the gelatin to bloom.  
  2. In a small saucepan, cook the sugar, maple syrup, and 1/2 cup water over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Bring the syrup to a boil and cook until it reaches 200°F degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
  4. While the mixer is on low speed (speed 1 on Kitchen Aide), slowly pour the syrup onto the side of the bowl.
  5. Increase the speed to high (speed 8 or 10) and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, grease and dust an 8 x 12-inch glass baking dish with confectioners' sugar.
  7. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan.
  8. With wet hand, roughly smooth the top.
  9. Dust with more confectioners' sugar.
  10. Cover with a towel without touching the marshmallow and leave it in the room temperature overnight.
  11. Turn the marshmallow onto a board and cut them into desire shapes.
  12. Dust them with more confectioners' sugar and store them in a container with more confectioners' sugar.
Alternatives: After the marshmallow mixture is whipped, I scoop about a tablespoon onto each graham cracker to make s'more. Taste as good without toasting them. Put each one in a plastic bag and give them to anybody who wants something sweeter.

I also use cookie cutters to cut them into different fun shapes. Dip the marshmallow shapes into melted chocolate and refrigerate them until the chocolate is set. What a combination: chocolate and marshmallow.

Another alternative is to cut the marshmallows into itty bitty shapes. Place them on a plate and let them dry out until they are crunchy. Add them into the morning cereal. They remind me of marshmallows found in the Lucky Charms cereal.

Allergy Info: My maple syrup marshmallows are free from or can be made without dairy, eggs, corn, legumes (soy), wheat, nuts, and fish. 

If you are sensitive to corn, be sure to find safe pure maple syrup. I've always used Maple Groove Farms pure maple syrup. As for confectioners' (or powdered) sugar, I've used Central Market brand which has tapioca starch.