This post first appeared at The Locavore Way, author Amy Cotler's blog.
These truffles were so popular last year that I’m blogging them again. They’re extraordinary in their simplicity — fresh local cream mingles with the best chocolate you can find. I used Belgium Callabuat chocolate with butter and cream from Highlawn Farm, where the vista is classic New England and Jersey cows bat their long lashes. I couldn’t find local butter, but the vanilla is aged in wooden barrels at Baldwin’s right here in West Stockbridge. And so, local meets global in this last gasp of holiday decadence. Makes about 40 or so small square truffles, but I doubled ‘em
7 ounces top-notch semi sweet chocolate , chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, sliced
1/3 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
A generous pinch cinnamon
1. Melt the truffle ingredients together in a double boiler or microwave, then whisk to combine thoroughly. Pour into a lightly oiled 8 by 8 pan and chill well.
2. Cut in half or into quarters. Use spatula to remove the squares of chocolate from the pan. (If you have any trouble removing them, run a very hot kitchen cloth over the bottom of the pan and a knife along the edges.) Cut each square into approximately even squares. (Your choice on size, but keep ‘em small.) If the chocolate gets melty while you are working with it, return it to the fridge until firmer.
3. Add half the squares to a bowl with confectioner’s sugar and half to a bowl with cocoa powder. Toss to coat. (They coat best when they’re getting a touch soft, so wait if you need to.) Serve in truffle cups, stacked like tiles or any which way.(For later use, store in fridge. They also freeze great.)
Fun variations: Coat with any kind of toasted chopped nuts; shredded coconut (for an upscale mounds bar); a pinch of cinnamon or instant espresso added to the cocoa powder. Try anything; you are only limited by your imagination.
A longtime advocate of local eating, Amy Cotler is the author of The Locavore Way and founding director of Berkshire Grown, a food initiative that received international recognition as a model for local food advocacy. She now consults, teaches, and lectures on food and farm-to-table issues. She worked as the Web food forum host for The New York Times, and her food articles have been published in numerous periodicals, including Fine Cooking, Kitchen Garden, Cook’s, Family Fun, Self, Gastronomique, and Orion. Her five cookbooks include The Secret Garden Cookbook, My Little House Cookbook, and Fresh From the Farm: The Massachusetts Farm to School Cookbook, which is available free online. Amy has developed close to 1,000 recipes, including many for the revision of The Joy of Cooking. She’s taught at the Institute for Culinary Education and the Culinary Institute of America, where she also researched and wrote teaching text for their professional cookbook. She lives in Western Massachusetts. Reach her at www.freshcotler.com.