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Gourmet Foods 101
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"Dark chocolate has the ability to lower blood pressure and alleviate headaches"

Chocolate Truffles

Is There Anything More Divine to Rush Home For?

Chocolate truffles are generally considered to be the richest, creamiest and most seductive of all chocolate. Truffles come in white and dark chocolate and in various flavors. They usually contain butter, liquors, liqueurs, cream and nuts. Chocolate truffles are very perishable, but are highly prized by aficionados.

Basically truffles are rich flavored, soft chocolate confections that are wonderfully created by chocolate artists such as Callebaut, Eitelbach, Teuscher, Chocolaterie du Rhone, Simone Marie and the Belgian Chocolate Shop, etc.

It isn't known who exactly invented them, but it is said that chocolate truffles were named after the rare European fungus (tuber melanosporum) due to their unparalleled delicacy, high price tag and their lumpy, bumpy, unassuming appearance. Today, a lot of chocolate truffles are dipped or even molded to create a more consistent, perfect shape. True chocolate connoisseurs usually notice a slight waxy taste in the hard outer coating of some truffles. Good truffles are usually handmade and rolled in pure, coarse chocolate for a superb taste and sensuous texture and their unique look should truly befit their name.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

This recipe may be prepared up to five days ahead if the chocolate truffles are covered tightly and refrigerated. They may also be frozen for up to a month, double wrapped in plastic.

3/4 cup of unsalted butter
1 lb. of finely chopped semi sweet chocolate
1/2 cup of seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup of black raspberry liqueur or Raspberry Chambord
1/2 cup of Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup of roasted and finely chopped hazelnuts
Directions:
  1. Cut the butter into pieces and melt it in the top of double boiler or in metal bowl over hot water. Add the chocolate and stir it occasionally, until it's smooth, and then remove from heat.
  2. Mix in the raspberry jam and raspberry liqueur until smooth. Cover the bowl and freeze or refrigerate the mixture until it's firm.
  3. Place the cocoa or hazelnuts into a wide, shallow pie pan.
  4. Using a melon baller or a tablespoon, scoop about a tablespoon of the cold chocolate mixture between your palms and roll it into a ball. Roll in the desired coating of the cocoa powder or hazelnuts and place the mixture on a sided baking sheet. Repeat this process until all of the chocolate truffle mixture is used.
  5. Cover the chocolate truffles with plastic wrap until ready to serve and put them in the fridge. Remove from the fridge about 10 minutes before serving.

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