Oh my goodness it’s Valentines Day. Now, I’ve been single for most of the valentine’s day’s in my life, and I know from the bottom of my heart that it is a commercialist holiday hyped to sell sugar and sappy cards. That being said, I still buy into it every year (don’t believe me? Check out what I made my coworkers last year. ). And this year, I have someone who I really wanted to give something special to which made it all the more fun. My only real problem: he doesn’t really eat sweets.
Don’t get me wrong, he loves sweets – is the only person I’ve ever seen eat nearly half of a flourless chocolate fudge cake in less than a day and survive, but at the moment, he’s trying to start eating healthy and is cutting sweet stuff mostly out of his diet. Enter the baker(me). This is going to go great. Also, while he likes many flavors, he’s really into sour stuff – limes in particular. FYI, I don’t know very many recipe’s with limes. I use them as a garnish, and I learned how to make a key lime pie for him over New Years but that’s it.
So I took this week, cut sleep out of my schedule and started playing in the kitchen. Tools of the trade? Half a dozen limes, two bottles of lime juice, a pint of cream, raspberries, and oodles of chocolate in both white and dark. I figured I’d do truffles – their small, so you don’t have to gorge yourself, you can adjust the filling, and the can be decorated in so many cute ways. Plus, let’s face it, homemade truffles are pretty darn impressive.
I started with the raspberry one, which was fairly easy. I’ve got a go to recipe that I love for this stuff – though it rarely gets to truffles, it’s awesome on a spatula straight out of the pot. I modified the recipe to cut out any sugar and went with 3 simple ingredients: 1 bag ghirardelli dark chocolate chips, 2 bags of frozen raspberries, and 1 cup of cream. You thaw the raspberries, and push them through a mesh strainer to remove all the seeds. Simmer the resulting liquid until it’s reduced by at least half. Scald the cream, then stir in the chocolate until completely melted. Stir in the raspberry puree. Refrigerate overnight, roll into balls, allow them to set in the freezer, and dip. Decorate as you like – I did little hearts drawn with red colored white chocolate.
The lime was a lot harder, so I’ve written it up in a separate post here. I was trying to model it off a kamikaze drink that the guy likes which is lime juice, vodka, and triple sec. And it hated me. The white chocolate tried to burn, I added way to much lime zest and so it came out a bit on the bitter side, and the excess liquid made it way to soft to work as a center. But, this guy really likes limes. So I went on a rescue mission, simmered the heck out of it to lose the excess liquid, added more white chocolate to balance the zest and froze the heck out of them to get it to set. And it worked. Somehow. Dipped half of them in white chocolate, half in dark chocolate and sprinkled with lime zest.
The final touch is presentation – I tucked a bunch of the best truffles into a little cake dome in a pyramid, got a cute card, and got one of his coworkers to let me into the office before work so I could surprise him. I had fun destroying my kitchen over the course of several days, and I get to tell him that I invented the truffle fillings just for him – how many people get that? I strongly encourage anyone looking for a special gift for any occasion to try this – start with chocolate and cream, then add flavorings to suit your special someone’s taste. This time I did lime and white chocolate, but I really like lemon with white chocolate, and I feel like a pomegranate truffle (dark chocolate dipped in milk?) would be a big hit with several of my friends. What new combinations will somebody inspire in you?