Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Truffles

Chocolate truffles....nuff said

Adapted from The South Beach Diet Taste of Summer Cookbook by Arthur Agatston M. D.

makes approximately 32 truffles

The Ingredients:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 70% cocoa or higher) finely chopped
1/3 cup fat-free half and half
4 ounces cherries, pitted and finely chopped
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

The Process:
Place chocolate in a medium sized heat proof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat half and half over medium heat. When it comes to a simmer, stir in the cherries and return to a simmer. remove from heat and pour the mixture over chocolate. Add salt and stir until chocolate is melted.

Place the bowl in the freezer until the chocolate is set...about 10 minutes, removing the bowl to stir about every 2 minutes. The chocolate is ready to form into truffles when it no longer has a pudding-like consistency and starts to harden.

Scoop out 2 teaspoons of chocolate mixture and roll with moistened palms to form a small ball. Repeat with remaining chocolate to make 32 balls (you will needed to wash and re-moisten your hands frequently). If the chocolate is soft, place the balls in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm.

Place cocoa powder in a shallow dish. Roll balls in cocoa powder to coat, then roll between your palms to adhere the powder to the truffle. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an air tight container for up to one week.

My Modifications:
High quality chocolate is key to such treats...I opted for Ghirardelli's 70% cocoa extra bittersweet chocolate baking bar.

As it is the middle of winter, cherries are a wee bit hard to come by. Unless you're in the freezer section. Our grocer just so happened to have unsweetened flash frozen whole pitted cherries in stock. Once thawed, blotted and finely chopped they work the same way. If not even juicer.

I fell into the trap of using the low fat dairy substitute. After reading the label on the the fat-free "half and half" and seeing corn syrup as the second ingredient, I should have come back to reality and opted for the real deal, or whipping cream instead. But no...the truffles here are, in the end, the "skinny" version using the faux dairy creamer.

The Review:
Even with "half and half" these turned out really, really good. Though what's not to like about a creamy, smooth ball of chocolate decadence. They were, however, far better fresh than they were 24 hours later. In that one day in the fridge the truffles had already developed a slightly grainy texture (I blame the inferior fa- free faux creamer). Though the the cherry flavor had become much more pronounced. But between us and a few friend the truffles didn't lasted long enough to see another day in the fridge. Which I suppose is the final word on how well they were received.

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