Guilt-Marnier Chocolate Truffles
These scrumptious chocolate truffles are the dessert version of my Guilt perfume. Orange and chocolate re a classic combination. Here we go the extra step by using wild orange essential - a particularly bright and sparkling citrus essence, as well as the sweet richness of Grand Marnier liquer. But it is really the addition of orange flower absolute that makes these truffles a departure from your every day treats: this precious floral essence adds a surprising twist, a melt-in-your-mouth bouquet.
I highly recommend using the 70% bittersweet chocolate from Lindt, not only for its flavour, but also for the super-thin squares which can be crubled effortlessly by hand; if you use these, simply brake each square into four by hand.
Get organic whipping cream if you can find it. The ones with no additives will truly make the whole difference. I find these to be preferable for any dessert preparations: the natural whipping cream whipps to a lighter and prettier whipped cream than those that have stabilizers. And the flavour is completely out of this world.
400 gr Bittersweet Chocolate
1 cup heavy (aka whipping) cream
1 Tbs. Grand Marnier Liquor
15 drops Wild Orange Oil
5 drops Sweet Orange Oil
3 drops Oranage Flower Absolute
1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder, sifted
a. Chop the chocolate into small pieces, or break by hand, into more or less similar size pieces.
b. Place in a Bain Marie over gently simmering water, and stir with a wire-whisk.
c. Once the chocolate is melted, add the cream and the Grand Marnier. Stir with a wire-whisk until the cream completely blends with the chocolate.
d. Remove from the heat.
e. Add the essential oils drop by drop, and stir with the wire whisk until completely blended.
f. Transfer into a tupperware container and refrigerate until firm (for 2 hours or more).
g. Cover a baking sheet with the cocoa powder
h. Scoop the truffles using a melon-scooper. It is really going to save you a lot of trouble. But if you can't find a melon-scooper, you can use a shapely measuring teaspoon (1/2 tsp. size will suffice - you want to keep the truffles small and special!)
i. Roll the truffles between your palms to turn them into perfect spheres, and place the truffles on the sheet
j. Rinse the scooper in warm water in between truffles, to make it easier
k. Once all the truffles are made, shake the baking sheet to cover the truffles with cocoa.
l. Refrigerate until firm before serving.
If the aroma and flavour of home-made chocolate truffles seems to not be worth the effort, consider these side-effects of making truffles at home:
1) Your house will smell so good when you cook the ganache - and after.
2) The sensory experience is quite therapeutic. Ask Freud - or look at this photo. I haven't had so much fun since I played in mud as a kid or went to the pottery studio...
3) The earthy scent of chocolate will linger on your hands for hours to come, making you feel oh so delicious on your own...
If you don't happen to have all the essential oils mentioned within hand reach, there is some flexibility in this recipe. Of course, the result will be different, but it will still be a delight for the senses. The orange essences can be replaced by sweet orange oil, which is widely available from all aromatherapy and health food stores. It's always recommended to use organic citrus essential oils - their aroma is superior, and they don't contain some of the toxins that are so abundant in the peel of sprayed citrus fruit.
Variations: This recipe can also serve as an inspiration: it can be tweaked and improvised on. I highly recommend experimenting with other liquor flavours and other essential oils. Substitue the Grand Marnier with Galliano, Kaluah, Kirsch, or any other berry liquor. When pairing essential oils with these, use your imagination - but don't forget that essential oils are highly concentrated. It's better to use less and add more, than put too much. The pleasure will be diminished and the results can be quite frightening - particualrly with strong spice and floral oils. Add a drop at a time, mix well and taste in between to avoid olfactory disasters of the palette!
* The instruction for this recipe are loosely adopted from the recipe for Chocolate-Mint Truffles from the book Aroma by Mandy Aftel and Daniel Patterson (Page 43).