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easy chocolate treats for your valentine sweets

by Yee-Fan Sun |
1 2 3
continued from page 1

chile truffles
Dark chocolate with a spicy-hot chile kick …swoooooon. This recipe produces a good amount of heat, which to this chile-lover provides just the right amount to liven things up; if you’re worried about your chile tolerance, cut back to 1/4 tsp (you can always sprinkle in some cayenne pepper to taste if needed). As always, use the best dark chocolate you can afford; it will make a difference.

You can, of course, apply infinite variations to this basic recipe by infusing the cream with other delicious flavorings. Try substituting the chile with vanilla bean, some orange zest, even your favorite tea.

5 ounces good bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
cocoa powder for dusting, or try a cinnamon sugar mixture (1/4 tsp. cinnamon combined with 3 Tbsp. sugar)

yields about 10 truffles

1 Chop up the chocolate into nice, small bits, and slide into a mixing bowl. Pop a fine-mesh strainer over the bowl. Set aside.

2 In a small saucepan, combine the cream and crushed red pepper. Heat over medium-low heat, bringing the mixture up to a gentle bubble. Pour the chile-infused cream through the strainer and into the bowl of chocolate. Remove the strainer, and quickly stir the cream into the chocolate until you have a glossy, smooth mixture. Treat yourself to a taste (like you needed prompting). Now pop the bowl uncovered into the fridge, and chill for at least an hour or two, until the mixture has firmed up.

3 Pour some cocoa powder or cinnamon sugar into a bowl. Now, using two teaspoons or a spoon and your fingers, scoop and quickly shape ¾”-1” sized balls from the bowl. Don’t worry about forming perfect spheres; the chocolate does get gooey fast, and the slight lumpiness is part of the truffle’s charm. Roll the truffles in the cocoa/sugar, until nicely coated. Set aside on a baking sheet. When you’ve finished making all the truffles, slide the baking sheet back into the fridge, and let them chill for another hour or so until they’re firm. Serve chilled or at cool room temp.

more chocolate goodness beckons


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