Can I Lick the Bowl?

April 24, 2008

I love chocolate. Who doesn't! I don't trust anyone who says they don't like chocolate. They're either liars or crazy. Or crazy liars.

So the other night at our cooking class, when one couple was assigned the duty of making a chocolate dessert, I quickly sidled up to them and eagerly asked, "Watcha makin'?"

"Bay leaf and cardamom truffles!" they replied joyfully in unison, clearly as excited as I was.

"Oooo, can I lick the bowl when you're done?!" Ok, I really didn't say that last part, but I was tempted. I did, however, finish the evening licking my fingers like a preening cat. Barnaby kindly wiped the healthy dusting of cocoa powder off of my face. You can't take me anywhere.

Bay Leaf and Cardamom Chocolate Truffles
1/2 C heavy cream, plus a bit extra
1 1/2 Turkish bay leaves
4 plump cardamom pods, crushed
6 1/2 oz. high quality dark or semi-sweet chocolate (eg. Callebaut, Lindt, Valrhona), chopped
1 T unsalted butter at room temperature
Cocoa powder for dusting

In a small pot place the heavy cream, bay leaves and crushed cardamom pods. Bring to a boil, turn of the heat and cover. Let it set for approximately one half hour.

Strain out the spices and, if necessary, add more heavy cream to bring the quantity back up to a 1/2 cup. Heat to a simmer and add the chocolate until melted, add the butter. Transfer to a bowl and let it sit at room temperature until the mixture sets (several hours). The mixture should be thick enough to scoop with a truffle scoop (like a miniature ice cream scooper) or hand roll into balls. To finish, roll truffles in cocoa powder and shake off the excess.

Note: If you're jonesing and just can't wait the few hours to set, try the quick-set method. Place in the refrigerator and stir every 10 minutes until thickened.

Check out Feed Me, I'm Hungry!!'s recipe for Matcha Chocolate Truffles (matcha is a powdered green tea used in Japanese tea ceremonies)