Monday, December 11, 2006

what? a vegetable?

It's unlike me to get this excited about asparagus. This is my new favorite way to cook it. With 1/2 a stick of butter and a couple of cloves of garlic in the ingredients, what's not to get excited about?

Pan-Fried Asparagus
from kim at

1/4 C butter
2 T olive oil
1 t coarse salt
1/3 t ground black pepper
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 pound fresh aspargus spears, trimmed (just hold asparagus and bend the thick end until it breaks. It will break at just the right spot.)

melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. stir in olive oil, salt, and pepper. cook garlic in butter for a minute, but do not brown. Add asparagus, and cook for 10 minutes, or until tender, turning asparagus to ensure even cooking. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 07, 2006

These little truffles are a long time coming. After several tries, I finally created a coconut truffle that fit my requirement of a smooth, fluffy, filling with no coconut chunks.

This is my attempt to duplicate a truffle I used to buy on occasion at Gertrude Hawk, a local chocolatier. It was a coconut truffle under the "Gertrude's Best" line. Now it is only sold in boxes with other flavors that I don't particularly want, like mocha and peanut butter. So I had to make my own.

Then, since I misplaced the paper where I wrote the ingredient amounts, I tried to duplicate it. This is the result of the duplication, which actually wasn't a duplication at all. The filling was not fluffy this time around. Maybe it is because the first time I used good quality Lindt white chocolate, next time I tried Nestle Baking white chocolate. I liked the fluffy better, but ryan liked these smooth creamy truffles better. These were definitely harder to work with, so they aren't so perfectly shaped. If only I had a truffle mold. Also, with a softer filling, it was easier to roll them in almonds and then dip them in chocolate so that the filling didn't melt away in the chocolate.Any way I make them, I eat lots of truffles, so here's the recipe. I found it addicting.oh yeah, and it really isn't that time consuming to make though the recipe looks long.

Glorified Almond Joy Truffles

6 oz white chocolate (don't use white chocolate chips or low quality white chocolate. make sure it has cocoa butter in it)
1/2 C plus 1 T heavy cream
1 and 1/8 t coconut flavoring (or to taste)
1 C finely chopped almonds
10 oz chocolate for dipping (dark or light) More if you want to do 2 coats. I did only one, but it would probably be prettier and tastier with 2.

Finely chop white chocolate and put in a medium bowl.

Pour cream into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When it just comes to a boil remove from heat and pour over white chocolate. Stir until melted. Now you have a white chocolate ganache.

Add the coconut flavoring and stir. You might want more or less flavoring than I used.

Cool ganache until it feels cooler than room temperature. You can just stick it in the fridge, and stir it occasionally, or put it in an ice water bath and stir.

When ganache is cooled, whip it. Whip it good. The first batch I made whipped up until it was stiff enough to make little truffle balls with my hands. The second batch wouldn't whip up quite as high. So whip to your liking- until it is merely frothy, or keep whipping until it is stiff enough to make little truffle centers. If you want a softer center, then you will have to then freeze the ganache in order for it to be the right consistency to roll the truffle centers (or use a melon baller).

So roll little balls of whipped ganache into balls for truffle centers. Put them in a dish in the freezer for 30 minutes.

meanwhile, chop the dark or milk chocolate into little peices and place them in a small glass or metal bowl.

Boil a little bit of water in a small saucepan. Place the bowl of chocolate on top of the saucepan so that the bowl is sitting on top of it. It should not touch the water at all. now turn off the heat and stir constantly until chocolate is melted.

Prepare wax paper with a thin layer of nonstick spray, so truffles will not stick while they harden.

Roll frozen balls of ganache in almonds and press the almonds into the ganache. Immediately dip in chocolate, using a fork so excess chocolate can drip off. Place each truffle on wax paper until cooled.

store in the fridge or freezer.  Posted by Picasa