Thanks to the luck of the draw, I am now the proud owner of a small but costly jar of truffle breakings.
Yes, indeed, I was one of the raffle winners in the highly successful Menu for Hope auction this year.
My prize was a $50 gift certificate from L’Epicerie, one of several secured by Gerald of Foodite.
I wasted no time placing an order for exotic items unheard of in small-town Wisconsin supermarkets. Among my purchases — I broke down and dipped into my own pocket to augment my order, a small extravagance to brighten these dreary days of January — is also a jar of truffle vinaigrette.
Oh, the pleasures of the palate to come! Vegetable dishes, salads, meats and more will be enhanced by these tiny little black diamond chips.
My truffles breakings arrived yesterday as I was standing patiently by the stove, stirring my chocolate and cream for candy truffles. (One of my co-workers is departing for new horizons today, and I want to give her a sweet sendoff.)
Besides, I had some mascarpone cheese to use up (ever the frugal one, that’s me).
Finally, it is Sugar High Friday, and even though I missed the deadline for a highly-prized link at David Lebovitz’s site, I wanted to join the fun.
These are easy to make. The recipe is — once again — from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Buttery Bittersweet Mascarpone Truffles From Wisconsin
4 ounces finest quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces finest quality milk chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
4 ounces (1/2 cup) mascarpone, at room temperature
1 tablespoon liqueur
1 cup finely ground pecans or walnuts
Place all ingredients — except nuts — in a double boiler or a small bowl or pan set over a deeper sauce pan. Warm over medium heat, stirring frequently until the mixture is thoroughly melted and smooth.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, quickly roll into medium balls and place on wax paper. Coat in cocoa powder, finely ground nuts or sugar. Refrigerate: These are soft truffles and must remain chilled to retain their shape.
In theory, that is. In practice, I was not so lucky. I must have done something wrong — gotten some water in my mix or soemthing — because I ended up with sauce. Or dip. But since my theory is when life hands you dip, get chips, I found a way to rebound. When eaten with dipping pretzels, this truffle mix makes a dandy dip. And it's already got cheese in it.
Please Note: I take full responsibility for the failure. Milk Marketing Board recipes are highly reliable and I've never gone wrong with one. I think the arrival of my goodies in the middle of the truffle process distracted me.
Now here's the funny part of this whole truffle business: I never intended to bid on the gift certificates (but am I glad I did!). I thought I was bidding on David Lebovitz's chocolate tour of Paris. But in my haste, the second time I placed a bid, I bid on EU08, instead of UE08. Or vice versa, I could never figure out which. But it doesn't matter. I'm more than delighted with my prize, and plan to become a frequent L’Epicerie customer.