February 9, 2011 in Features

From the heart

Valentine’s Day truffles are easy to make with quality chocolate
Alison Ladman Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Honey-pistachio truffles, foreground, strawberry-mint truffles, center, and white chocolate-sour cream cookie truffles can be made several days in advance.
(Full-size photo)

Anyone can buy chocolates for Valentine’s Day. But how about really putting your love on the line and making them?

Turns out anyone can do that, too. Because making chocolates – or at least this trio of fancy chocolate truffles – is so simple you won’t need to labor for your love. Or if you really want to turn on the magic, consider making these truffles with your loved one.

The finished truffles can be dipped in melted chocolate for a crisp shell or rolled in other coatings, such as cocoa powder, chopped nuts, coconut, shaved chocolate or crushed cookie crumbs. Be sure to use good quality chocolate for the best results.

The truffles can be made several days in advance. If made ahead, truffles coated in cocoa powder may need to be rerolled in additional powder just before serving.

White Chocolate-Sour Cream Cookie Truffles

12 ounces white chocolate bits

1/2 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup crushed chocolate wafer cookies, for rolling

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate bits by microwaving on high for 20 seconds, stirring and repeating until smooth and melted.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir together the sour cream and vanilla. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, or until just warm. Stir the sour cream mixture into the melted chocolate until smooth. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds, if needed. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Once the mixture is firm, place the crushed cookies in a wide, shallow bowl. Use a teaspoon, melon baller or small cookie scoop to scoop the chocolate mixture into balls. Roll each ball briefly between your hands to smooth, then roll each in the crushed cookies until coated. To store, refrigerate the truffles in an airtight container.

Yield: 24 truffles

Approximate nutrition per truffle: 120 calories, 7 grams fat (4 grams saturated, 52 percent fat calories), 1 gram protein, 13 grams carbohydrate, 6 milligrams cholesterol, no dietary fiber, 21 milligrams sodium.

Honey-Pistachio Truffles

3/4 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons honey

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate bits

1/2 teaspoon pistachio or almond extract

1 cup crushed pistachios, for rolling

In a medium microwave-safe dish, whisk together the cream and honey. Microwave on high until bubbling, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Add the chocolate bits and wait 2 minutes. Stir gently until thoroughly combined and the chocolate has melted. If needed, microwave an additional 20 seconds to finish melting the chocolate. Stir in the extract, then refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Once the mixture is firm, place the pistachios in a wide, shallow bowl. Use a teaspoon, melon baller or small cookie scoop to scoop the chocolate mixture into balls. Roll each ball briefly between your hands to smooth, then roll each in the pistachios until coated. To store, refrigerate the truffles in an airtight container.

Yield: 24 truffles

Approximate nutrition per truffle: 113 calories, 8 grams fat (3 grams saturated, 61 percent fat calories), 2 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrate, 11 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram dietary fiber, 3 milligrams sodium.

Strawberry-Mint Truffles

16-ounce container fresh strawberries, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

14 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bits

Cocoa powder, for rolling

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the strawberries and sugar. Heat until the strawberries are broken down and juicy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Pour into a blender, then add the mint leaves and butter. Blend until smooth.

Place the chocolate in a medium heat-safe bowl. Strain the hot strawberry mixture over the chocolate through a fine mesh strainer; discard the solids. Stir gently to combine until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Once the mixture is firm, place the cocoa powder in a wide, shallow bowl. Use a teaspoon, melon baller or small cookie scoop to scoop the chocolate mixture into balls. Roll each ball briefly between your hands to smooth, then roll each in the cocoa powder until coated. To store, refrigerate the truffles in an airtight container.

Yield: 30 truffles

Approximate nutrition per truffle: 84 calories, 4 grams fat (3 grams saturated, 46 percent fat calories), 1 gram protein, 11 grams carbohydrate, 2 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram dietary fiber, 1 milligram sodium.

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