Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Hiatus Notice (& Truffles)

Um, so you might have noticed my unexplained absence from HLS this past couple of weeks. But fear not, because I'm back now to make up for all that, except for in that way where I'm actually... not.

Basically, I've been meaning to post for pretty much ever now, and somehow it just hasn't happened. I've had the pictures ready. It would've taken five minutes to find the recipe and type it out. But actually sitting down at the computer and writing has not been something I've had a lot of time for recently - admittedly, I've been at home, and doing ridiculous hours at work over Christmas, and trying to catch up with my friends, and trying to fit two essays in. But even more than that, I think, I kind of lost the motivation. I felt like I should blog, rather than that I really wanted to. Which I've never felt until now. It might just be the chronic-overfeeding from Christmas, but I'm just not as interested as I was.

So. Here is where I announce an indefinite hiatus. You remember the one I thought I'd need to take when I left home and went to uni? The one I'm totally overdue on? Yeah, that one.

Don't take 'indefinite' to mean 'long', either. It just means... indefinite. Give me time to get my mojo back; chances are I won't last til February.

On a happier note (for me. Some people are probably quite glad I'm taking a break from blogging XD), truffles!

The base recipe for these is one of my Gran's (long-term readers will have come across her recipes before), which we make every Christmas in our house with little variation. This year, I'm very excitable (oh, wait. Not just this year) and I'd seen a blog post with various themed truffles, so I decided to pillage their ideas and then lose the link and be unable to credit them properly. I'm great at making decisions like this, but rarely in advance.

The varieties are: Gingerbread (above), Hot Chocolate (with sprinkles), and Christmas Pudding (this was originally going to be mince pie, as they have fruit mincemeat in, but then I wanted to decorate them more so they sort of morphed).

Basic Truffles
From my Gran's recipe
Makes not a lot; we usually do double quantities. In this case I made single quantities three times so I could flavour them differently.

85g (3oz) plain chocolate

1 egg yolk
15g (1/2 oz) butter
15g (1/2 oz) icing sugar
1 tsp whipped cream - I'm always a bit dubious over this instruction since the cream melts anyway. I think my Gran may have meant 'whipping cream' or the squirty uht stuff you get in a can. I always religiously whip my cream, but you don't have to feel obliged to my Gran's instructions and can do whatever, heh.
2 tsp dark rum
45g (1 1/2 oz) ground almonds

1. Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water (I always do it on low in the microwave). Add egg yolk, sugar, butter, cream, rum and almonds. Remove from heat and beat with mixer until thick and pasty (you should be able to handle it without it being hideously messy. Just a little bit messy is fine).

2. Roll into balls and decorate, then place in truffle cases. Keep in a cool, airtight container.

For Gingerbread Truffles

Add ground ginger and ground cinnamon to taste, so that the flavour is clear but not overpowering. I then rolled the truffles in cocoa powder and a little ground ginger. I really want to try these using gingerbread cake crumbs in place of ground almonds but didn't get the chance; I think it would work, so give it a go.

For Hot Chocolate Truffles

I replaced the rum with the same amount of brandy (you could also use brandy cream if you had that), added a dash of cinnamon, and coated the truffles in chocolate vermicelli (chocolate sprinkles). These were closest to the base recipe, I think.

For Christmas Pudding Truffles

I added a couple of tsp of fruit mincemeat to the truffle base, meaning I had to double the quantity of almonds to keep the truffles at the right consistency for rolling. I can't remember the exact quantities I used, so add the extra ground almonds in bits until you get to the right texture. I mixed my leftover cocoa powder and vermicelli together to roll these in, then decorated with melted white chocolate and teeny tiny fondant holly sprigs. I was least confident in these ones, but they ended up being far and away my favourites ^__^.

I'll be back soon, various loves of my life. Don't miss me too much. x