Ah, chocolate. The albatross of Valentine’s Day. Snarky online articles will chide you for taking the easy route of buying your lover such clichés as flowers or a heart shaped box of sweets. But let’s be honest. Chocolate is pretty amazing. As the poet Rita Dove wrote about the treat, “dark punch/ of earth and night and leaf, / for a taste of you/ any woman would gladly/ crumble to ruin.” Who would turn up their nose at that?
If you’re starting to squirm over what to lavish upon your valentine, relax. Whether it’s a friend, sweetheart, or family member, most people’s hearts are warmed more by a thoughtful tidbit than by an outlandishly expensive trinket. And you can make your offering that much more meaningful by taking the few minutes to whip it up yourself.
Don’t worry. I haven’t chosen something complicated or time-consuming. We’re going with classic chocolate truffles. Sound boring? Not when you taste them. And here’s the best part: they only require four ingredients, unless you get crazy with the toppings. And you may want to, because it’s pretty fun. Chopped nuts offer a savory balance, or for a pop of color and unexpected flavor, try pink Himalayan sea salt or pomegranate seeds. With any luck, your amour will be as smitten as Rita Dove. Assuming you don’t eat them all yourself first.
1 pound dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup of bourbon or liqueur (I used Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream liqueur)
Coatings: Chopped almonds or hazelnuts; cocoa powder; pomegranate seeds; pink sea salt
- Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler over simmering water.
- Gradually stir in cream.
- Gradually add bourbon, stirring gently to blend.
- Cover and chill overnight.
- Once chilled, shape the mixture into balls, and roll them in your chosen topping.
(adapted from Bounty of Biltmore Cookbook by Whitney Wheeler Pickering)