Happy Valentine’s Day! Our house special today is Caramel-Dark Chocolate Truffles with Fleur de Sel. Sure sounds impressive, ne c’est pas? They’re still setting up in the kitchen (as you can see), so I haven’t sampled the finished product, but the filling was pretty tasty so I’m going to call it a success.
I’ve spent the last week trying to decide on which recipe to use for my first dipped-chocolate experiment. This one used the fewest ingredients and didn’t call for a bunch of extra tools. One book I have featured a couple of different truffles that sound delicious, but there are heating pads and invert sugar (or something) and I just didn’t want that much commitment wrapped up in a first attempt. That’s also the reason I didn’t make a second variety. I tend to have big dreams when I’m buying all of the ingredients, but my interest fades about midway through the recipe. Anyway, this particular recipe was very clear and easy to follow. The only moment of tension was trying to decide exactly when the caramel was “deep amber”. I’m pretty sure that it goes from being burnt caramel to smoking mess in just a few seconds, but I managed to dodge that bullet. As for the dipping process, it was surprisingly easy. They’re not perfect, of course, but they look like a truffle! That’s really all I was going for here. The ones that are just dusted with cocoa taste great, but I just end up with a big mess and these little misshapen lumps. Here, Loved One, enjoy your box of rocks. No, not this year. By the way, I used mostly Nestle Chocolatier bittersweet bars for the filling and coating. It’s the best quality that was available at the grocery store, and again, I didn’t feel like making a separate trip for ultra-premium on a first attempt. It just doesn’t bode well for a happy ending, in my experience.
In addition to being Valentine’s Day, today is also the 4th anniversary of my first “real” date with my now-husband. (There was a lot of hanging out – just as friends, you see – in the weeks leading up to this date.) We had to skip dinner because we got stuck in traffic for almost two hours, but we had such a great time talking that neither one of us cared. I’d never been to a pro basketball game, and was afraid that I’d be bored, but it was so much fun. Anyway, that was it for us; we’ve been inseparable ever since. He’s my bestest love. Interestingly (or not), it was actually 5 years ago, though, that I decided that I was tired of sulking on Valentine’s Day. What a waste! It’s a fun, frivolous little holiday. The key word is “little“; it should be a day to appreciate all of the people you love instead of this big overblown romantic bonanza. And I look good in pinks and reds, and I like treats! Why not enjoy?
Also: I think I’d be stripped of my “Aunt” title if I didn’t also note that one of our beautiful nieces is turning 3 today. See, we have a lot to celebrate around here! Happy Birthday, Boots!