Chocolate Truffles

It is Christmas again and time to think of the 13 ( or more) Desserts.
Although it is easy to find truffles in shops, I still prefer to make my own.
This year, they will be made with a stronger dark chocolate (85%), cognac and small pieces of candied orange peel.

Home-made chocolates have a short life-span, even if they are kept in the fridge, but there is no risk of them going bad in our household as they will be consumed rapidly.

This ganache makes a good filling for a chocolate torte.

Makes approximately 16 truffles:

1 bar 85% dark chocolate (100g Lindt)
3 tablespoons pure cocoa powder
10 ml double cream
1 tablespoon candied orange peel
1 tablespoon cognac

1. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie*

2. Warm up the cream in a saucepan and add the melted chocolate slowly, then the candied peel and lastly the cognac. Whisk with a hand whisk.
Let the mixture cool.

3. When it feels firm to the touch, roll it into little balls then in the cocoa powder to coat the truffles.

Set aside for a day if you can resist and enjoy!

*a bain-marie consists of melting something, usually chocolate, in a bowl over a saucepan containing boiling water. The aim is to avoid melting the chocolate directly into a saucepan to preserve the taste and texture of the chocolate.

Boxing Day Special

Boxing Day or Saint Stephen’s Day, for those in the know, and the whim to do something a little different to accompany the guinea fowl.
Little vols-au-vent with a delicate filling of cèpes cooked in cream and crème de Brie will replace roast potatoes, and for me are more exciting to prepare.

As usual, this year there was no turkey on the Christmas menu but sea food, so today the guinea fowl brings a change. It is also tastier than turkey, at least for our palate, and there is a marvellous mustard with truffle that is a speciality of the Maille boutique just waiting to be served with the poultry.
Also, red cabbage and small onions cooked with lardons will keep company to the guinea fowl.

I am grateful to Ève for taking me to the Maille boutique as the sampling of a wide range of delicacies proved too difficult to resist.

Serves 6:

12 small vols-au-vent, frozen
1 packet dried cèpes
1 tub single fresh cream
1tub crème de Brie
1 tablepoon cornflour
Salt and pepper

1. Place the vols-au-vent in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes

2. Put the cèpes in a small bowl of boiling water.

3. Pour the cream in a saucepan with the crème de Brie and heat on gentle heat. Add the cornflour gradually and whisk,
Lastly, add the cèpes. Reserve the broth to add to a soup or any vegetable preparation.

4. Take the vols-au-vent cases out of the oven and fill them with the creamy mushroom sauce.

5. Serve immediately with the guinea fowl.

Bon Appétit!

Petits Rouleaux de Jambon aux Champignons = Little Ham Rolls with Mushrooms

Little time to prepare a light supper and some Fricassée de champignons ( see post of 21 November) left prompt me to make these simple ham rolls.

This is real fast food and so simple!

1. Warm up the mushrooms and the ham slices.

2. Place the mushrooms inside the ham and roll.

3. Serve immediately.

Bon Appétit!

Tip: To bring an extra touch to this simple dish, you can pour some warmed up goat cheese or Crème de Brie on the rolls.
Another alternative is to coat the rolls with warmed up fresh cream which has been mixed with a small amount of tomato purée.
There are many tasty variations, depending on your inspiration and the contents of your fridge.