September Highlights

blog highlightsseptember blog highlights

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September was…stressful. Every week brought a tweak to my schedule and schedule-tweaking sort of gives me an eye-twitch. It bugs. I like weeks I can count on: good, steady days that every hour aligns wonderfully with my gold and white striped planner that I pre-wrote the weekend before. It sounds a little militaristic but it’s really not, it’s actually completely necessary and works beautifully unless, like September, throwing wrenches into my gold-and-white planned weeks is life’s newest, favorite game, Besides all of that eye-twitching though, September had some of my favorite new chocolate recipes, homemade frozen yogurt, the continued search for my elusive crossbody bag, and a few, fun daytrips. It also had a peek at this girl’s beautiful new adventure, and, of course, a few modern views from VMMV I just can’t help but share.

September was also unusually chilly and I’m so looking forward to the real beginning of sweater and pumpkin bread season, watching You’ve Got Mail, pretending to be Kathleen Kelly, and celebrating a few anniversaries you’ll hear a little more about if you stick around through one of my favorite months. In the end, then, September was pretty great because it got me to October and now the real fun can begin…

Happy new week everyone!

image cred: vintage vogue

– <3 A. 

A Truffle Accident

sorbet truffles

Doesn’t a truffle accident sound like the best sort of accident? That’s completely what this was actually: I became entranced by a recipe that was supposed to make dark chocolate sorbet. It called for an ice cream machine, which I don’t have, but there were also directions for bakers sans-such-machine so I gave it a go. When I got to the part where I was supposed to stick it in the freezer and let it begin to form into a sorbet, I was overcome by an irresistible Augustus Gloop moment and plunged my hand in the pot. The consistency was truffle perfection and was, in the end, the most beautiful truffle accident:

ingredients

  • 4.5 oz. water
  • 2 oz. extra-fine baking sugar
  • 6 oz. dark chocolate (add more if mixture isn’t thick enough with 6 oz.)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. coffee or vanilla extract (optional)
  • toppings (coconut or nuts)

Directions:

  • Slowly bring the water and sugar to a boil and stir to ensure all the sugar is dissolved.
  • Turn off the heat but leave the pot on the burner and mix in the chocolate. I used about 6 to 7 ounces but you sort of have to eyeball it until the mix stops looking watery and runny and starts looking like smooth chocolate. **I also used 70% cocoa dark chocolate**
  • Add the salt and the optional extract. **I couldn’t taste the extract too strongly so if I made it again I might add 2 tsp. worth if you really want that additional flavor**
  • Take the pot off the burner and allow to cool just slightly. Stir contents.
  • Then comes the fun messy part!

truffles

  • Take a small bit of the chocolate and roll it in the palm of your other hand to form a ball **this is the trickiest part, if the chocolate cools too much, it will start to harden and won’t roll well so work fast! If it gets too sticky and hard to work with, turn the burner on low and warm the chocolate up a little bit again **
  • Roll the truffle-balls in whatever topping you desire, I used coconut for some and walnuts for the others.

truffle sorbetcoconut sorbet truffles

I kept mine in the freezer until ready to serve and then served them on a piece of parchment to help reduce the sticky factor. These truffles are the only ones I’ve seen that don’t use globs of butter and cream so another bonus…they’re healthy! (?) sorta, but hey, its a truffle. 

recipe inspired via

– <3 A. 

Engraved Tea Truffle-Hearts

valentine truffle recipe via the vintage tea party book Today is another shout-out to my beautiful Vintage Tea Party book. I’ve been  saving this truffle recipe for my Valentines countdown, and at last I get to share! How fun is it to be able to give your Valentine chocolates you made yourself and personally engraved with their initials!? So far all the recipes I’ve tried from Angel Adoree’s lovely book have been a huge success and this was no exception. A little chocolate, tea, and cream and I had myself a plateful of Valentines truffle love:

engraved truffle recipe via the vintage tea party book
I hardly made any changes to Angel’s original recipe so all the credit definitely goes to her for these beauties. Her recipe calls for “extra-thick” cream. I don’t know if that’s just a British thing because all the grocery stores I went to just had heavy whipping cream so I chose to believe it’s the same thing, and, it seems like it is because it worked perfectly. Angel also used loose tea, I just ripped open two teabags and used the crushed leaves and it worked just as well. The tea gives a really fantastic, subtle flavor to the chocolates. Of course, if you don’t like Earl Grey I’m sure you could use a different tea, or, just completely leave the tea out and have a simple chocolate truffle. Angel also said to use a mixture of dark and milk chocolate. I went a little heavier on the dark since I’m a little partial to the stuff but you can do whatever your heart desires.

valentines dessert recipeI pulled the chocolate out of the refrigerator after only about 20 minutes. It wasn’t quite set up all the way but I wanted to cut out my hearts and stamp them before the chocolate got too hard. Angel used a cookie cutter for her hearts but I could never find one small enough so I just used a knife and I think I actually got a better edge using the knife. For the initials, any unused, rubber stamp works perfectly. After I cut and stamped the hearts, I put them back into the refrigerator to set up for a few more hours before taking the hearts off the baking sheet.

valentines dessert recipe

valentines truffle recipe

valentines engraved truffle recipe

engraved truffle heartsengraved truffle hearts

 Besides chilling, the whole process only took me about 20 minutes. How can you beat that for a personalized Valentines gift? Yum, yum!

– <3 A. 

Recipe source: The vintage tea party book by angel adoree

Other Valentine Ideas:

DSC_0681 copyDSC_0763 copy 

 DIY Bead Hearts                   DIY Place-cards