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. 

Chocolate Leaves and a Lime Yogurt Parfait

chocolate leaves

for the garnish:

  • Non-toxic leaves! **I used lemon and camelia leaves: the lemon leaves showed the most veining, the camelia’s ended up being too smooth for the chocolate to pick up any shape**
  • 4 oz. chocolate **I used 70% cocoa dark chocolate**
  • 1/2 teaspoon shortening

Wash and dry your leaves and melt down the chocolate and shortening in the microwave. Only put it in for about 20 seconds at a time and then stir–chocolate is a bit moody, if you try and heat it too fast it will bind up and be a chalky, gross mess. Once the chocolate is melted, coat the BACK of your leaves, put them chocolate side up on parchment and let them harden (I popped mine in the freezer and they were ready in about 30 minutes). Make sure you get them pretty thick so the leaves are solid even once you peel them off (too thin makes the chocolate see-through). After they’ve hardened, the chocolate should peel right off. Use some tweezers or a sharp knife to help you get started if it’s sticking a bit. 
chocolate leaves

for the base:

  • Vanilla Greek yogurt
  • Grated lime rind

Grate lime rind into the yogurt and mix. Garnish with a few of the chocolate leaves and you’re done:lime yogurt parfaitchocolate leaveslime yogurt parfait

I think I say this every time I find a new dessert but this is really, really my new fav. It’s hardly even a dessert at all actually: The greek yogurt is good for you (it’s got proteinnnnn) and the tiny, teeny, itty, bitty sliver of chocolate? Who’s counting that? A lot of modern desserts are sickly sweet, but did you ever read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books? She always wrote about the family having canned peaches and fruit for dessert and that simple thing always sounded so delicious. Some things are pretty sweet without really being sweet at all.

 – <3 A. 

Lemon-Lime Granita

lemon lime granitaingredientsgranitaI’m on an Italian kick I guess this month. I found this recipe in my tea party book and thought it sounded perfect for the still-scorching August days. A granita is an Italian dessert made from sugar, water, and whatever flavoring or juice you decide to add. This one mixes lemon, lime, and a hint of basil:

  • In a saucepan, slowly bring the sugar, water, and rinds to a simmering boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
  • Add the lemon and lime juices**if you’re using juice straight from the fruit, you’ll have to strain after this step. I used the pre-juiced lemon and lime juice so I didn’t need to strain it**
  • Add the chopped basil
  • Pour the syrup into shallow containers and cover with cling-wrap**I used two pie pans. Don’t pour too much in or it will take forever to freeze!**
  • Check the syrup after an hour and break it up with a fork **sort of like you’re raking the syrup**. Repeat at least two more times to get a pile of little crystals.

I ended up leaving mine in the freezer overnight and the next morning it was still completely usable so if you wanted to make this the night before a party, it would totally work. If your freezer is a little more hardcore and freezes it too hard so you can’t “rake” it into crystals, just pop it in the frig and let it soften a bit. It’s super refreshing and you don’t need a lot of it, granitas are meant to be just a snippet of something sweet after a heavy pasta dish etc. It’s something different from the usual ice cream and it looks so chic served in little bowls–the perfect end to a summer an August night.

lemon lime granitalemon lime granita

– <3 A. 

Cream Puffs

lime-coconut cream puffscream puffs

cream puff recipe

cream puffsI used a tablespoon to spoon the dough balls onto the baking sheet and it seemed to be the perfect size. With these ingredients the recipe said I would get 12 puffs but I ended up getting about 15. For the filling, I used cream cheese and lime pie filling mixed to taste. I didn’t want it too sweet so the cream cheese helped out but it’s definitely not necessary if you want it sweeter. After that, add a layer of shredded coconut, put the top of the puff back on, top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings to look super fancy and you’re done!

lime coconut cream puff

lime coconut cream puff

lime coconut cream puffsDepending on what kind of filling you put in these guys, they’re really a pretty healthy treat and who knew cream puffs were so easy? It probably took me about 15 minutes to make (not counting the cooking time) and they turned out so beautifully!

recipe via better homes and gardens magazine 2005 issue

 – <3 A.

Other VMMV Recipes: 

DSC_0255-001DSC_0057-001   DSC_1012

      Lemon Scones                Avocado/Cucumber Salad              Icebox Cake

Mint Shamrock Pound Cake

header

With St. Patty’s day on Sunday, this week is one of the very few weeks of the year that dying your food green is an assumed and celebrated event so I took full advantage of the week to whip out my green food coloring and go to town. I’m kind of sick of the usual cupcake-celebration for these random holidays. Pound cakes are a nice, not-to-sweet variation of the usual too-much-cake-and-icing-I-feel-ill-dessert. Topped with fruit, cool whip, and some fresh mint and St. Patrick gets remembered in the perfect, light and tasty way.

mintshamrockingredients

I cheated and used a boxed mix for the pound cake. But under blueberries, cool whip, and mint garnish, really truly, can you even tell? If you’re being honest…you can’t. If you want, go ahead and make the cake from scratch but I’m just trying to sayyyy that I will be done faster and my guests will never know the difference from yours! I infused the milk needed for the pound cake mix with a very slight mint flavor by boiling 1/2 cup mint leaves in the milk. It’s a super subtle taste so I would definitely add the fresh, whole leaves for garnish if you want a minty flavor. Other than that, follow the directions on the box as usual, add 4 drops of green food coloring to the batter before baking, cut out a shamrock shape from a slice of the finished pound cake, add the toppings, garnish and done!

shamrock pound cake

st patricks day dessert

st patricks day dessert ideas

The morning I made this, when I got set to photograph, a little rainbow**see it??** made from a prism in my window landed just as I was snapping away and I couldn’t resist from posting it. It really was just too, too ironic. Happy St Patty’s, happy weekend, and happy wearing and eating anything green!

– <3 A. 

Other VMMV Recipes: 

 header    blackberry vanilla icebox cake   lemon cheesecake cocktail

Cucumber-avocado Salad     Blackberry-Vanilla Cake     Lemon Cheesecake Cocktail

Blackberry-vanilla icebox cake

blackberry vanilla icebox cakeThe whimsical and brilliant blog A Beautiful Mess did this recipe last summer. Since post-Valentines Day has brought some unseasonably warm weather, and my Valentines Day brought me this beautiful new, glass cake stand, I thought it would be a perfect time to try out Elsie and Emma’s icebox cake recipe with my own little twist. They used ladyfingers for their cookie crust but I took their suggestion and tried out Vanilla Wafers instead. For their layers, they used frozen blueberries and blueberry juice instead of the canned fruit in light syrup that I chose. My version saves you from buying an extra ingredient and I think the canned fruit keeps its flavor a bit better than frozen. I also exchanged their marshmallow-whip layer with cool whip…a bit healthier, a lighter taste, and MUCH easier to work with. Ok, so here you are:
iceboxingredients

If you’re not a blackberry fan, use any sort of fruit you like. I think peaches, raspberries, strawberries or even something exotic like kiwis would be delicious!
iceboxdirections

layers

This cake is absurdly simple and I love the spin on a usual ice cream pie. The icebox cake is loaded with flavor but doesn’t leave you feeling heavy and sickly sweet like lots of cakes. You have to work a bit quickly otherwise the ingredients begin to melt as you work. I mixed the ice cream and berries, and cool whip and juice, and then placed those bowls back into the freezer until I was ready to add those layers. Wait until the cake is completely frozen before you do the cool whip piping top also, otherwise it will just sink in and be an ooey-gooey mess.

This might even be my favorite new treat…I should probably tell you that after I finished my slice, I unashamedly dropped my face to the plate and gave it a good lick…no need to be wasteful, right? Even though I’m still perfectly happy in my winter scarves, it’s been nice to feel the recent sunshine and this blackberry-vanilla icebox cake is the perfect homage to Spring, just peaking on the horizon. Enjoy!

blackberry vanilla icebox cake recipe

icebox cake recipe with handmade cards

blackberry cake recipe

easy dessert icebox cake recipe

– <3 A. 

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