Dark Cherry Truffles:
- 8 ounces of good quality bittersweet chocolate, 70% cocoa or higher, chopped
- 1/3 cup fat-free half and half
- 1 cup of dark cherries, pitted (I used frozen, unsweetened cherries)
- pinch of salt
- dash of ground cinnamon, optional
- 1 tsp. pure almond extract
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder for rolling the truffles.
Place the bowl in the freezer to chill, removing the bowl every 3 or 4 minutes and stirring until the chocolate is set. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes. When the chocolate is opaque and has begun to harden, remove from the freezer, cover and chill in the fridge overnight.
Once the chocolate has chilled, place the cocoa powder in a small shallow dish or plate. Remove the chocolate from the fridge and, using a teaspoon, scoop out some chocolate and press and roll between moistened palms, compacting the mixture to form a small ball. Work quickly so the chocolate will not melt. Roll each ball in cocoa powder to coat, tapping off the excess, and repeat. If the room is warm, or the chocolate becomes too soft, return the bowl to the fridge for a few minutes to re-chill then proceed.
Serve immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container.
I've adapted this recipe from The South Beach Diet Taste of Summer Cookbook and I've made a few changes in both the ingredients and the process. I've added some cinnamon, because I love it, and included the almond extract to bump up the cherry flavor. Having tasted the mixture as the chocolate was melting, I felt the truffles needed some oomph. Almond extract tastes like cherries to me ... it worked beautifully.
The original instructions called for rolling the truffles immediately after taking the mixture from the freezer, but in my experience they really roll better after spending the night in the fridge. If you're pressed for time, you can certainly roll them right after freezing but doing so will be more difficult and time consuming. They're much easier to form after resting overnight.
The flavor? Exquisite! I used Scharffen Berger Bittersweet chocolate bars and I recommend them, highly. Their velvety texture is perfect for making truffles and their flavor really complements the cherries.
These truffles are rich, decadent and oh-so-smooth. They're everything a truffle should be and the perfect little treat for Valentine's Day. Why not whip up a batch for your sweetie and kick off the holiday with a luscious homemade treat? As for the yield - I'm not sure - I haven't finished rolling them yet and I'm not certain how many of them will survive long enough to count!
So, are you making a special Valentine's Day dessert this weekend? Are there truffles or some other chocolaty concoction in your future? Curious Diva wants to know.