Makes about 20 truffles
- 200g of good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) – broken into pieces
- 1/4 cup raisins – chopped
- 1/4 cup rum
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla paste (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
- 1 tsp of strong espresso or instant coffee granules (optional)
- 2 tbsp of cocoa powder
- Cocoa powder
- Finely chopped nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans or almonds)
- Shredded coconut
- Spices like cinnamon, cayenne pepper, orange zest, etc
- In a bowl, soak the raisins in rum for one hour (at room temperature).
- In a saucepan, over low heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Then add the butter and stir with a plastic spatula until melted.
- Next, add the chopped chocolate, and when it begins to melt, turn the fire off and continue to stir until the chocolate is completely melted (be careful not to burn the chocolate).
- Then mix in the cocoa powder, vanilla paste, and espresso, and stir until smooth. Finally, stir in the raisin rum mixture, and transfer to a bowl.
- Once the chocolate ganache has cooled on the counter, cover the bowl and place it in the fridge. Chill for an hour until the ganache is firm.
- Lay out a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Prepare coatings in separate bowls. With your palms or a small spoon, form the chocolate into balls, then roll each one in the coating and place them on the baking paper. Transfer the truffles, along with the baking paper, to an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or for a few months in the freezer. Before serving, let the truffles sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Tips on making truffles:
– It’s important to keep the ganache mixture cool after it is removed from the refrigerator, so it doesn’t melt too much when you are forming the balls and coating them. Try placing the small bowl of ganache on top of a bigger bowl layered with ice. (Also, coat your hands with some cocoa powder to prevent your warm fingers from melting the chocolate)
– If the ganache gets too soft for shaping, just pop the ganache back in the freezer for five minutes. If you are making a bigger batch, divide the ganache into separate containers.
Asian pear-Ginger Frozen Yogurt
- 1 lb. Asian pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 oz. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 lb. Greek yogurt, or strained yogurt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- In a food processor, puree the Asian pear and fresh ginger until smooth and no chunks are left.
- Fold the pear and ginger puree into the Greek yogurt and add the sugar. Mix thoroughly.
- Chill the mixture thoroughly, and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions.
Lemon Ginger Macarons
makes ~60-70 shells
- 30 grams sugar
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- 110 grams slivered almonds
- 4 Tbspn dried lemon zest*
- 5 grams ground ginger
- 1/2 tspn yellow powder food coloring, optional
- 90 grams egg whites, at least two days old (separate eggs in advance, put the whites in an air tight container for at least two days–I usually keep them for five days before use)
- freshly grated lemon zest
- Have ready: pastry bag fitted with a round tip with about 1/2″ opening and two baking sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper.
- In a food processor, process the regular sugar for a few seconds. Remove and set aside.
- Combine the powdered sugar, almonds, dried lemon zest, ground ginger, and food coloring in the food processor and process until the almonds are finely ground. Set aside.
- Place the egg whites in a mixer bowl with the whisk attachment. Begin whisking on low, until the egg whites start to foam.
- Increase the speed of the mixer to medium high and beat the egg whites while gradually adding the regular sugar. Beat on medium high until you reach a glossy, soft-peak meringue.
- At this point, remove the mixer bowl from the mixer and continue the rest of the way by hand, using a large balloon whisk. Pour (lightly!) the processed powdered sugar and almond mixture into the meringue. Fold to combine, quickly at first, and then slowly after the first few strokes. Make sure to always use deliberate strokes when folding. Mix only until combined, no more than fifty strokes. Usually, it only takes me fewer than thirty, if that. The batter is ready when the peaks will collapse on their own.
- Immediately transfer the batter to the prepared pastry bag. On the silpat baking sheets, squeeze about 1 to 1.5″ rounds. Top each shell with freshly grated lemon zest. Let the sheets sit for at least 30 minutes.
- While the macarons rest, preheat the oven to 150 degrees C. Bake the macarons for 15-20 minutes, rotating after about 10. Macarons are done when the shells do not give when gently touched. Remove from the oven and let cool.
*To make dried lemon zest, zest lemons and leave the zest out on a piece of paper towel for 24 hours.
makes nine 6-inch cookies
- 2 1/4 cups (320 gr) AP flour
- 1 tspn baking powder
- 1 tspn baking soda
- 1 tspn salt
- 2 tspn finely ground Turkish coffee
- 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (120 gr) dark brown sugar
- 1 cup (200 gr) white sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbspn dark molasses
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbspn cream or milk
- 1 Tbspn vanilla extract
- 4 cups of mix-ins: 1 cup each of pretzels (chopped), Butterfingers (chopped), marshmallows, dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare baking sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper.
- Whisk to combine the AP flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and finely ground Turkish coffee. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter until light, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugars and mix until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the molasses to the butter and beat until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk and vanilla extract. In two stages, beat in the flour mixture on low until thoroughly combined. Fold in the mix-ins.
- Scoop the dough into large rounds onto the prepared cookie sheets, about two cookies per half-sheet baking pan. Leave ample room between each cookie. Dip your fingers in water and lightly spread out and press the dough into a circle.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Note: If you don’t have Turkish coffee, substitute with finely ground regular coffee and a pinch or two of ground cardamom.
Note: This recipe can support up to four cups of mix-ins. Feel free to mix in anything you can think of or have in your cabinets: potato chips, nuts, dried fruits, chopped candy bars, cereal, last year’s Halloween candy, next year’s Halloween candy…. The sky’s the limit!
makes ~60 cookies according to Lebovitz (I got ~40)
- 350 gr AP flour
- 1 tspn baking powder
- 100 gr white granulated sugar
- 100 gr dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tspn vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Whisk to combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, white sugar, dark brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium high for about five minutes, until the batter has considerably thickened.
- Gently fold the flour into the egg mixture.
- Add and gently mix in the chocolate chips and dried currants.
- On a lightly-floured surface, divide the dough into two portions. Shape each portion into a log about three inches in diameter, and transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet, allowing a few inches in between the logs because they will spread in the oven. Wet your hands lightly with water and smooth the outsides of the dough logs.
- Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once halfway through baking, until the logs are lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes.
- Decrease the oven temperature to 150 degrees C.
- Transfer the logs to a cutting board and using a sharp, serrated knife, slice the logs into ~3/4″ pieces. Transfer the pieces, cut-side up back onto the lined baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies again for 15-20 more minutes, rotating once half-way through baking. Remove cookies and let cool on a wire rack. Cookies will continue to harden when cooling. Store in an airtight container.