Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Banking, Bowling.

Credit CardsI saw an article, which I didn’t read thoroughly, about seniors being charged on their credit cards for services that they had neither requested nor received. Personally, I check my accounts on line every day to make damned sure no-one charges me anything I don’t know about. Actually, I spotted one charge the other day and as I couldn’t, for the life of me, think what it was, I phoned the bank. In the middle of the phone call I suddenly realised what it was, a pair of earrings I had taken a fancy to, did I feel an idiot, but better to be an idiot than a victim.

Yesterday was our bowling league. Matt had a pretty good day, I Bowlingbowled like I had never done so before. Absolutely hopeless. I have no idea why I was bowling so badly. Luckily my average only dropped one point, very lucky. What is even more annoying, the owner pointed out that our team had been in #1 position and we had dropped back to #2. All my fault, sob, sob. In a couple of weeks we have our Christmas lunch and then we break for one week for Christmas, i.e. we aren’t league bowling on the 22nd, but Matt and I will be going anyway. Gotta get our exercise in.

It being that time of year, and the ladies in my exercise class already talking about cookie baking, I thought these truffles would fit the bill. I don’t bake cookies, used not to be a thing in England when we lived there and I have never done so over here. Primarily because Matt wouldn’t eat many and guess who would end up eating most of them.

Simple Chocolate Truffles

Fine Cooking.
  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate (55% to 60% cacao), coarsely Chocolate Truffleschopped or broken into pieces (2 slightly heaping cups)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed); more as needed
  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
Grind the chocolate in a food processor until it reaches the consistency of coarse meal, about 30 seconds.
Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the cream to the food processor and process until smooth, about 10 seconds.Add the butter and process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Put the cocoa powder in a large bowl. Using 2 teaspoons, drop rounded, heaping teaspoonfuls of truffle mixture onto a large, parchment-lined baking sheet.
When all of the truffles are scooped, dip them in the cocoa and use your palms to roll the truffles into smooth 1-inch balls (don’t worry about making them perfect; slightly irregular truffles have an appealing homemade appearance). Transfer the truffles to the refrigerator.
A shortcut to easy truffles: While pastry chefs typically temper the melted chocolate they use to coat truffles so that they look smooth and shiny, we skip the tempering (which can be tricky) and roll the truffles in cocoa powder or ground nuts right after coating them with melted chocolate. The truffles look great and any imperfections in the chocolate coating are hidden.
Melt the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set in a small skillet of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
Transfer the bowl to a work surface. Working in batches, use your fingers or a couple of forks to coat the truffles with the melted chocolate.
Coat them again with cocoa or nuts (see the variations below), and return them to the baking sheet. If using your hands, you’ll have to stop and wash off the chocolate in between batches.
Let the truffles sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead Tips
Truffles will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring them to room temperature before serving.
Once you learn how to make truffles, the flavor possibilities are endless:
  • Liqueur Filling: Add 3 Tbs. of a flavored liqueur of your choice to the ganache before refrigerating. We like Frangelico, Bailey’s, Godiva, Kahlúa, and amaretto.
  • Nut Coating: After coating the truffles with melted chocolate, coat them with 1 cup (6 oz.) of your choice of finely chopped toasted nuts instead of cocoa powder. We like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, and pistachios. Note that when you use nuts instead of cocoa for the coating, you will still need cocoa to shape the truffles.
  • Mexican Chocolate: Add 2 Tbs. Kahlúa liqueur, 2 tsp. instant espresso, and 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon to the ganache. Coat the truffles with 1 cup (6 oz.) ground toasted almonds.
  • Toffee & Fleur de Sel: Add 1/2 cup ground toffee bits (we use Heath Bars and grind them coarsely in a food processor) and 1/4 tsp. fleur de sel to the ganache. Use 1-1/4 cups finely ground toffee bits mixed with 1 tsp. fleur de sel for the coating. (You’ll need a total of six 1.4-oz. Heath Bars.)
  • PB&J: Add 2/3 cup strawberry jam to the ganache and process until smooth. Coat the truffles with 2 cups (10 oz.) ground salted peanuts. (Yields about 54 truffles because of the added jam.)
  • Mint: Add 1/2 tsp. pure peppermint extract to the ganache.
Have a great day


  1. Yum on the treat and sorry about the bowling.

  2. Hi Jo - fraud is occurring more frequently now ... we're being warned here ... thankfully I'm fairly savvy ... bowling ups and downs ... at least you know an up-day will be on its way ...

    Truffles - I love making those ... but tend not to ... I guess I would if kids were around ... cheers Hilary

    1. Me too Hils, I am not quite sure why so many seniors get scammed so easily. Mind you I have some friends in the UK who seem to have been conned out of their life savings by their son!!!

      Me too about the truffles, I do like to eat them though.

  3. Hi Jo. I did the same thing - charged a pair of earrings and forgot I'd done it. I felt very small for a moment and then, relieved!

    Don't cry - the balls get slippery!

    There aren't enough people around for me to make truffles - I'd eat them all. But don't they sound amazing?!!

    1. Does make you feel an idiot doesn't it?

      Oh is that what it is. Actually, it occurs to me Matt washed them so I then couldn't do a thing with them.

      Definitely, I have the same problem.

    2. He washed them? There's the problem.(smile)

  4. One of my pet peeves is when you buy something w/ your credit card and the company name is completely different on the bill, causing confusion and a phone call to find out what it was.

    1. I can't really use this excuse because, once I had remembered what it was, they told me on my order that the name on the credit statement would be different. I didn't remember it before needless to say. And yes, it does cause confusion even if they do tell you beforehand.

  5. Yes. Better safe than sorry. Your Truffles sound yummy!

    Hugs and chocolate!

    1. I do agree. I could eat a plateful of them right now.

  6. I think you are wise to be careful. We do the same and question everything. After all, whose money is it---yours! Truffles are yummy, hope to get back to real cooking and baking soon.

    1. You are very right, it is our money. I hope you can get back to the cooking thing soon. How's the recovery going? Well I hope.

  7. Exercise class and cookie baking - odd combination!
    I'm always checking my statement and making sure the purchases were all mine.

    1. They were discussing cookie baking prior to the instructor arriving.

      Me too. Sensible thing.

  8. Too right you should check your credit card! My credit card company seems to know my habits because whenever I've tried to purchase something unusual like a laptop or a treadmill, they've asked the retailer to have me call them first. It's a nuisance but I'm glad they're on the ball.

    1. Our credit company contacts us about unusual expenditures. It is a good thing they are acting watch dog.

  9. I always check my credit card too. Can't imagine why you wouldn't really. Those truffles are very much like the ones I usually make except I don't coat them in chocolate. I'm glad you posted the recipe because I've packed away all but the vital books - in preparation for renovations which I hope will start soon - and forgot to leave the one with that recipe in it out.

    1. Yes, but I check on line, so many older people won't bank on line so can only check when their statements come in I guess. Glad the truffles will be of help. Yuk, renovations, good luck.