Readers of NOSHology may remember my friend and professional colleague Lisa, first mentioned in an entry capturing the most wonderful dinner party held near the end of this past summer. Her home is now decked out beautifully and elegantly for the holidays, and I didn't hesitate to take my dear friend up on her offer make chocolate truffles together. Before my arrival this morning, she had already melted 12 ounces of chocolate into 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream several times over, refrigerating the ganache until ready to scoop onto parchment paper, re-refrigerated, and ready to roll. Although most of the ganache was pure chocolate, one batch was infused with finely chopped candied ginger, another pistachio extract, and yet another Frangelico hazelnut liqueur.
Seasoned trufflers might not be as surprised as I was by the intoxicating scent of chocolate wafting through the air as my body temperature warmed and softened the truffles as we rolled them between our hands to form rustic spheres of delight.
Once rolled, the truffles were dropped in a variety of toppings, including chopped pistachios and pecans, roasted cacao beans, powdered cocoa, and melted chocolate topped with a square of candied ginger. Of note, those little corn on the cob holders are perfect for picking up truffles and dipping them in melted chocolate.
Once the truffles had been lovingly placed in their individual paper cups, Lisa boxed up a collection and I tied them up in a bow. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Follow that with a lovely performance of "Silent Night" with Lisa on piano and her daughter Analiese on cello and there was absolutely no doubt that the very best of the holiday season had begun. Happy Holidays!