Musical pairing – The Sellout by Macy Gray
Have you heard about this new movie coming out, ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Sold‘? We came across it on Twitter, because POM Wonderful is a major sponsor and we follow their tweets. This satirical documentary about branding and advertising was ironically funded entirely by brands, advertising and their product placement in the movie. The movie had a limited opening last weekend and we haven’t seen it yet, but audiences loved it at the Sundance Film Festival – might be worth checking out. But hold that thought for a moment . . .
We been trying to re-create these dreamy raspberry-coated truffles that we found at Rene’s Bakery in Broad Ripple. We’ve made truffles before, but had to do some experimentation to replicate the powdery, tart and fruity coating that really made these truffles memorable; we decided that the coating must be similar to freeze-dried fruit which we had seen at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods so set out to go that route . . . until all we could find was dried pomegranates. We brought a package home, gave them a whir in the blender, rolled half a batch of truffles and tasted . . . the tartness was definitely there but so was the crunch of the seeds that would not grind . . . a definite ‘no-go’ in terms of the silky-smooth texture we longed for.
Life is pretty crazy at the moment with The Professor’s busy end-of-the-school-year schedule and a run to Indy is about an hour and 20 minutes roundtrip . . . but in his infinite wisdom (read: desire to please the Mrs. . .), The Professor came through. Because on his way home from campus, he picked up a box of cereal with dehydrated berries . . . you know, the one with the big “K” on the box . . . of course all he said was that he thought he had something that might work and by the time I hit the kitchen, the dehydrated berries had been separated and ready to go. A quick blitz in the blender and we had the powdery, tart and fruity coating we had been looking for. Is it identical to the one we enjoyed from Rene’s Bakery? No. But it’s a good close second and one that we’re please with until we can score ourselves some raspberries . . .
Which brings us back to the movie mentioned at the beginning of this post . . . Hey! We could be just like the movie and have product placement in our blog . . . say, like the photo below . . .
But seriously, for a colorful, tart, sweet and chocolatey Mother’s Day gift (or really, anytime you’re craving chocolate truffles . . .) you can’t go wrong with these Strawberry Truffles . . .
And what in the heck am I going to do with this box of cereal that is now sans its berries???
STRAWBERRY-COATED CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
Slightly adapted from Ina Garten
- 1 pound good bittersweet bar chocolate – I used Scharffen Berger 70% Bittersweet
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other liqueur (optional)
- 1 tablespoon prepared espresso
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Dehydrated Strawberries or Raspberries, blended to powder
- Cocoa powder
- Chop the chocolate finely with a sharp knife or chocolate chipper. Place in a heat-proof mixing bowl.
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just boils.
- Turn off the heat and allow the cream to sit for 20 seconds.
- Pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into the bowl with chocolate (don’t skip this step – it removes any cream ‘film’).
- With a wire whisk, slowly stir the cream and chocolates together until the chocolate is completely melted. If the chocolate doesn’t completely melt once the cream is whisked in, you can microwave for 10 seconds, whisk again until chocolate is smooth.
- Whisk in the Grand Marnier or other liqueur, if using, espresso, and vanilla.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour.
8. With 2 teaspoons, spoon round balls of the chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. SMITH BITES NOTE: I used a small cookie scoop roughly the same size as I would get as two spoons. As you can see from the photos above, my chocolate didn’t set up well and were more ‘disk-shape’ than ‘rounds’.
9. If truffles are soft, refrigerate for another 30 minutes, until firm. Roll each dollop of chocolate in your hands to roughly make a round ball. Make a mental note to NOT open the windows when it’s 70+ degrees outside with high humidity – or it gets messy like the photo above!! Once set up in the refrigerator, I formed the truffles into a rounder shape and then rolled some into the strawberry powder and others in the cocoa powder. Don’t worry if they’re not perfectly round – truffles you find in nature aren’t perfectly round either – yet taste wonderful!
10. Roll in strawberry powder or cocoa powder.
These will keep refrigerated for weeks, but serve at room temperature.