redeem your white chocolate this holiday season ::::
My first experience with white chocolate was with the misnamed “yogurt” pretzels. I soon found this “yogurt” was hardly L. bacillus created, but more the white fatty content separated from its dark cocoa solids. Why would anyone want to take the dark cacao out of the chocolate, leaving the ivory white? There are also posers — usually the sludge you find coating these “yogurt” pretzels. These are some stark white preparations touted as “white chocolate” but actually made from cheap hydrogenated vegetable fats and not at all from cocoa. Honestly, I’ve never been a huge fan, poser or not. Chocolate, with color, has more depth of flavor, white chocolate’s peripatetic cousin, well-read and educated. White chocolate is the provincial hayseed to the dark, some paltry wisps recognized drizzled over a mille feuille, or maybe in a mousse needing help from its ingredient mates like strawberries, or a tang of passion fruit. White chocolate pales, literally.
When I came upon a white chocolate frosting recipe (see my butterfly ombre cake), I was dubious. I fully expected the same flat sugary paste. I made a point to buy real white chocolate, ivory and buttery in color. While I still felt the frosting was extremely sweet for my tastes, it ended up being a great piping frosting and tasted pretty good. It was kind of a breaking moment. White chocolate vindication in one frosting recipe.
But then I had leftover white chocolate.
I almost threw it out, my normal frugal sense with a momentary lapse. My hesitation caused a re-evaluation. My pasty chocolate got a second chance: truffles. I admit, I made these long before Christmas. I waited to post because they didn’t seen to fit anywhere else except a holiday sweets menu. Instead of the typical dark chocolate dribbles, I went for the steely black sesame and the rustic pistachios for coatings.
Just like the butterfly cake frosting, the truffles were better than I expected. Given a day, the cloying sweetness mellowed, and the amaretto a nice touch. This is a great project for kids to do with you. Happy Holidays!
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 7 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons amaretto
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped unsalted pistachios
- ¼ cup black sesame seeds
- Heat cream in bowl over double boiler, so that cream is heated through.
- Whisk in white chocolate to melt. Don't freak out if your mixture looks lumpy or like oatmeal. Keep whisking, fast!
- Add amaretto liqueur and vanilla extract. Whisk! Whisk!
- Cover and chill for about 1 hour (to firm up enough to handle without burning your hands).
- Use a small ice cream scoop or a spoon to aliquot about 2 teaspoons-worth of truffle, and place onto parchment paper. Place in fridge for 15 minutes. Roll into balls.
- Roll truffles into pistachios and/or black sesame. Also try finely chopped crystallized ginger, other nuts. I ended up with 17 truffles, though the original recipe said 20.
- I felt the truffles tasted too sweet when tasting them immediately after making them. After a chill in the fridge overnight, the amaretto flavor melded and the sweetness seemed to mellow.