Truffles and biscotti

This is a happier, more gratifying Eid post.

This year, I decided to contribute to the overflow of sweet treats that is characteristic of Eid in Kuwait. To be honest, I just wanted to give my new mixer a whirl. I knew what I wanted to make. Something decadent and chocolatey, but very easy to serve and then a not-so-decadent but nutty biscuit or cookie. So of course I turned to Smitten Kitchen and started browsing.

I settled for SK’s version of Robert Linxe’s (La Maison du Chocolat) chocolate truffles and her almond biscotti (which I made about a year ago, and loved). I mainly picked these two recipes because the fridge was practically empty and I was too lazy to go shopping for ingredients. The biscotti, I recalled, was fairly straightforward and looked impressive. The truffles looked a little tricky but I thought, “how can something with three ingredients be tricky?” The answer is: BECAUSE IT CAN.

Ok so this recipe says you should boil the cream three times to make the ganache last longer and although I had my doubts about that, I boiled away. Then I made my first mistake. I added the hot cream to the chocolate, but the chocolate wasn’t chopped finely enough. I had little lumps of chocolate I couldn’t get rid of. I didn’t want to stir too vigorously and end up with bubbles, so of course I ended up with lumps. Humph.

I then let the ganache stand at room temperature for a little over two hours before I rolled it into little balls which I then froze for 15 minutes. I didn’t even attempt SK’s method of piping the ganache into little mounds using a pastry bag. Too much work!

Then I made the second mistake. I couldn’t boil 3 ounces of chocolate to dip the ganache in! I don’t know what was happening (I suspect it was the quality of the chocolate), but I scorched the chocolate and had to throw it out. I decided to use a double boiler and this time I managed to splash water into the chocolate. Frustrated, I gave up. I was just going to roll the truffles in toasted crushed almonds and hope they stick (which, thank goodness, they did!).

Despite the 'mistakes' these truffles were devoured.

The biscotti was much easier to make, even though I was out of vanilla extract (I have no idea how that happened) and oranges. I made a couple of substitutions that seemed to work: a little lemon zest and cardamom. My biscotti didn’t turn a perfect golden brown like SK’s, probably because I was getting tired and didn’t leave them in the oven long enough. Other than the color, they tasted great. Nutty, crunchy and not too sweet.

7 thoughts on “Truffles and biscotti

  1. Fatmah I don’t believe that you can make these awesome treats at home! very impressive! We just got a kitchen aid mixer as a wedding present and we haven’t used it yet–to be honest we are pretty intimidated by it. Your pics are pretty inspiring though so who knows..

    • Omg! Congratulations! Why did I not know you got married? *makes a mental note to check out Facebook*

      Ohhh fun, what color mixer? I’d say start out with the biscotti, so so easy to make and looks/tastes impressive. I made muffins the other day, will post pictures and recipe soon.

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