So a few weeks (months?) ago, Maheen and I made a huge decision. I was going to quit my job and move with him to India. INDIA?? Yea. I know. Maheen’s been there for the past few months (since June) working on his research and though the world of Google (chats, voice, video, email.. you name it.. I’ve used it) has made the distance manageable… I’m not going to lie… It’s been hard. So I packed up all my stuff, kissed my KitchenAid goodbye, stroked my car and told her I’d be back soon, got on a plane and flew to a city half way around the world.
Now, I may have gotten my best friend back, but Lord knows I was scared. The first question I asked the hubster was, “Will I have an oven? What’s the flour situation? Um… and what about chocolate??” Just to be on the safe side, I packed a few essentials. Hah, let’s just say I brought maybe 4 outfits and a few pajamas because the rest of my suitcases were packed with things like all purpose flour, vanilla extract, and an 11 pound bar of Callebaut chocolate. Don’t judge. It’s all about priorities folks.
It’s been a little over two weeks since I arrived and I’m slowly settling in. There is indeed an oven in our kitchen, but the dial you use to set the temperature doesn’t have any numbers. Yea. But more on that in another post. A few days ago I was feeling homesick. I wanted something that would comfort me… something that would wrap me in a bear hug and kiss me on the forehead… then went with me to a karaoke bar with to belt out some embarrassing Taylor Swift or songs covered by Glee. In short, I wanted my sisters and friends.
That’s what these honey truffles mean to me. The dark chocolate reminds me of hot chocolate and dessert outings with friends. The warm sweetness of honey brings me back to when I was a kid and my dad would warm up spoonfuls with a touch of lemon and pepper whenever I had a sore throat. The smoothness of the ganache is all my sisters – smooth, rich, and multilayered in it’s flavors. Meant to be savored slowly like the conversations we would have that would last for hours. These truffles were a piece of home. And the fact that I could make them on the stove top didn’t hurt.
But before I could tackle these honey truffles, I had to find heavy cream. If this whole India adventure teaches me nothing else, I hope I learn to appreciate how good I normally have it. A carton of cream usually means a 5 minute walk to the local grocery story. India wanted to break me in. First I bought a batch of full whole milk, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and then skimmed the cream off the top. I managed to get a third of a cup. Yea… this is some serious milk folks. Next I tried to visit the local ‘dood wala’ (milk guy) to buy cream direct from the source. What I thought meant cream – ‘malai’ – apparently also means a dish where milk is boiled, the cream skimmed off, and then seared. Delicious, but not what I needed. Then, just as I was about to resign myself to buying a few gallons of milk just to skim off a cup of cream, I felt India opening it’s arms to me. I found a dairy company that sold cream in a carton – Amul dairy 🙂
So there you have it. I still feel bouts of homesickness, but me and India are becoming friends. Slowly and surely… we are getting along. Karaoke is more Hindi songs than the Top 40, and though we don’t go for long drive down the highway, there are still adventures on ‘rickshaws’. Who knows… in a few months (weeks?).. this may become home too. Until then, happy truffle making.
** I had some folks message me saying that the truffles were either too sweet or didn’t set well. I’ve since retried the recipe a few times and altered the quantities of cream and honey. It’s also best to use a honey that has a mild sweetness. I’ve found ones that are wild flower based or generic store brands where the honey is pretty much a thick sugar syrup, did not work with this recipe.
9 ounces dark chocolate chopped (It makes a world of difference to use a kitchen scale, but if you don’t have one, this is about 1.5 – 2 cups. I used 53% Callebaut)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup honey
4 ounces dark or milk chocolate chopped (to coat the truffles)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (for rolling)
pinch of salt
- Place 9 ounces of dark chocolate in a heat resistance bowl.
- In a sauce pan mix heavy cream, honey and salt. Heat over low flame until honey dissolves.
- Pour cream mixture into bowl of chocolate.
- Starting from the center working your way outwards, whisk cream and chocolate in small circles until all the chocolate is fully melted and you’ve got a gorgeous shiny ganache.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- Using either a melon baller, or teaspoon, scoop out ganache balls. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- If you want more uniform spheres, roll ganache balls between your two hands and freeze again for another 15 minutes. Otherwise, move onto the next step.
- In a double broiler start heating the 4 ounces of chocolate. Place unsweetened cocoa in a bowl close by.
- Remove ganache balls from the freezer. Using two fingers, spread a generous layer of melted chocolate on one palm. Roll ganache ball with both hands to coat with a thin layer of chocolate.
- Drop ball into cocoa powder and coat.
- Refrigerate for another hour then eat one or two (or ehm four) as a reward for all your hard work.