Getting older is a strange, idiosyncratic process – things seem to change in ways that are completely unique to the individual, and often without warning or logic.
Over the past few years, my capacity to digest cream, milk, yoghurt and some soft cheeses has diminished. It’s not quite a dairy intolerance, as I’m fine with butter and hard cheeses, and it’s not a true lactose intolerance, because Lacteeze tablets make me as sick as a dog.
For anyone else with these limitations, this chocolate truffle recipe is a godsend.
It’s adapted (only very slightly) from an old French recipe in the brilliant Alice Medrich Bittersweet cookbook…
The truffles are made with egg yolks and butter rather than cream, and they were the perfect thing to make with the leftover yolks from our raspberry marshmallows…
- 300g Callebaut 811 (54% cacao) dark chocolate callets
- 150g Cacao Barry Tanzanie Origin Chocolate (75% cacao)*
- 150g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 large egg yolks (as fresh as possible), at room temperature
- 125g (½ cup) boiling water
- 55g (½ cup) Dutch-processed cocoa
*substitute a different 70-75% cacao dark chocolate if preferred.
1. In a heatproof bowl, either in the microwave or over a saucepan of boiling water, stir together the butter and chocolate until melted and smooth. If using the microwave, heat in 30 second bursts on high, stirring between each round until smooth.
2. Put a small saucepan with an inch or so of water on to simmer (if you haven’t already done so in step 1). Tip the yolks into a small stainless steel bowl or the top part of a double boiler and stir in the boiling water. Place the bowl over the simmering water and heat very gently, stirring constantly, until the eggy mixture reaches 71C. Be careful not to scramble the eggs!
3. Quickly pour the egg and water mixture through a sieve into the chocolate and butter. It helps to have a second pair of hands for this. Stir gently until completely combined and smooth.
4. Pour the chocolate mixture into a lined 20cm square tin or equivalent (I used my biscotti tin), smooth out the top, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours until firm.
5. Sift the cocoa into a small bowl. Remove the set truffle mix from the fridge and allow it to soften for 30 minutes (this helps reduce cracking), then turn it onto a clean board and carefully remove the paper liner.
6. With a long, thin-bladed knife, cut the block into small cubes – mine were about 2cm each. You can squish together any that crumble apart a bit…
7. Toss the cubes in the cocoa powder. Store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks, or freeze for up to three months.
These truffles are rich and decadent, with a very dark chocolatey flavour and velvety texture. Because they need to be stored in the fridge or freezer, they’re not quite as versatile for gift giving as our other chocolates, but they’re a wonderful treat to take to a dinner party. It’s recommended that you let them sit on the bench for about 20 minutes before serving, but I find them irresistible cold, straight out of the fridge.
So..is it just me, or have any of you had to exclude certain foods from your diet as you’ve gotten older?