Monday, August 15, 2011

Lavender Truffles



I love dark chocolate. Always have, always will.

I love lavender. Always have, always will.

But only recently have I begun to consume lavender. 

To make up for 33 years of lost time, I'm now sneaking the aromatic herb into everything I can.

So when I signed up to be part of the Secret Recipe Club (find out more about it here),  received my blog assignment for August, and saw that my assignee had a Lavender Truffle recipe, you can understand why an audible gasp escaped me.

If you're imagining biting into a truffle and emerging with lavender blooms wedged between your front teeth, let me calm your fears.  With this recipe you will simply steep the culinary lavender in the simmering heavy cream.  Then you'll strain out the blooms and proceed with the recipe.  Brilliant!  

My Secret Recipe Blog assignment is The Novice Housewife.  Shumaila, the blog's author, modified the recipe a bit from Helene over at Tartlette.  (Helene, by the way, is my photography and food styling heroine.  She's the author of my nightstand's current tenant, "Plate to Pixel.")

I slightly modified the recipe from what Shumaila posted...she substituted part of the cream with hazelnut coffee creamer. I used a full 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream, thus taking the recipe back to the original from Helene.

So, without further ado...

Here's what you'll need:

Dark chocolate, heavy cream, culinary lavender, and cocoa powder for rolling.

Place the cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Add in the lavender.

Hold on to the counter.  
Your knees may weaken from the glorious scent rising from the pot.
Remove pan from heat and let mixture stand for about 30 minutes.  
The longer is sits, the stronger the lavender flavor will be.

Strain out the lavender. 

Return the lavender-infused cream to the saucepan.  
Toss in the chopped chocolate.  
Let it soften for a few moments.

Then stir.  
Congratulations!  You just made ganache.
(A pretty French word for a smooth mixture of chocolate and heavy cream.)

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until firm (for at least 2 hours*).

When you're ready to roll the truffles, 
use a melon baller or a teaspoon to scoop out the chocolate. 

Roll it in the palm of your hand.  

Don't feel pressured make them all perfect.  
Imperfection is part of the "artisan" appeal! :)

Return the truffles to the fridge for several hours or overnight.  
(This is an important step...don't skip it!)

Then roll the truffles in cocoa powder. 

Hello, little lovers. 

Lavender Truffles
Yields 30 to 35 truffles

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon culinary lavender buds
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
cocoa powder for rolling

In a small heavy saucepan placed over low heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Add the lavender.

Remove saucepan from heat and let stand 30 minutes. 

Strain out the lavender, return the cream to the pan, and bring it back to a simmer. Once it's hot, turn off the heat.  Add the chocolate and let it sit in the cream for a couple of minutes.  Stir until the ganache (a pretty French word for a smooth mixture of chocolate and heavy cream) is completely smooth. 

Let ganache cool to room temperature then refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. 

With a spoon or a melon baller, scoop out balls of ganache, roll them in between your palms fairly quickly and set them on a baking sheet. Refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours. Roll truffles in the cocoa powder and keep refrigerated until ready to use. 

*If you let the truffle mixture sit overnight in the fridge,like I did, you'll need to let it set out at room temperature for 15 minutes or so before it's "workable".  Of course, the amount of time all depends on the size of the bowl that you stored it in, the temperature of your kitchen, etc. 

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32 comments:

Megan's Cookin' said...

Your truffles look perfect! I recently did a Foodbuzz post about everything lavender including a complete meal and some lavender truffles. Luv the lavender! Great pick for the SRC.

Abby said...

The look so good! I would love to try cooking with lavender. Is it hard to find?

Ginny said...

@ Megan - Thanks for the comment. I'll have to check out your Foodbuzz piece!

@Abby - This recipe is very simple, and no, the culinary lavender is not too hard to find. Williams Sonoma definitely carries it, but I have even seen it at health food stores in the specialty section of some supermarkets.

Thanks for taking the time to comment!
Ginny

Lisa~~ said...

Beautiful and lavender in them sounds wonderful.

If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Cilantro Lime Chicken

Lisa~~
Cook Lisa Cook

Michael Ann said...

These look amazing. Two of my favorite things, although I have never cooked with Lavender plant. I have a Lavender plant in my front yard. I guess that is not culinary huh? I really want to make these!

Foodiva said...

Your imperfect truffles look really perfect to me. I love both chocolate and lavender so this combination of flavors must taste so heavenly!

Ali said...

How beautiful! The combination of chocolate and lavender sounds fantastic.

I have made a strawberry and a raspberry jam and put lavender in them and it was sooo tasty. I'll have to see if I ever posted those recipes on my blog. I just rehydrated the dried lavender a bit before adding it to the freezer jam. I also used a bit of honey in the jam as well.

Lavender is a really lovely addition to sweets.

Ginny said...

@Michael Ann: Is the lavender plant in your yard blooming? If so (and if it hasn't been sprayed with chemicals), you've got yourself some FREE culinary lavender! Just cut some blooms, let them dry out and you'll be ready to go. In fact, you could probably use them fresh in this recipe.

@Foodiva: thanks! They tasted pretty perfect...my rule is "wonky is wonderful" for anything that should be uniform. The pressure chokes me up. :)

@Ali: You jam recipes sound incredible!!

Caneel said...

Ohh ... I want some. A lot, actually. :) Yum. These look divine! And, in yet another coincidence, my friend - I'm also reading Plate to Pixel right now. Started last weekend, lol! LOVING it!

Gloria said...

Look amazig! gloria

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

These truffles look awesome. I was assigned Shumaila's blog a while ago, and I distinctly remember seeing these. Can't find lavender here though :(

Lauren said...

Your truffles look very professional. I can't imagine what the lavender tastes like, but I bet it smells amazing paired with the rich chocolate taste. :) What an interesting treat!

Shumaila said...

Oh you bought some delicious memories. Thank you! I think I am going to make them again now! Great work on those truffles. They look really tempting and am glad you liked them as well!

Tami said...

Such a decadent treat! I can't say that I've ever eaten anything with lavender in it. By the looks of it, I'm missing out on something big time!

Trish - Sweetology101 said...

Oh my gosh this is amazing! I have never seen anything like this..I pinned it for future reference! I host a weekly link up called, Tea Party Tuesday -- this would be great for TEA so feel free to link up!

Ginny said...

Thanks for the lovely comments, everyone! I wish I could mail each of you a dozen of the treats...they are the perfect gift to share.

Trisha said...

I've always wanted to try making something like this. And now I will, soon! Great job!

Sara said...

These truffles look fantastic...yummy! :)

Shelby said...

I have yet to use lavender in my food. Truffles would be a great way to start!

Veronica said...

How perfectly lovely! I've heard of lavender in sugar cookies, but this is an even better idea. So pretty, too.

Jo said...

These look wonderful! I am going to have to give them a try myself, maybe this weekend!

Barbara | Creative Culinary said...

Your first three lines? That was me too! Once I tried lavender in a drink, on a pizza and in shortbread I was totally hooked! I'll bet these are wonderful and maybe it's time I tried lavender with chocolate!

themommybowl.com said...

I have to admit, eating lavender scares me. But, your truffles are beautiful!

Vivian - Let's Try These... said...

I picked up some lavender the other day and now I have something to use it with! Truffles are so fun and easy to make. Never thought of making them with lavender though, but now its on my to do list

Anonymous said...

Ths looks delish!!! Please come share this recipe at my Recipe Swap at http://homeandpantry.blogspot.com/2011/08/healthy-salmon-cakes-with-greek-salad.html

Something Swanky said...

What a great recipe! I would have never thought to use lavender! Great photos too! I'd love for you to share this at my Sweet Treats Party this weekend!

I'm stumbling this post as well as liking you on Facebook. And I'm your newest GFC follower-- I'd love a follow back when you get a second!

Ashton
http://www.somethingswanky.com
{Sweet Treats Thursday} Thu-Sun

ButterYum said...

Ooooh... how fabulously French!

:)
ButterYum

TeaLady said...

I've made lavendar scones and lavendar sugar, but would never have thought of making lavendar truffles. I know my BBF would love these. Well, me too,

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

It just sounds delicious! Love the idea of this club... I think I am waiting my 60 days before I can join, but one day soon!

Noelle said...

These look so great! SOunds like you enjoyed making them!

Ali said...

Thank you so much for sharing this at Recipe Sharing Monday. The new party is now up and I'd love for you to link up again :)

Jennifer Sikora said...

These look really delicious. Thanks for sharing

Jennifer
www.jennifersikora.com