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“All you need is love do-do-do-do-doooo…”
Yes, I’m serenading you with a Beatles tune as I write this column. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Awww the day of expressing one’s love.
Oh, you forgot? You’re kindly welcome for the reminder. Stick around, I have the best homemade Valentine’s Day gift idea for you.
Before we get to that, have you ever wondered where this day of love originated? According to Wikipedia, it’s also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine. The site says it originated as a Western Christian feast day honouring early saints named Valentinus. It also talks about how it made the connection with romantic love by an English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, in the 14th century.
That’s when the tradition of courtly love flourished. It wasn’t until the 18th century England that it evolved with offerings of flowers, confectionery and greeting cards.
Valentine’s Day brings mixed feelings. It’s become widely commercialized coupled by the pressure of buying elaborate gifts and spending way too much money.
“Forgive me, chocolate, for I have sinned. I have not had my daily confection.” – Paul Verano
I mean, seriously, for the love of love, a Hallmark card can run you $10 bucks. Over the top? Ummm … yes.
That’s why I prefer making my own cards and chocolate treats. Nothing says I love you more than the thoughtfulness of a homemade gift.
For the single folk, I’m not forgetting about you. There’s nothing wrong with making yourself a little treat, either.
“Me + chocolate = forever together” – Unknown
Truffles are the perfect gift. They’re simple, delectable, bite sized and can be decorated with love.
Moreover, no baking involved. Oh, I know how to win over your heart.
Google truffle recipes, there’s an abundance; white chocolate, lemon, white chocolate orange, peppermint chocolate, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahula-flavored, raspberry chocolate truffles and much more.
The recipes are simple. It’s the rolling and decorating that takes a bit of time.
Your next step, put the mixture into the fridge to set. The recipe said one hour, I left it for about two.
Once melted and blended together, pour the truffle mixture into a bowl. I poured mine into four separate bowls as I wanted to make a variety of flavors from one batch. For two of the four bowls, I added sliced almonds for a bit of crunch in one and chopped up dried cranberry to for a chewy texture in the other.I made the classic recipe. Two ingredients: four cups of chocolate chips and one and a half cups of cream. Put both into a pot on a low to medium heat. Don’t be a hero in the kitchen and turn it up to melt it faster. It will burn, turn to a solid glob and your heart will break.
While your truffle mixture is setting in the fridge, organize your toppings. When your mixture is ready, take a spoon or melon baller and scoop your truffle and roll it in your hands to form a little round ball.
Then roll the truffles in your topping of choice. I rolled the original mixture in cocoa powder, dark cocoa powder and Valentine’s Day themed sprinkles. The mixture with sliced almonds, I decided to roll that in coconut. I decided to stick with a coating of cranberry for the cranberry mixture.
You might ask yourself, why go through all that trouble when I can buy them? Put your listening ears on ’cause I’ve got a few things to say that might persuade you to the land of truffles.
“All you need is love… but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schultz
No. 1: Making truffles is certainly more cost efficient. No. 2: You can make all of your favourite flavors and toppings. No. 3: You can make it a Valentine truffle making date night. No. 4: Get the kids involved to surprise mom or dad. No. 5: Homemade is pure love. Become the truffle king or queen and surprise your loved one with a box of homemade truffles.
Happy day of love to you all.
Side note, my willpower is nil. There’s no way these truffles are making it to Valentine’s Day. I’m already down three. Yum!
Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mont Pearl. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter @ErinSulley Instagram @erinsulley