Need a special something for that special someone on a special budget? Let Bwog’s chocolatier extraordinaire Matt Powell show you how to make sweets for your sweetheart!
We’re approaching that dreaded time of the year. It’s the most stressful time for a boyfriend— treating him/her to something special and out-of-the-ordinary, and of course finding the perfect gift that says everything.
You can always get flowers. Flowers say, “I forgot that it’s February 14th, so I ran to Academy Floral and picked these up for you… and by the way, I love you.” Cue the cheesy smile.
Or you can get chocolate (“budget”= not both), because who doesn’t love chocolate? In my experience, it is always the best bet. Here are three of best chocolatey ways to say “I love you,” or at least, “I like like you, like, like like you.”
(Makes 20-25 truffles)
- 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 C of heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. of your favorite liqueur (Grand Marnier, Amaretto, Kahlua, Crème de Cassis)
- ¼ C cocoa powder
Image from Wikimedia Commons
- Place the chocolate in a small metal bowl. Warm the cream and sugar to just under a boil on the stove over medium heat. (Do not bring the cream to a boil!) Once the cream is hot, pour it into the chocolate.
- Add the butter into the chocolate-cream and stir with a fork or whisk until it becomes completely smooth. There should be no clumps or solids. The ganache will be satiny and thick. Add in the liqueur and stir until combined.
- Place in the fridge and allow to harden completely (2-3 hours).
- Take ganache out of the fridge and scoop it into little chocolate balls with a teaspoon. Roll the chocolate balls in cocoa powder.
- If you are not going to eat them right away, store in the fridge. You can also top the truffles with a dash of cinnamon, a sprinkle of cayenne, cocoa nibs, a touch of high-quality salt… you name it!
Chocolate Lava Cakes
A New York favorite, this dessert is sure to impress.
- 1 oz. semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- ½ tbsp. Amaretto
- 1 ½ tbsp. heavy cream
- 4 tbsp. butter, plus more for ramekins
- 1/8 C flour, plus more for ramekins
- 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate
- ¼ C sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- A dash of salt
- 1 egg and 1 yolk
- Garnish: Confectioner’s Sugar
- Heat the semisweet chocolate, Amaretto, and cream in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir with a fork every 30 seconds. Once the mixture is smooth, it is finished. (It’ll probably take a total of 1-1 ½ minutes.) Place the chocolate mixture in the fridge and allow to harden. Once it’s chilled, scoop the mixture into two balls. Place the chocolate balls (these are actually elementary truffles) into the fridge to chill more.
- Butter and flour two 8-inch ramekins. Heat the butter and bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar, vanilla, salt, egg, and yolk. Beat until thick and pale (3 minutes). Beat in the melted chocolate. Mix in the flour until smooth.
- Pour half of the chocolate batter into the bottoms of the two ramekins. Place one chocolate truffle in the center of each ramekin. Pour the remaining batter over the truffles in the ramekins.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Allow to cool 2 minutes. To serve, run a paring knife along the edge of the ramekins and flip the cakes onto dessert plates. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. (And you can serve it with the next dessert!)
White Chocolate Rose Sorbet
(Makes about 2 ½ cups)
- 1 ½ C whole milk
- 2/3 C water
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. rosewater
- 8 oz. white chocolate, roughly chopped
- In a saucepan, bring the milk, water, sugar, vanilla, and rosewater to just under a boil, stirring. Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a medium metal bowl. Place the medium metal bowl in an ice bath and stir the mixture until it’s cool.
- Process the white chocolate mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions (usually 20-25 minutes). Place in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it!