In Times of Truffle
I know it's clichéd by now, but there really is something about chocolate that makes me feel better. Perhaps it's the theobromine, a mild stimulant related to caffeine; perhaps it's just the velvety richness. But if I'm feeling down, worn out, or stressed, a little bit of good dark chocolate works wonders.
Since September was an all-out wild and wacky month, with major upheavals (cleaning out and relocating) both at work and at home, it's no surprise that I've been feeling both worn out and stressed. And since I've been cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, using up what I can to avoid packing everything, I could see a chocolate remedy looming.
You see, tucked in the back of the cupboard has been the remains of a Scharffen Berger bittersweet bar -- just enough for a truffle recipe I've been eyeing for some time. With the other ingredients at hand and the time to devote to the project at last, I finally gave it a whirl today.
The truffle recipe in question came from The Millennium Cookbook and is, believe it or not, vegan, relying on soy milk instead of cream. And what really intrigued me about the recipe was the addition of Earl Grey tea, a combination I've only had once before.
So after lunch, I pulled out my saucepan and heated the soy milk before adding two bags of organic Earl Grey tea infused with lavender. Once the tea had "brewed," I whisked in the finely chopped dark chocolate until I had a thick, smooth chocolate paste. Two hours of refrigeration later, I scooped out spoonfuls and shaped them into soft, chocolatey orbs before chilling them again.
How remarkably easy! And how worth the effort: just one morsel made a luscious finish to dinner, a treat to heighten the senses and soothe the spirit.
Life can get pretty crazy at times, and this past month has been a prime example of that, with still more chaos, confusion, and hard work to come.
But that's okay. Really.
Just give me chocolate, and I'll be just fine.