A little bit of chocolate can make any Valentine's Day that much more enjoyable - and on Thursday, some area residents got a lesson on how to make their own treats.
Tabatha Brennan and Tracy Carangelo of stopped by the with several pounds of chocolate and other ingredients needed to make several types of truffles.
In fact, for such a legendary treat, it seems surprisingly easy to make a basic truffle. Running the demonstration, Brennan melted a couple of pounds of bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler, which uses steam heat to melt the chocolate, protecting against burning. She later whisked a softened pound of cream cheese into the melted chocolate, advising the group that if the melted concoction, a ganache, thickens too much, a couple of splashes ( 1/8 cup or so) of half and half will help restore the proper shinier and thinner texture.
Another tip Brennan offered was to use good chocolate - less expensive brands, such as the discs and drops that can be found at various shops, reportedly tend to have higher fat content and are therefore more likely to separate later.
While Brennan started the demonstration by melting the ingredients for the truffles, she also brought a pan of chocolate made the night before. This is because a good-sized batch of truffle filling will need to set overnight - although enough filling for a small batch can apparently set in as little as 5 hours.
From there, as the attached video shows, Brennan and a couple of volunteers from the audience rolled the balled up truffle filling in crushed Oreos and other coatings, before passing out the creations to fellow group members.
And therein lies the beauty of making these things - You can start with this basic filling recipe and then make any flavor, or combination of flavors, you can conceive. For example, some flavoring oil, such as orange or mint - or perhaps even something a bit more strongly flavored - can go into the truffle filling. The only caveat is that too much liquid will undermine the consistency of the truffles. The truffles can be made of white chocolate as well for example, and can be rolled in confectioners sugar, toasted coconut, nuts, sugar, among just a few examples.