Preggo Update: 37 weeks
We’re so close! The crib arrives this week, the car seat is strapped in, my hospital bag is packed except for my toothbrush, aaaand I’m freaking out.
I’m supremely excited to meet this wiggly baby girl who’s spent the last 8+ months growing inside my body (a fact which I still marvel at), and I’m terrified. Labor is one thing; bringing home a baby is another. I’ve done research, I’ve joined helpful Facebook groups, I have innumerable experienced and intelligent women in my life…and none of that can fully prepare us for actually being parents. It’s only so reassuring to know that the only way forward is through!
Speaking of, a quick note to let you know that I’ll be taking some maternity leave from the blog over the summer. It won’t be completely quiet, though: I plan to have a couple of posts scheduled, plus I hope to drop in a few baby updates. I also have some awesome guests bloggers who are helping me fill the gaps, so look out for appearances by Liz, Anne, and Ellen! If you haven’t already, use the email signup on the right to ensure you get every update.
Just for fun, leave a guess as to when Baby will be born! My official due date is May 19th. My brother and I were both born late, so I’ve been leaning that way, but a few people have looked at me recently and guessed that I’ll be early. I’ll come back after and let you know who won!
Dark Chocolate Mexican Truffles
In doing this dish, I’m combining two food holidays: National Truffle Day (today!) and Cinco de Mayo! Okay, Cinco de Mayo isn’t originally a food holiday, but who doesn’t associate the day with tacos, tequila, spicy chocolate? If you don’t think of spicy chocolate, then allow these gorgeously easy truffles to convince you.
This is a 5-ingredient recipe. It includes a very simple way to make dark chocolate ganache, yet produces a couple of dozen Pinterest-worthy dessert bites. They aren’t very spicy–in fact, you can hardly taste the spice at first, but it’s there in a delicious heat at the end. That said, if you or your guests aren’t into spicy chocolate, just remove the cinnamon and cayenne and you’ll be left with a straightforward, melty dark chocolate truffle. You know you want to.
The original instructions had you refrigerate the ganache until hard, then scoop out balls. This did not work for me at all. I experimented with a few things, and what worked best for me was letting the ganache rest at room temperature, scooping out chunks, and rolling them into balls. You could also try refrigerating the ganache for just an hour or two and then scooping. It doesn’t really matter as long as you’re happy with the result.
I used ordinary chocolate chips for this. If you want a more professional, shiny-crunchy coating to your truffles, you’ll need to dip them in tempered chocolate. This is somewhat more expensive, but will really up the wow factor if that’s what you’re looking for.
But! There are any number of ways to garnish these, thereby making them look three times as impressive without having to deal with tempered chocolate:
- Easiest: top with colored sugar or sprinkles.
- Fanciest: drizzle with white or milk chocolate.
- Daring-est: roll in cinnamon.
If you go this last route, be sure to warn your guests not to inhale as they bite, lest they inadvertently take the cinnamon challenge. It also ups the spice factor considerably, so try one before you make the whole batch like this!
Adapted from Cooking on the Weekends.
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (or finely chopped chocolate)
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Optional decoration: Red sugar, gold sprinkles, white or milk chocolate for drizzling, cinnamon
Set aside 6 oz of chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl with spices.
In a small saucepan, gently heat cream and vanilla until tiny bubbles appear around the edges.
Pour cream evenly over chocolate; let stand 4 minutes without stirring. Stir gently until incorporated. If it doesn't all melt after a minute, microwave the whole bowl in 10-second intervals. Allow to cool at room temperature until fairly solid.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop firm ganache into chunks and roll into 3/4-inch balls with your hands. If the ganache gets too squishy, put it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Refrigerate ganache balls for 30+ minutes.
Melt the remaining 6 ounces chocolate in the microwave (use 50% power and 30-second intervals) or in a double boiler. Dip ganache balls into melted chocolate and replace on baking sheet.
Allow truffles to mostly set (about 5 minutes in the fridge) before garnishing. Top with colored sugar or sprinkles, roll in cinnamon, or drizzle with melted white or milk chocolate.