The romantic gesture of homemade chocolates
We conducted an aphrodisiac foods survey a few years back and discovered that the one food most considered to be a romantic gift was a box of chocolates. I love the gesture but you know what would make that box of chocolate even more sweet? If you made it yourself! That’s why I’m sharing one of my favorite DIY recipes. It’s the recipe for my recipe for homemade dark chocolate truffles from my cookbook Romancing the Stove.
The recipe originated as my attempt to put a supremely aphrodisiac twist on the romantic gesture of a box of chocolate. The mere fact of receiving this gift may delight. But what if you layered the gift with ingredients that can light a fire in your loins?
Why dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate
All chocolate is considered aphrodisiac. (Learn more about the aphrodisiac history of chocolate.) But when you start to look at the potential reasons why chocolate has proven successful as a food of seduction, you start to see why dark chocolate is truly superior. Dark chocolate requires a higher percentage of cacao. (This is what a chocolate bar label is talking about when it lists 60% or 85% or whatever number. The number refers to the percentage of cacao used to make the chocolate.) In milk chocolate, the cacao is diluted with a greater percentage of milk and sugar. Yes, it still has some of the benefits of dark chocolate, but in drastically lower concentrations.
Now you might be wondering why that cacao is so important. Well, it’s the cacao that contains any and all of chocolate’s potential health benefits. And these potential benefits are many! Dark chocolate is linked with improving brain function, reducing inflammation and, in one study, showed signs that it can help raise good, or HDL cholesterol. Most importantly, from an aphrodisiac standpoint, it’s linked with improving blood flow, which has the potential to increase sexual pleasure and climax. So it’s really pretty easy to see why I chose to make my recipe for dark chocolate truffles rather than milk.
To add to the aphrodisiac potency–and because I enjoy the additional texture–I stuffed my homemade chocolate truffles with another ingredient known to benefit your sex life, dried fruit. It may seem like once a fruit is dried there’s nothing left but sugar. But after drying, fruits retain their original nutrition. And it comes much more densely packed. In fact, they’re recognized as a good source of antioxidants and fiber. You can’t say that for a store-bought truffle with a caramel center!
The simplicity of this dark chocolate truffles recipe
If you feel intimidated by the idea of making your own dark chocolate truffles, don’t! This recipe only takes four ingredients. That’s right–you only need four ingredients! And if you can roll dough into a ball, you can make beautiful truffles. Just don’t get wrapped up in trying to make each truffle into a perfect sphere. In fact, I think that they’re more endearing if they look a little less than perfect.
How to properly display your homemade chocolate truffles
Box your homemade chocolate truffles up in a red velvet box lined with a layer of parchment paper. (In order to work cleanly, use a gloved hand to arrange the truffles and keep the other hand free to handle the box.)
Or, if you aren’t feeling so ambitious as to create your own box of chocolates, just serve them on your favorite tray at the end of the meal so that you and your love can enjoy them together. The fact that you made the effort is almost guaranteed to bring your lover to their knees.
Still feeling intimidated? Check out Sally Horchow’s YouTube video of Amy demonstrating how easy it is to make these dark chocolate truffles.
This recipe from Amy Reiley's cookbook, Romancing the Stove, makes the perfect gift for someone you love. Box these easy, four-ingredient truffles, wrapped up with a velvet bow or just present them on your favorite plate. To ensure the truffles keep their shape, you may want to store them in the refrigerator.
- 3 oz premium dark chocolate*
- 1/3 cup half and half
- 2-3 tbsp your favorite dried fruit I recommend using blueberries and raspberries
- cocoa powder for dusting
- Grate chocolate or cut it into chip-sized pieces. (You can also use a premium chocolate chip.)
- Heat half and half over medium high heat to a near boil. (Don’t let it boil.)
- Remove pan from heat and whisk in the chocolate, stirring until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Cool in the refrigerator for about 3-4 hours (or overnight), until chocolate mixture has set.
- Using a teaspoon, scoop cooled chocolate and form a ball, pressing 1 or 2 pieces of fruit into the center. (Don’t waste your time trying to form your truffles into perfect spheres. A slightly uneven surface screams, “I rolled these chocolates with my own bare hands, expressly for your pleasure.”) If the truffles wont hold shape, refrigerate chocolate mixture for another hour.
- Cool the formed truffles in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes.
- Roll each truffle in cocoa powder. Truffles will be soft but if they are so soft that the cocoa is absorbed, store in the refrigerator.
- Truffles can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 5 days.
*Note: You can use any dark chocolate bar or bittersweet baking chocolate to make this recipe, but I recommend using a chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa (look for one that tells the percentage on the label).
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