Cool weather has made a small appearance once or twice now and I can feel winter on its way. I don’t know what your personal preferences are, but I love Christmas and I love cold weather. I love big sweaters and blankets, cold bare feet in the mornings and soups. I love hats and gloves, scarves and everything that comes with the Christmas season…especially chocolate. Basically on any occasion I love chocolate, but Christmas has this clever way of making us think that we can eat more chocolate because it is available in a variety of forms. Hot chocolate, truffles, fudge, s’mores, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cookies, chocolate cakes, chocolate pies…really if you don’t eat the same dessert twice, you can’t be a pig right? You’re just trying out all of your options. These desserts are everywhere you turn. Especially as a college student. People always want to give you food – unhealthy food at that. It’s like they all think we are starving - which some of us are. Others of us though are trying to watch our figures. Anywho, I’m not complaining about the chocolate. As stated before, I love it.
I recently found this magnificent recipe. It’s great for two reasons. 1) It involves chocolate. 2) It includes two different types of chocolate to consume in one easy recipe.
It’s a recipe for hot chocolate truffle balls. Not only can you eat these delicious balls of gooey chocolate, you can also heat up a cup of milk and drop in a ball to make hot chocolate. One recipe makes about 9-10 balls, so I would recommend making a double recipe if you want these to last.
For the recipe you will need:
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (1 regular sized package)
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir together well and microwave for one minute. Remove the bowl and mix well. Continue doing this (four or five more times) until the mixture combines well and has a smooth texture. When I first started mixing, I thought that the chocolate would never come together but after it is heated through thoroughly, it becomes silky smooth!
After you have created the chocolate mixture, let it cool for about 10 minutes at room temperature. Then cover the bowl with saran wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least two to three hours (I left mine in overnight). The mixture should be firm. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of the mixture (about 2 T each scoop) and place them on a baking sheet a couple of inches apart. Place this into the refrigerator so the mounds can harden again, for about 15-20 minutes. Then, roll each mound into a ball and place it into a square of plastic wrap (about four inches by four inches). Cover the ball in the plastic wrap and put into the freezer. Do this with all of the remaining chocolate. You may have to keep the mounds in the fridge while you are rolling the balls so they don’t get too hot. I noticed that the mixture gets messy and sticky when it gets warm, so I tried to keep it as cold as possible and tried to keep my hands as clean as possible.
These chocolate mounds are ready to eat right out of the freezer, or to pop into a mug of milk for hot chocolate.
To make the hot chocolate: place a hot chocolate ball into a microwave safe mug. Fill with one cup of milk. Microwave for about two minutes. Stir well until completely dissolved.
I also love experimenting with different toppings on my hot chocolate.
Some great additions to hot chocolate are:
• Nutmeg and cinnamon
• Whipped cream
• Caramel sauce and salt
• Chili powder (really! It’s called Mexican Coco)
• Peppermint sticks
• Almond or peppermint extract
• Marshmallows (but of course)