Truffles & Twitter are now indelibly linked in my mind.
I have been mulling over whether to join Twitter for awhile, even though, quite some time ago, I disparaged it as being like watching a car crash. (Curiousity for the sake of curiousity, voyeurism, nothing gained.) I am still ambivalent about Twitter. There are good and interesting (according to me) Twitterers out there but I’m not sure I’m going to be one of them.
I wondered if Twitter would make me write more often. Or if, like Facebook, it would just be another distraction, into which my time could disappear for hours and I emerge from the other side having done no more than read a whole lot of updates, taken a lot of quizzes, rummaged through a lot of photos – some of people whose lives I care about and some just from idle curiousity – and made snarky comments on my nieces’ and nephews’ lives. Inevitably, when I had finished, I would be too exhausted to write anything of my own.
I do like that Facebook allows me to have light-hearted exchanges with friends and families. I can’t send an email to my niece saying, “Like your life plans, kid. Good luck.” Emails need to be a bit more substantial than that. I would have to demonstrate I recalled our last interaction and what was happening with her life. I would have to compose a brief but interesting catalogue of what was happening with mine. Instead, Facebook allows me to feel that I can just hang out, instead of having to craft a more meaningful, quality correspondence. Hanging out is equally important quality time to relationships.
Currently, I sit in one corner of the living room drafting this post and my partner sits in another playing a computer game with lots of bells and whistles (I’m serious). It’s a pleasant way to pass the time. I cannot do this with a lot of people because I’m on the other side of the world and awake, while they are asleep. But I can look at the photos of their holiday last week and comment with, “Hey, looks like you had a lovely time. X”. Or take the same quiz. Or just feel a part of their life by checking out their Facebook profile page, even though I do nothing to let them know I just spent an hour reading through past updates and wall posts.
I’ve stopped playing Scrabble via Facebook, partly because the hoo-ha about it meant that it disappeared from my profile and partly because weeks and weeks would go by and I would not play a move. It just became another thing I had a vague sense of guilt about, so I let it slide. I had a real-time, actual, tiles and paper-dictionary game of Scrabble recently and it was lovely. I lost (my opponent was my partner. Still have not won. I’ll get you next time, [partner], next time. <insert somewhat unhinged cackle>)
The timing of joining up to Twitter coincided with me making chocolate truffles for the first time. Unsurprisingly, I tweeted about truffles. And now, I’ll post a recipe. They are so ridiculously easy and great to experiment with, though I only made one type of chocolate truffle. There will be more.
Truffle Recipe, from The Australian Women’s Weekly Cook: How to Cook Absolutely Everything.
What you Need
- Chocolate: blocks of cooking chocolate of any description, white, milk or dark work fine. Quantity is approximately 200 – 250 gms.
- Cream: I used single cream and about 1/3 cup
- Flavouring: I used two tablespoons of coffee liqueur. You can also use about that amount of any kind of flavouring that takes your fancy: citrus (rind and juice); ginger (glace or stem ginger in syrup); nuts … oh, the list is endless! You can even use no flavouring. Crazy.
- Cocoa powder – dusting your finished product with. You could also use icing sugar (but why?) or chopped nuts.
- A big heat-proof bowl
- A refridgerator
What to Do
- Break the chocolate into chunks, or if you’re feeling energetic, grate the chocolate into a big bowl.
- Pour cream onto broken up / grated chocolate.
- Set bowl over a saucepan of water and melt cream and chocolate together until you have a smooth paste.
- Let cool a wee bit and then add your flavouring.
- Mix well.
- Put into the fridge and do something else for at least three hours or even, overnight.
- Take out from the fridge and let mixture come to room temperature (ish. This does not have to be very precise).
- Place cocoa powder into a bowl and plunge your hands into the powder, covering your palms fully with cocoa powder. You need nice, cold hands. You could run your hands under cold tap water and then dry – very well – before doing this. Or you could, like me, go stand outside holding your hands up and letting the ambient temperature make your hands icy cold. Not recommended for tropical and temperate climes.
- Using a teaspoon, scoop out some of the chocolate mixture and roll into little balls.
- Roll the balls in cocoa powder (or icing sugar or chopped nuts etc)
- Place on some greaseproof paper.
- Continue rolling mixture into little balls, and rolling balls in cocoa powder (or etc) until all the mixture is used up.
- Stick the cocoa dusted balls into the fridge until you are ready to eat them (but wait at least 15 minutes so they can harden a bit).
- Stare at your chocolate covered hands, but, unless you like the taste of bitter unsweetened cocoa powder, resist the urge to lick them. Just run your hands under warm water to clean.
- I don’t know how long the truffles will keep. Recipe book says two days; some online sources say a month. People will eat them before they go off. A small child started crying when his mother would not allow him to have another at the barbecue I attended and to which my contribution was the truffles. Pride contended with guilt over small child’s reaction. Pride won out.