Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chocolate Valentines, Some are Spicy and Some are Sweet!

When Kate of Serendipity contacted me about a special Valentine Post she was organizing I immediately agreed to join. She offered to send chocolate, but since I had just taken delivery of 30 pounds of Belgium chocolate I declined her offer, (Something I regret to this day) but agreed to post. I knew I would make truffles, but what flavors? My dilemma was this, I have a sweet Valentine,
who is kind, gentle and thoughtful. He loves playing with fire,  eating spicy food and always has a smile on his face.
My Spicy Valentine,
who spins a mile a minute, bites off more than she can possibly chew, and somehow manages get it done. She is quick to cut, has no patience and laughs until everyone is forced to laugh with her. 
But they are both chocolate lovers. What to do? Make a spicy chocolate truffle for the sweet one.....
and a sweet chocolate truffle for the spicy one.
To make my spicy truffle I used Lindt Chili Dark Chocolate to prepare the ganache. I then enrobed it in dark Belgium Chocolate. Sprinkle with red peppercorns it was a delight for the senses.
My sweet truffles were made with dark Belgium chocolate with Cardamom and Grand Marnier.  They had a hint of orange which worked well with the Cardamom. I have a confession, I once read Kate's blog that cardamom and orange were made for one another. I agree, it's a match made in heaven.
Both my Valentines were thrilled. Neither wanted the other person's truffles. Which is a switch from 10 years ago! 
This Special Valentine Blog was Hosted by Kate @ Serendipity. Click on Kate's web site and see all the Chocolate Valentine's created today!
Kate I made an Orange Cardamom for you! 
Happy Valentine's Day Dear Friend!
Basic Ganache Recipe

12 ounces, best quality chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon liquor

Melt chocolate in a microwave, stirring every 15 seconds, being careful not to burn it. Cool to 90 degrees F.
Bring the milk, cream and corn syrup to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool to 90 degrees F.
Once cooled stir the cream into the chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the liquor.
Place in a food processor and  process about 30 seconds until smooth.
Spread on a plastic covered sheet pan and cool to 75 degrees. 
Once cooled you can pipe them out onto a parchment covered sheet pan, or using a melon ball tool, form them into balls. If you are hand rolling them, use disposable gloves. It's much easier. 
Chill the balls slightly, and then dip the truffles in melted chocolate. Temper it if you dare!
You can add any number of spices or liquors to this recipe and you will have a wonderful creamy ganache. Many recipes suggest putting your chocolate in the food processor and pouring boiling cream over it to make the ganache, but this method makes a creamier and longer lasting ganache. 
All Text and photos are property of The Gypsy Chef 


  1. Love your spicy/sweet combos for your sweet/spicy Valentines!

  2. what an awesome way to use that chocolate! pairing it with a spicy variety is a great idea--those'd be my favorite. :)

  3. Fantastic recipe, and wonderful story, too. Love the chili chocolate - great minds think alike! :) Oddly enough, though, I think I'm most tempted by the sweet truffles. I love cardamom and orange, too!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog... =)

  4. Wow. I need those spicy truffles. Need them.

  5. Sweet and spicy! Special chocolate treats for special valentines. Truffles are wonderful..yours look delightful.

  6. Great chocolate recipe... I love the pepper on top!!!

  7. How sweet!--Love this post and love the photos--your children are beautiful!

    Happy Valentine's day, Pam! Hope someone's got some chocolate for you too!

  8. The kids and the truffles are heartbreakers:) Your son is hysterical:) I can see some of my little grandsons with this personality later..:) DD? Beautiful:) She has your smile I find~

    And the truffles are splendid.!

  9. What a fun post to read!!!I bet they are so spoiled by your deeeeelicious cooking!! Im sending you an email right NOW!!

  10. oh what a cute post! 30 pounds? you are my kinda fun! how fun to double our pleasure too~ oh your flavor combos are fantastic, and so pretty too~ i am envious and wish i made some cute little tasty morsels like these, but THERE IS ALWAYS TOMORROW! beautiful family and treats, hope you had a great day!

  11. Great idea to make a sweet and a spicy version and well, you should have had the chocolate Kate send because it was just tooooo good! But I love what you have done with your chocolate!

  12. Orange Cardamom Truffles! Swoon... What a great idea! I never would have thought of making those. Cardamom, sure. But I wouldn't have thought of adding the orange to it...

    I love the spicy ones too. We always add a little pepper to chocolate. It's another great pairing, IMHO. Your truffles are so pretty! Mine are always a little grungy looking. You made the ganache the way Christophe does. That's how I make it too. Guess where I learned it?

    I love these photos--the kids and the truffles. Thanks for posting them!

  13. Your truffles look AMAZING! I love the toppings you added and the spicy flavors inside. I just made truffles, but they are not as complex as yours. I'll do that next time :).

  14. What a delightful post!The truffles really blew me away!I haven't tried this one yet, but Im rarin' to give it a shot!I saw your site from the foodieblogroll and if you won't mind, I'd love to guide foodista readers to your site.Just add a Foodista widget here at the end of this blog post and it's ready to go.Thanks!

  15. LOVE the idea of spicy truffles. I tried to make truffles once, but the cold ganache ended up all over my hands and looked nowhere near as perfect as your creations.

  16. What a delightful post, the sweet and spicy truffles look delicious, I have to try those spicy ones, happy Thursday, Kathy.

  17. Barbara, Thanks, it was lots of fun.

    Grace, The spicy ones were a real hit!

    Nightowlchef, you will just have tp have both! Why choose?

    Bob, There's one here with your name on it.

    Thanks Kate, I love truffles. I have a weakness you might say.

    LPR Thanks!

    Hungrydog, Thanks, they are a handful.
    No chocolate, but I disd get a plant.

    Nana. Thanks. If your grandson has the same personality you will always be entertained. This kid is a scream!

    figtree, I can't wait to hear what your going to so and where your going to go!

    Once in a blue moon, Taking delivery of more chocolate! Can't keep itin the house. Love to share the fun with you!

    Junglefrog, you are right.......I'll regret it to my dying day!

    Kate, where did you learn it? Christophe? I am dtying to know.

    Memoria, Thanks for visiting. If you temper the chocolate they last longer and you don't get the bloom. But let's face it, no matter how you prepare them choclate and truffles are wonderful.

    Alisa, Thanks for the visit.

    Jerseycook, use disposible gloves. It really makes a difference. Thanks for stopping by!

    Kathy, Thanks, and thanks for dropping by.

  18. Those Valentines day treats are adorable!

  19. How lovely it was to celebrate such festival with your kids! How old are they? Your son is so gorgeous and your girl is just soooo sweet & pretty like an Angel. She must be very happy to know what I wrote here! haha.... Btw, those chocolates look really inviting. Happy Belated Valentine's Day to you!
    Cheers, Kristy

  20. Chocolate shavings, Thanks, they were tasty too!

    Kristi, Thanks for coming be. My daughter loved your comment, she's still preening. You must have a daughter too.

  21. Pam, I'm literally swooning over your truffles. All of them look delightful; I'll take a few of each, I think. Do I sound too greedy?

  22. Awww, what a sweet (and spicy) post! Your children are awesome. You're awesome. The chocolates are exquisite!

  23. Pam, your two sweethearts are delightful! What beautiful young people...they look like they're lots of fun to be around. ♥ the laughter in their eyes & their great smiles!
    The chocolate treats look just as enticing. I don't think I've ever tasted cardamom and orange before. Adding it to my bucket list. LOL

  24. I knew you'd make something great with chocolate for Valentine's Day. These look fantastic!