Valentine's Day is known for many things. Youngsters associate the day with exchanging homemade valentines with their classmates, while couples look at the day as an annual opportunity to express their feelings for their partners, often over a nice dinner.
But no Valentine's Day is complete without sweets. On Valentine's Day, healthy eating often takes a backseat to indulging in various confections, as seemingly everyone finds a way to enjoy a special treat on February 14. Those who want to experience how Parisians might indulge their sweet tooths on Valentine's Day can try the following recipe for "Truffes au Chocolat" from Sarah Woodward's "The Food of France" (Kyle Books).
Truffes au Chocolat
Makes 20 to 24 truffles
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons super fine sugar
1 tablespoon Cointreau or Armagnac (optional) good quality cocoa powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Scant 1/2 pound dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa solids
Scald the cream with the sugar by just bringing to the boil and then removing from the heat immediately. Whisk in the chocolate piece by piece until you have a smooth emulsion. Allow to cool slightly then whisk in the butter, again in pieces, followed by the alcohol if you are using it. Chill the mixture in the freezer 20 minutes.
Now stir the mixture well and, using either two teaspoons if you are dexterous or your fingers if you don't mind getting messy, fashion the truffles into small balls. Place on parchment paper or foil on a baking sheet and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so. Roll well in the cocoa powder and leave in the refrigerator at least overnight before serving.