In just a few hours, I’ll be attending a culinary potluck to celebrate Mark Bitterman‘s new book Salted: A Manifest on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes.  As a guest, I will be contributing a recipe that showcases the importance of salt.  This task made me think of one of my favorite childhood fairy tales.

In the story, a father asks each one of his daughters how much they love him.  When the youngest daughter compares her love for her father to her love for salt, she is banished from the family.  I can’t exactly remember what happens next, but I’m sure there are countless bland dishes and recipes that follow and the father finally realizes just how much his daughter really loves him.

Moving on, when thinking about my contribution, for some reason, truffles came immediately to mind.  I took the basic recipe and decided to add a touch of vanilla and a kick from cayenne pepper.  Dusted with Himalayan Pink salt, these little round delights are as beautiful, decadent, and special, as they are delicious.  You might want to double the amount of cayenne pepper if you want them extra spicy.

Ingredients

1/3 cup heavy cream
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet, but feel free to use your favorite.  You can also buy a block of chocolate and cut it yourself into small pieces)
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Himalayan Pink salt as needed (mine came from Marx Foods)

Directions

1.  Bring heavy cream to a simmer in a small pot.

2.  Turn off the heat and whisk in chocolate and butter until completely incorporated.  If necessary, you might turn the heat on very low to help the chocolate and butter melt.  If you work quickly and carefully, you will be able to avoid using a double boiling method and save an extra bowl to clean.



3.  Off heat, stir in vanilla and cayenne pepper.  Pour the chocolate goodness into a shallow container, I’m using a large Pyrex dish.  Cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or until the chocolate sets.

4.  Once set, remove the chocolate from the refrigerator.  Line a baking sheet with parchment (I love parchment sheets that lay flat, rather than cutting a roll of parchment paper).  Using a scoop, drag the chocolate across, forming a tight ball, and release.  

Now, you can either let the truffles be (I call this roll and drop method), or you can roll and roll, where you roll the truffle in your hands, to achieve a more uniform shape.  My hands were too warm and as I tried to roll the truffles, they began to melt, so I let them be.  Let’s pretend I was going for the rustic look.  Once rolled, sprinkle the truffles with salt and put back in the refrigerator to set up.

Time to eat!  I can’t wait to hear what other fellow potluck gathers will think of these truffles.

You could also roll the truffles in cocoa, chopped nuts, powdered sugar, or melted chocolate.
What’s your favorite salt recipe?

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