1 December 2016

Last night's meeting - origami boxes - and chocolate truffles to put inside!

We had a lovely crafty time at Clifton WI last evening with guest speaker Judith Laing, who had set up a display of her jaw-droppingly intricate and lifelike origami sculptures and gave us a brief talk about how her hobby began a good many years ago, and more lately turned into a business when she was made redundant from her 'day job'. Since then she's travelled the world to give demonstrations and tuition, including an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii!

Judith then provided us with the materials and guided us in making our own simple origami objects - a Christmas tree, a six-pointed star and a little presentation box. She suggested the box could be filled with treats as a small gift, and lo! as if by magic brand new member Marianne Stewart, a professional pastry chef and cookery teacher, kindly gave the following recipe.

Chocolate truffles:
makes approx 50. 

300g double cream 
300g dark chocolate (ideally 60% cocoa)
1tsp honey or glucose 
optional flavouring: 1tb alcohol e.g. Brandy, Cointreau, Rum, 1/2 vanilla pod split in 2, zest of 1 orange

1. Chop the chocolate roughly & place in a heatproof bowl. Warm slightly in microwave (this helps prevent truffle mix from splitting) - it doesn't have to be completely melted.

2. Heat the cream and honey/glucose (and vanilla or orange zest if using) until boiling point. 

3. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. (Strain if you added vanilla or orange zest). Shake the bowl so the cream covers all the chocolate evenly and let it sit for 1 minute. 

4. Stir the mixture together gently using a balloon whisk until the chocolate and cream are evenly mixed. If adding alcohol, stir it in at the end. 

5. Tap the bowl to release any air bubbles and cover the surface with cling film. Let cool then chill in the fridge until firm (around 1 hour).

6. Use a teaspoon or melon baller to scoop out large teaspoons of the mix and roll into balls before dusting with cocoa powder. Or melt a little dark chocolate and using food gloves roll each truffle with the dark chocolate to coat. Let set on baking parchment. 

7. Truffles should keep in a cool dark place for up to 2 weeks. Can also be refrigerated but check they are in a well sealed container so they don't absorb other flavours.