Valentine’s Day is here, and you’ve decided to opt-out of corporate conglomerate drugstores and their overpriced, crappy chocolate in tacky, throwaway, “heart”-shaped packaging. Maybe you’ll take the high road and eschew this questionable product, instead splurging on your someone special by taking them out for a Beyonce-themed meal, but this is Brokelyn, and you don’t have that kind of money–well, that, and maybe you’re not dating anyone, anyway, because decent Brooklyn dudes make themselves scarce and BK ladies are overly picky, so you’ll likely still just unceremoniously stuff your face on all that bullshit chocolate anyway when it goes on sale after all of this forced fanfare is over.
But friends, readers, boroughmen, fear not! There is a third way that comes from your real, still-beating, heart and your tiny, underutilized kitchen: DIY chocolate truffles. While not quite as cheap as an entirely free Valentine’s Day, the bang for your buck for these baller balls cannot be beat, and you can totally serve them in your own, anatomically-correct heart to boot–as in a paper-mâché one you make, not that aforementioned, pulsing hunk of muscle in your chest: you still need that one!
To start on your truffles, you’ll need two bags of chocolate chips, one small carton of heavy cream, one stick of butter, one egg and confectioners sugar. If you want to make your truffles fancy, you can also grab vanilla and lavender essential oil. The good news is you probably have a lot of these ingredients already, but even if you don’t, your non-fancy truffle ingredients will run you under $15 if you need to buy all of them.
So, you’ll need to measure these things out of course. Because I live in Brooklyn, I have approximately 1×10^9 Ball jars sitting around my kitchen. Conveniently, they’re cheap and come with gradations on the side–great for making approximations. This isn’t an exact science, so approximations are just hunky-dory.
Okay, great! Now we’re gonna improvise a double boiler because you’re too poor for a real one. So am I. Get yourself a pot and put a couple of inches of water in it.
Now we’re gonna float a metal bowl in our water. The idea here is that whatever we put in the bowl-boat won’t get any hotter than boiling water, which, while hot, is much, much cooler than that flame you see underneath this setup; this will help us to not burn the chocolate. Also, once your bowl is floating in the water, feel free to dump all your vaguely measured ingredients in, like so:
Once you’ve done that, whisk it–whisk it good! If things go slightly wrong and the boiling lake your shiny chocolate yacht is floating on overflows, feel free to pour some of that water off: it clearly wants to escape, and this jailbreak H2O will cause far less mischief in your sink that it will on your stove. Live and let live, man, and flame on. Keep whisking until the heterogeneous ingredient pig pile blends into a homogeneous, super smooth, melted chocolate-looking slurry:
Feel free to grab the hot parts, e.g. bowl, (use an oven mitt, it’s hot!) to stop those toasty bits from spinning ’round/wandering from their post. Once thoroughly blended, you can throw this delicious mixture in the freezer to cool. As an optional intermediate step, you can separate this mixture into a few Tupperware containers or jars and add a few drops of flavoring, e.g. the aforementioned vanilla and lavender. Once cooled, scoop the chocolate out and roll it into 3/4″ spheres with your hands. The exact diameter isn’t important. Yes, your hands will get filthy, but that’s okay…and delicious.
Put the newly formed balls back in the freezer. Meanwhile, heat up some more chocolate chips–the better part of a bag–in your improvised double boiler, but this time, don’t add anything else to them. Still whisk until they’re all melted, then remove those balls from the freezer and dip them into the melted chocolate, fishing them out with a fork. Move quick, or your truffle cores will meeeeeeelt!
Freeze your dipped truffles again, and they’re ready to eat! Give them to your friends because boys are lame. So are girls. For that matter, eat them all yourself! All in all, this whole process takes you about two hours, so if you’re stressing for something romantic to do tonight, the simple ingredients and the fact that it’s chocolate makes this a great stay-at-home Valentine’s experiment. Warning: they’re amazeballs and will go quickly–then again, they’re very rich, so eat too many at your [tummy’s] own risk. Happy V-Day!