There are people in this world, born with a natural instinct, for choosing the perfect gift. You know….those folk who know exactly what to buy, where to buy it and how to gift it. One that makes the receiver do the ‘happy hop dance’, squealing in delight!I am panic stricken at the thought of choosing a gift. Shop staff see me come in repeatedly, tutting, whispering to myself, hesitant to make a decision. A mild case of hysteria sets in, if I am choosing a gift for those I don’t really know. Of course, the thing with all this to-ing and fro-ing is that a purchase will be made at the very last minute, pouring more tension into my hands as I pass my gift to the receiver, while trying to rein in an apologetic look. Alcohol, supplied after and gratefully accepted, does much to numb the confusion.
Perhaps in attempt to appease, I like to give something homemade. In my case, that means its edible. It feels like a personal touch and an act of good-will, or intentions at least. And one of the best suited treats for times like these, are chocolate truffles. This one happens to come from Kate Shirazi’s Chocolate Magic, gratefully received from Jo. Thanks so much love….
Smooth, rich, luscious little balls of chocolate and double cream, these treats are so easy to make, that it feels like a cheat. Use the best tasting chocolate you have. Since the truffle is just chocolate melted into scalded cream, the taste of the chocolate itself really comes through. Try a blend of 50% to 60% cocoa, if 70% is too dark for you. Anything lower that that, is not a truffle in my book. Might as well give them a Cadbury bar.
I also, tend to make my truffles quite small. I think the large gobstopper sized ones are off-putting, and considering how many women tend to be weight watching, it perhaps makes it easier on them, to have wee sized bites. Less guilt. We could all do with that!
For these beauties, I kept one batch plain, and the other two had a slug or two of Kahlua and Malibu each. Just add a teaspoon according to taste. The plain ones I drizzled with white chocolate, the Malibu ones in shredded coconut and the Kahlua babies in cocoa. I had some pop sorbet coloured petit four cases from Sainsbury’s and loved the contrast between the dark, intense chocolate and the ditsy, bright papers. So along with pretty cases, I made a pretty box (I used 12 inch square paper to make a box for 10 truffles) with the same colour scheme and wrote a pretty note.
Carrying this box last night, to a friend’s birthday party, made me feel quite satisfied and rather happy. I felt secure that if the gift was not up her street (and I spent three days running through shops trying to find ethnic jewellery) the chocoholic in her would definitely love these. I would be vindicated in my own eyes for my headless, chicken run of a gift hunt. If these don’t redeem me, nothing will. Maybe there was no need for that apologetic look after all.