Gee, truffles for a Sugar High Friday with Chocolate as the theme, how predictable. I’m sooo boring. I simply can’t come up with anything other than a chocolate truffle. Ha! I laugh in the face of boring! Truffles? Hardly! Looks may be deceiving. Granted, I didn’t actually come up with this idea, but I love it. They’re grapes covered in chocolate and don’t feel bad if you were fooled and thought they were truffles, everyone is. I think I giggled like a giddy little school girl every time I offered one of these to someone new. Each person would look at the bowl and exclaim “oooh truffles!” (or something like that) and I would smile innocently as they plucked one from the dish and popped it in their mouth. I delighted in watching their expression as they bit into the “truffle” and were greeted with a burst of juicy grape. I suppose if you have a huge chocolate craving and you get one of these instead, you might be disappointed, but mostly people are happy to have been deceived in such a fun way.
This will likely not be the chocolatiest entry into this month’s round of Sugar High Friday, but I think it’s an interesting one. David Lebovitz is hosting and has chosen Chocolate by Brand as the theme. The “by Brand” part of the theme wasn’t a huge thing for me. I have to admit that I don’t usually go for some fancy chocolate brand. That’s probably not even an option where I live, apparently country folk don’t eat expensive chocolate. I hardly even make note of what brand I’m buying unless I really didn’t like it and then I won’t get it again. But don’t listen to me when it comes to chocolate. Someone like Sir Lebovitz is in a much better position than I to speak about chocolate and he could probably tell you exactly what brands are better for what ventures, frankly though, I haven’t got a clue. All I know is that there’s a huge variety in price and I don’t know if the price actually reflects an increase in quality or an increase in fancy marketing. That being said, there’s all types of chocolate in my cupboard because I don’t have a loyalty to any one. I’ve got Baker’s, Cote D’or, Lindt, Organic Fair Trade and Presidents Choice, just to name a few. They come in varying degrees of chocolateness and on any given day I might have unsweetened, semi-sweet, bittersweet, 60%, 70% or 80% cocoa chocolate bars at my disposal. I have no hard and fast method for choosing which one I’m going to bake with either. If a recipe calls for a particular kind, I’ll likely use that. However, if it calls for entirely milk chocolate, I’ll likely balance that out with a little dark chocolate because that’s what I prefer.
For this unbelievably easy recipe which I got out of Michel Richard’s Happy In the Kitchen, (great book!) I used a dark Organic Fair Trade chocolate bar and cocoa from Just Us! Coffee,
Chocolate Grapes from Happy In the Kitchen
(or as I like to call them, Faux Truffles)
1lb cold firm seedless grapes, stems removed
4 ounces 60% semisweet chocolate, melted, at body temperature
1-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Dry the grapes and place them in a bowl large enough to toss them easily. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
Add the chocolate to the grapes about 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring well with a spatula, carefully scraping the sides of the bowl and folding through the center of the grapes to coat them all evenly.
When the chocolate begins to set, using a small strainer, sprinkle the cocoa powder little by little over the surface. Gently toss or stir the grapes as you sift, continuing to add the cocoa until all of the grapes are well coated and separated. Spread on the prepared sheet.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the chocolate is set, or for up to 1 day.
*Note- since I used 70% dark chocolate, I also added a bit of superfine white sugar, I probably didn’t need to.
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