“Pomegranate and Basil!!!” Guy advanced toward me, his face marked with the grammar of disbelief. “How did you come up with that_ _ _” I wasn’t sure if his statement warranted a diligent trio of question marks or one menacing exclamation. “Where did you get an idea like that?” - the quizzical glisten in his eyes said, question mark - “ Well… um… I …” I might have known how to answer if I were sure whether his spirited response was one of pleasure or of disgust. “I don’t know how to feel about it,” Caitlin chimed in as she folded napkins, “ I was only able to have one bite, and that just wasn’t enough to form an opinion.” Every one responded differently. Many smiled as they chewed. Was this a sign that they liked them? It was hard to tell. Some kept a straight face trying hard to guard their first impressions, while other just spit them out. “Basil! Oh yuck! Spit! Ah, sorry hon, I just can’t do chocolate and Basil” Prudence said matter-of-factly as she wiped her mouth with a napkin.
As my co-workers curiously tested my chocolates, I thought about Guy’s question. Where did I come up with an idea to make a Chocolate, Pomegranate, and Basil Truffle? I can assure you, I meant no harm. Valentine’s Day was approaching and I was merely trying to seduce my friends, family, and co-workers with the tender and unfailing comforts of chocolate. Boyfriends may come and go, but chocolate has always been by my side. It is dependable, romantic, and sultry. It’s sweet and sometimes savory. It can be whatever you want it to be, and this is what makes it, in my opinion, the most delightful pleasure to be seduced by.
Not everyone fell for my wacky truffles, but the ones who did, fell hard, myself included. Days later I found myself thinking about them, and I couldn’t help but compare all other chocolates to my burstingly fragrant cocoa creation. My cravings have been so fierce that, where else did I find myself late Tuesday night, but melting chocolate with the feverishness of an addict. Once I had replicated the pomegranate truffle (a bit less basil this time, sorry Pru), I experimented with two new flavors, Gram Marsala and orange zest, and Mint and Tarragon with Port bathed Cherries. Forget about a Valentine, the only thing I want to be seduced by this Valentine's day is chocolate, and by the looks of my refrigerator right now, that's not going to be a problem.
Sugar High Friday #28 is being hosted this month by Cardomom Addict. Her very Valentine's Day Theme is Sweet Seduction, the idea being that you post a recipe that you will or would seduce someone with, or one that you would want someone to seduce you with. Bellow is my entry: The Regine Truffle, named after my friend who's devotion to chocolate is inspirational. With this truffle I plan not to seduce anyone. In fact as far as I'm concerned there is no third Party, just me and Regine. She is the only one I hope to be seduced by this Valentine's day and if you follow these instructions, you can be seduced by her as well.
(I'm talking about Regine the Truffle silly, not the girl!)
The Regine Truffle
8oz. of dark chocolate 70% -85% ( I used Vintage Plantations 75%)
3/4 cup – Heavy Cream
7 -9 - Basil leaves, cleaned and dried
2 - Tbsp – butter
2 - Tbsp - Pomegranate Molasses (I got mine at Sahadi's)
1.) Chop up the chocolate very, very, very fine (if it is to thick, it will not melt all the way.)
2.) Heat cream over med heat and when it is about to boil, add the Basil leaves and remove from heat. Let steep 10 min.
3.) Remove leaves and place them in a tiny sieve and squeeze out the remainder of cream.
4.) Return to medium heat and add butter. When it is almost boiling pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand 30 second. Stir a little and wait, stir then wait etc. Continue until chocolate is melted.
5.) Add pomegranate molasses and stir in.
6.) Chill for at least two hours.
7.) Once the chocolate mixture is cooled scoop out chocolate with tiny spoon and roll in your hands to create a ball.
8.) You can cover these with what ever you like. I use cocoa or chopped pistachio.