Chocolate Chambord Truffles

Chocolate Chambord Truffles

Chocolate Chambord Truffles

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Chocolate Chambord Truffles decorated with pink hearts are arranged on a pink napkin lined plate on a black back drop.

Truffles may look difficult to make, but in reality, they are quite simple. There’s no special equipment or forbidden secret, like how you get the caramel in the Caramilk bar. What is needed most is a little bit of patience and part of that is the patience not to eat the ganache before the truffles are rolled, LOL! It takes time for cooling, rolling and coating the truffles, but trust me, they are simple and delicious.

Truffles are merely chocolate ganache (chocolate and heavy cream) rolled into balls and coated with cocoa powder or melted chocolate and anything you’d like to sprinkle on them. This recipe flavours the ganache with Chambord (raspberry liqueur) and then garnished with a chocolate coating and candied hearts for an elegant yet simple finish.

Chocolate Chambord Truffles decorated with pink hearts are arranged on a pink napkin lined plate on a black back drop.

Don’t be afraid of tempering chocolate if you want a smooth glossy finish to your truffles. I did not temper the chocolate for this post (the ones in the pictures), and they still look amazing. It’s an optional process if you choose to do it. It provides stable chocolate that keeps a gloss even when set.

Basic tempering:

Finely chop chocolate and heat 2/3 of it over a double boiler until melted and not warmer than 120°F. Turn off the heat and remove the bowl, wiping any moisture from the bottom. Gradually add 1-2 tablespoons of chopped chocolate, stirring and allowing the chocolate to melt before adding more until the temperature drops to 86°F. Return the bowl to the double boiler and warm to 88-91°F and start dipping.

Chocolate Chambord Truffles decorated with pink hearts are arranged on a pink napkin lined plate on a black back drop.

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

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Chocolate Chambord Truffles decorated with pink hearts are arranged on a pink napkin lined plate on a black back drop.
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Chocolate Chambord Truffles

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Truffles

  • 8 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate 60-70% cocoa
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Chambord raspberry liqueur
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Dipping

  • 10 ounces good quality milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate

Instructions

Truffles

  • Finely chop chocolate and place in a medium bowl. Heat cream until hot but not boiling. Pour cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk gently to bring cream and chocolate together and the mixture is smooth and silky.
  • Stir in the Chambord until combined and then stir in the room temperature butter. Scrape the sides of the bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the chocolate. Allow to cool at room temperature until scoopable (mixture will still be soft).
  • Using a 15ml scoop or a tablespoon, scoop chocolate onto a parchment lined tray. Chill until firm.
  • Using clean dry hands, roll each scoop into a smooth ball and place on a clean sheet of parchment. Rinsing your hands in cool water and drying them about every 4 rolls helps to achieve a uniform and smooth ball.
  • Keep truffles chilled until ready to coat.

Dipping

  • Finely chop the chocolate and place it in the top of a double boiler making sure the water does not touch the upper bowl/pot. Melt gently, stirring occasionally until liquid and smooth.
  • Pour melted chocolate into a small wide glass or wide mouth 250ml mason jar. Using a skewer or toothpick dip each ball into the melted chocolate to cover completely. Remove immediately and allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place truffle on a clean parchment-lined tray and twist toothpick gently to remove. Repeat the dipping process for each truffle. Chill truffles until firm. Alternatively, you can dip each truffle by placing one at a time directly in the melted chocolate and removing with a fork from underneath the truffle, allowing the excess chocolate to drip off.
  • Decorate truffles by drizzling remaining dipping chocolate over each truffle and garnish with your favourite edible decoration.

Notes

-You can roll each truffle in cocoa if you prefer and skip the dipping.
-Keeping the truffles chilled as you go in the dipping process helps keep them firm enough to handle.
-I did not have a 1tbsp scoop, so I used a 2tbsp scoop and sliced each ball in half before rolling.
-Placing the cup or mason jar with the melted dipping chocolate in a larger vessel with hot water helps to keep chocolate warm and smooth for dipping (plan for the water displacement). Warming for 30 seconds in the microwave will also help keep it melted as you go.
-Any remaining dipping chocolate can be poured onto parchment and allowed to set for use in another recipe (do not waste it).

Super Moist Carrot Cake

Super Moist Carrot Cake

Super Moist Carrot Cake

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There’s nothing that I don’t like about this cake, so I can easily say “hello autumn” with enthusiasm. Super moist, lightly spiced, textured with coconut and smothered with a dreamy cream cheese frosting. Super Moist Carrot Cake is a winner every time, feeds a small crowd and freezes exceptionally well.

Super Moist Carrot Cake just out of the oven in a silver baking pan and icing in the background.

Did I mention it’s also quick and easy with minimal mess, other than shredded carrot that seems to get everywhere LOL! It’s the perfect fall cake that turns the humble carrot into the most delicious dessert. It’s a nostalgic recipe for me, being slightly adapted from a gifted cookbook when I was only 17 years old and graduating from high school. It’s a treasured book, missing its cover, yellowed and ratty. But every time I thumb through it, I’m taken back to a simpler time, high school friends and big dreams. Thank you Simone and Marlene for this simple yet wonderful book that I still love 31 years later. Proving that great recipes are timeless.

Super Moist Carrot Cake in a 9"x13" pan with cream cheese icing and decorated with piped carrots.
A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin with a pan of cake in the background.
A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin.

Author: Coompelled to Cook, slightly adapted from the book “Let’s Break Bread Together” circa 1989?

A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin.
Super Moist Carrot Cake
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    9x13 pan 30 minutes
    Cook Time
    45-50 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    9x13 pan 30 minutes
    Cook Time
    45-50 minutes
    A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin.
    Super Moist Carrot Cake
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      9x13 pan 30 minutes
      Cook Time
      45-50 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      9x13 pan 30 minutes
      Cook Time
      45-50 minutes
      Instructions
      Cake
      1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9"x13" pan with non-stick spray.
      2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
      3. In a large bowl whisk together oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time whisking well to fully combine after each. Stir in orange juice and vanilla.
      4. Whisk in half of the dry ingredients followed by half the milk. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk, whisking only until just combined. Stir in carrots, pineapple and coconut. Pour into prepared pan and bake on the middle rack for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
      5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, spread evenly with cream cheese icing. Cut into 20-24 pieces and serve.
      Cream Cheese Icing
      1. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add butter and beat until fully combined and fluffy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until just combined and smooth. Spread onto cooled cake.
      Recipe Notes

      -Cake freezes well without icing for up to a month if well wrapped.

      -Cake freezes well if iced and cut into squares, stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

      -Recipe makes for a thick layer of icing.  Icing freezes well on its own in an airtight container for up to a month.

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      Creamy Lemon Pops

      Creamy Lemon Pops

      CREAMY LEMON POPS

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      Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.

      It’s still summer, thankfully! So this means there’s still time to enjoy these delicious Creamy Lemon Pops. This week in central Alberta the weather is scheduled to be one of the nicest of the summer, assuming the weatherman gets it right of course!! It’s crazy to think people can predict the weather 30 years from now with global warming but can’t seem to predict two days out. It’s frustrating, to say the least, when trying to plan activities and having a very short summer season. But all my mumbling aside, these Creamy Lemon Pops are packed with lemon flavour from fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. They’re creamy and delicious but not overly sweet, which makes them great in hot weather.

      Creamy Lemon Pops in a popsicle mold with a tray of Creamy Lemon Pops garnished with strawberries and mint in the foreground.

      The recipe is a riff on a Semifreddo, meaning half-frozen and like custard-style ice cream. I’ve gone and added yogurt and lightened up on the sugar to make these lovely treats. They’re super creamy and indulgent, making them great for kids and adults alike. So go ahead and treat yourself while the sun still shines this summer, enjoy!

      Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.

      Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.
      Creamy Lemon Pops
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
        Cook Time
        4-5 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
        Cook Time
        4-5 minutes
        Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.
        Creamy Lemon Pops
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
          Cook Time
          4-5 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
          Cook Time
          4-5 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: popsicles
          Instructions
          1. In a small bowl whisk together egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Place the bowl over a double boiler, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat over medium, whisking constantly until mixture registers 170°F, about 4 minutes.
          2. Remove from heat and place in the fridge while proceeding.
          3. Whip heavy cream until firm peaks hold. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
          4. Using the same beaters, whip the warm egg yolk mixture until creamy, lite, and cool/room temperature to the touch, about 4 minutes. Stir in Greek yogurt until combined.
          5. Fold whipped cream into egg mixture until combined. Divide evenly into 8-80ml popsicle molds. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Run warm water over the popsicle molds to loosen slightly before pulling the popsicles out. Popsicles will last for a week if kept covered and in the mold.
          Recipe Notes

          -If preferred, remove all popsicles at once and store them in an airtight container for up to one week.

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas

          Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas

          Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas

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          Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas garnished with blueberries and mint sit on a white cake tray decorated with blue flowers.

          Where the heck is spring??  As I write this it is literally -15°C.  I think global warming has skipped over us here in Alberta.  But these bright and cheery Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas are sure to brighten and warm any day.  Crisp yet chewy pavlova nests are filled with lemon curd and whipped cream filling.  They are lovely topped with fresh berries such as blueberry or raspberry and perfect for Easter or Mother’s Day. 

          Mini pavlova nests piped onto a baking tray lined with parchment and ready to be baked for Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas.

          Sadly, with the way the world is these days, most of us may not be having much of a family gathering at Easter.  It will most likely be a modest meal with homebound family members and chats throughout the weekend with family and friends on Facetime or Skype. And this is okay because it’s what we need to do right now to keep everyone safe. As for this beautiful dessert, perhaps it will have to wait for another special occasion. Maybe Mother’s Day, bridal shower or what the heck, how about the first day of summer! There are always reasons to celebrate, so you’ll want to bookmark this recipe.

          Lemon curd for Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas in a small glass bowl that is resting on a blue and white cloth.

          Here are a few helpful hints for this recipe:

          -make sure your mixing bowl is very clean (grease will hinder a great meringue).

          -use egg whites that are at room temperature (warm egg whites incorporate more air than cold ones).

          -you can grind granulated sugar for about 10 seconds using a mini grinder if castor sugar is not available.

          -stick the parchment to the baking tray with a few dabs of meringue to prevent it from moving while piping.

          -place the tray on a damp towel to prevent the tray from moving while piping.

          -don’t open the oven door until it has completely cooled as the warm dry air inside helps to dry out the meringues without further cooking.

          -baked meringues will keep several days in an airtight container at room temperature.

          -add filling to the meringue nests when ready to serve or up to a couple hours in advance. Adding it more than a couple of hours ahead will cause the meringues to soften too much.

          Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas sit on a white cake tray in the background while one is served on a while dessert plate and garnished with blueberries and mint.

          Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            8 people 30-40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            80 minutes 1+ hours
            Servings Prep Time
            8 people 30-40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            80 minutes 1+ hours
            Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              8 people 30-40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              80 minutes 1+ hours
              Servings Prep Time
              8 people 30-40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              80 minutes 1+ hours
              Ingredients
              Mini Pavlovas
              Lemon Cream
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              Mini Pavlovas
              1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment and mark out 8-3" circles. Flip parchment over.
              2. Combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip until soft peaks are starting to form. Gradually add sugar, about a tablespoon at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to whip on high speed until stiff and glossy, about 6-7 minutes using a stand mixer.
              3. Add vanilla and whip to combine.
              4. Sift cornstarch over the meringue and fold to combine.
              5. Fit a large piping bag with your desired tip, I used a Wilton 1M.
              6. Fill the piping bag with meringue and squeeze a dab of meringue onto the corners of the parchment to stick it to the baking tray. This will help keep the parchment from moving while you pipe. Place the baking tray on a slightly damp kitchen towel to prevent the tray from moving. Fill in the traced circle, creating a base. Continue to pipe along the edge of the base for two turns, creating a basket.
              7. Place the tray in the oven on the middle rack and immediately turn oven temperature to 225°F. Bake for 80 minutes, turn off the oven and allow meringues to remain undisturbed in the oven until completely cool. Meringues will be firm and hollow sounding with a slight bit of tackiness and chew in the bottom layer.
              Lemon Cream
              1. Combine all ingredients except butter in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about 7-8 minutes. Whisk in butter until smooth.
              2. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before covering with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Allow to cool completely and chill until ready to use.
              3. When ready to assemble pavlovas, which should be no more than 2 hours in advance, whip heavy cream until stiff. Fold whipped cream into lemon curd and fill meringues generously. Top with fresh blueberries and serve.
              Recipe Notes

              -Using egg whites at room temperature will result in more volume.

              -If unable to use castor or superfine sugar, simply grind regular granulated sugar in a mini coffee grinder for about 10 seconds.  Even this is not true castor sugar, it breaks down the sugar enough for better absorption into the meringue.

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              Chocolate Pots de Créme

              Chocolate Pots de Créme

              Chocolate Pots de Créme

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              Chocolate Pots de Creme in small white ramekins, garnished fresh raspberries and whipped cream.

               

              Love is in the air, and it’s time to celebrate the ones we love. As a foodie, I find there’s no better way than to share and indulge in a luscious chocolate dessert. Chocolate Pots de Crème is a decadent and indulgent spoonful meant to be eaten slowly, savouring every bite. Preferably with a tender kiss in between.

              These lovely baked chocolate custards are very simple to make but taste like you’ve spent hours labouring. Your Valentine is sure to be impressed!

              Ingredients for Chocolate Pots de Creme arranged on a small white platter on a dark background.

              Good quality chocolate, heavy cream and egg yolks make up the structure and the water bath baking ensures they bake gently, creating a smooth and creamy texture. They can be made in advance, leaving you plenty of time to spend with your sweetheart without the worry of fussing with food. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, I hope your day is filled with love…and chocolate!

              Other Valentine’s Day treats to share!

              Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies

              Cinnamon Heart Cupcakes

              Chocolate Pots de Creme in small white ramekins, garnished fresh raspberries.

              Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Epicurious

              Chocolate Pots de Créme
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                6 people 30 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                40 minutes 3+ hours
                Servings Prep Time
                6 people 30 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                40 minutes 3+ hours
                Chocolate Pots de Créme
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  6 people 30 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  40 minutes 3+ hours
                  Servings Prep Time
                  6 people 30 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  40 minutes 3+ hours
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
                  2. Combine cream and milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Allow chocolate to sit for a few minutes and then stir until chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
                  3. In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in an approximate 1/4 cup of the chocolate mixture until combined, repeat with another 1/4 cup and then slowly whisk in the remaining hot mixture. Whisk in espresso powder and salt.
                  4. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then skim off any foam on the surface.
                  5. Pour evenly among six 3/4 cup ramekins. Arrange ramekins in a 9"x13" baking pan and add enough boiling water to come up the ramekins halfway. Cover entire pan with foil and bake on centre rack for approximately 40 minutes until the edges are set but centers still jiggle when shaken.
                  6. Remove from oven and remove custards from pan. Allow to rest for 10-20 minutes and then chill until cold, about 3 hours.
                  7. Serve with fresh raspberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream.
                  Recipe Notes

                  -If you do not use boiling water to start with the cooking time will be longer.

                  -You can also use good quality semi-sweet chocolate, however bittersweet results in a richer custard.

                  -Do not skip the straining as it ensures a smooth custard.

                  -Can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered and chilled.

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                  Apple Galette with Almond Pastry

                  Apple Galette with Almond Pastry

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                  Freshly baked Apple Galette with Almond Pastry sitting on a wooden board with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the centre.

                  Galettes are easy to love with their flaky, rustic pastry and sweet or savoury fillings. Apple Galette with Almond Pastry comes together easily and tastes just as delicious as apple pie. It’s the perfect ending to your entertaining occasions, but particularly Thanksgiving when apple desserts are sought after.

                  A basket full of green apples in preparation for Apple Galette with Almond Pastry.

                  What is a galette anyway? A galette is a free form tart that can be made with sweet fillings such as berries and apples or savoury fillings like chicken and mushrooms. They’re unique in the way the pastry is shaped around the filling into a rustic form without the use of a pie dish. This eliminates the need for a top crust and fussy crimping, yet the filling stays snuggly in place.

                  An assembled Apple Galette with Almond Pastry on parchment paper ready for the oven.

                  What makes a good galette? Like a traditional pie, a lot depends on the pastry and this means using cold butter that is cut into the dry ingredients until crumbly and the butter bits are no bigger than the size of a pea. It’s also very, very important to use ice-cold water. This helps keep everything just a little bit colder, especially the butter which tends to soften as you work with it. Keeping everything as cold as possible helps the butter hold its size, which will create flaky layers when it melts during baking. There’s no need to overfill a galette, it’s meant to be flatter than a pie. So resist the urge to pile your filling sky high because the filling needs to cook at the same time as the pastry.

                  Apple Galette with Almond Pastry
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    8 slices 50-60 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    40 minutes 1+ hours
                    Servings Prep Time
                    8 slices 50-60 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    40 minutes 1+ hours
                    Apple Galette with Almond Pastry
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      8 slices 50-60 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      40 minutes 1+ hours
                      Servings Prep Time
                      8 slices 50-60 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      40 minutes 1+ hours
                      Ingredients
                      Pastry
                      Filling
                      Servings: slices
                      Instructions
                      Pastry
                      1. In a large bowl combine flour, almond flour, sugar and salt. Cut butter cubes into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or a knife until the flour is crumbly with small bits of butter.
                      2. Drizzle water and vinegar over flour mixture and toss with a fork until dough just starts to come together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and work gently to bring everything together and the dough has smoothed out.
                      3. Roll dough into a ball and then flatten into an approximate 6" disk. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
                      Apple Filling
                      1. Peel and core apples and then cut them into thin slices. Drizzle slices with the lemon juice as you slice to prevent oxidization.
                      2. To the apples add the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss to combine.
                      3. In a small bowl whisk together egg and milk.
                      4. Preheat oven to 375°F.
                      5. On a lightly floured surface roll dough to an approximate 13" circle adding a sprinkle of flour to the top and bottom as you go to prevent it sticking.
                      6. Trim dough to a neat 12" circle by using a plate or pie plate as a guide (see note). Roll dough onto your rolling pin and transfer to a large parchment-lined baking tray.
                      7. Pile filling in the centre and spread out towards the edge leaving a 1 1/2" border of plain dough.
                      8. Fold the dough edge up and over the filling, crimping slightly as you go around. Sprinkle the apples with dots of butter. Brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden and apples are tender.
                      9. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving with ice cream.
                      Recipe Notes

                      -The pastry does not have to be a perfect circle. If you'd like a nice rustic look you can leave it as you roll it as long as it is an approximate 12"-13" in diameter and 1/8" thick.

                      -If you like a neater look you can also arrange the apple slices in a concentric circle.  I'm partial to piling the apples in as they fall.

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                      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com