Happy Valentine’s Day!
Yes, I celebrate Valentine’s Day. Even though I recognize it is the biggest Hallmark holiday, and not to mention the fact that I’ve been single for every single one, I still love it, mostly because I love the idea of it. I’m a romantic at heart, a closet dreamer, who believes in fairy tales, that chivalry is not dead, and in happily-ever-afters. Maybe this is unrealistic, but Mama Buddha raised me on Disney movies and sang us “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella every night before we fell asleep, so there really was no avoiding it.
Besides all of the above, Valentine’s Day also just happens to fall on my half birthday. DOUBLE reason to celebrate. And eat chocolate. Which is where I’m headed with all of this.
After rounding out Bangladesh, the plan was to start my three-week tour of India straight away. However, in light of my distressing “you shouldn’t eat yeast-alcohol-dairy-eggs-gluten-tomatoes-anything-that-you-love” food sensitivity results last week, I didn’t feel much like cooking. Or eating. I’ve admittedly had multiple breakdowns in the past week, one that started after my first attempt to remake the Irish Brown Bread without gluten, eggs or dairy crumbled in my hands (at least now I have breadcrumbs ready to go) and ended with me bawling on the phone to Mama Buddha as she listened helplessly on the other end.
I’m slowly coming to terms with it, what it means, and what I hope it will mean in the way of making me feel healthier in the long run. The good news is that there are a ton of resources and delicious looking food out there on the interwebs, and soon, I hope to be one of them as my collection morphs more into a recipe resource for those with food sensitivities or allergies, all while I keep on trucking my way around the globe. Therefore, stay tuned for continued deliciousness, because you can’t stop the beat.
Or me from eating chocolate.
To prove it to you, I’m kicking off the Tour of India segment of our program with some Chocolate Chai Truffles. Remember my schpeal about Valentine’s Day? Well, this should definitely make an appearance on your menu.
Chai tea has become all the rage the past five or so years, but in reality it’s something that has been around long before Starbucks created the latte. In fact, once again, Mama Buddha used to make it once in a while as a treat, and we aptly called it “Indian tea.” So politically correct, we were. Anyway, flavors of home combine with flavors of chocolate to create a creamy, dreamy little bite of heaven.
A note on the chocolate: Before now, I was a staunch purchaser of regular old chocolate chips and used them for everything. However, given my non-dairy restriction, those were no longer an option, I had buy the bulk, chunk chocolate since it contains no milk particulates. Just cocoa butter and vanilla.
Holy hell. I won’t be going back.
These were really easy to prepare, and have a mere four ingredients. Go make them now. You owe it to yourself.
So, for all the lovers and dreamers out there, this recipe is for you.
- ¾ cup coconut milk (not “light” or low-fat variety)
- 1 ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 chai tea bags, your favorite brand
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder, for rolling
- Shaved chocolate to decorate, optional
- Place the finely chopped chocolate in medium heat-safe bowl and set aside. Place the coconut milk and tea bags in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Heat the coconut milk until it is just under a boil—bubbles should appear along the sides of the pan, but it shouldn’t be bubbling vigorously. Make sure the milk has turned a lovely light brown color, ensuring that the tea has seeped to its maximum potential (I will note that my tea bags broke due to the thickness of the milk but don’t stress about it…when all is said and done you won’t notice the stray tea leaves).
- Pour the hot coconut milk over the chopped chocolate and allow it to sit for one minute to soften the chocolate, then gently whisk them together until the chocolate is melted and it becomes a smooth, shiny chocolate ganache.
- Press a layer of cling wrap directly on top of the ganache, and refrigerate it until it is firm enough to scoop and roll, about 1 hour. If you wait too long it will get very stiff and hard to work with, so it’s best to check it after an hour to make it easy to shape the truffles.
- Pour the cocoa powder in a shallow bowl. Dust your hands lightly with cocoa powder. Use a spoon or a small candy scoop to form small balls from the ganache, and roll them between your hands to get them round. You can finish them by rolling them in a thin coating of cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.
- Repeat until all the truffles have been done. Coconut or powdered sugar would also work, but I wanted to keep these pure chai.
New camera. I like new toys.