I thought I was beating the entire system this year as I no longer work in an office thus I don’t have a desk or co-workers – so take THAT cupid!
However, the holiday greeting card industry and Hollywood are in bed together this season as the new film Valentine’s Day is set to hit theaters on February 12th. As a result, you can’t walk 10 feet in a New York City subway station without seeing a poster for the movie. Instead of legitimately forgetting that V-Day (ominously similar to D-Day? Anyone?) is approaching, I’m now bombarded with the fact that not only is the worst holiday of the entire year only weeks away, at least half of my female friends are going to drag me to some horrible film featuring an ensemble cast – and we all know what happened the last time the movie industry thought this was a good idea (He’s Just Not That Into You).
Instead of wallowing in self-pity (well, at least not 100 percent wallowing), I’m going to embrace Valentine’s Day. I might not have a special someone, but I have plenty of amazing friends that deserve to know they are loved. So, in the grandest of Valentine’s Day traditions, I’m making chocolate truffles, and these bad boys are a major improvement over the ones I made two weeks ago.
Since for most of us in the United States are well aware that we are still in the bowels of winter (except for a select few – I’m looking at you South Florida), I decided that a great addition to this recipe was the use of hot cocoa instead of the typical unsweetened cocoa powder. I’m hoping the end result is a boyfriend-less/girlfriend-less friend popping one of these truffles in their mouth and imagining they are drinking an amazing glass of hot chocolate, wonderfully ignorant to the fact that they are eating take-out Chinese alone on the 14th.
Grand Marnier Hot Cocoa Chocolate Truffles
8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Hot Cocoa powder, for rolling (I used Ghiradelli’s Premium Hot Cocoa in Double Chocolate)
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Place chocolate in a bowl. Bring cream, Grand Marnier, and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour over chocolate, and let stand for 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
Pour chocolate mixture into and 8-inch square baking dish, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Scoop balls of mixture using a melon baller. I found that dusting your fingers in cocoa powder helps when trying to roll the truffles into perfect orbs, so you may have to follow the steps of rolling, dusting fingers and the truffle with cocoa powder, rolling again, then coating in cocoa powder. It sounds arduous, but it’s not – no more than 20 seconds. Then, sprinkle with sea salt. You may have to tap the sea salt into the truffles to make it stick.
Makes 15 truffles.