I can already hear what you are thinking. You are thinking, wow, that’s a really bizarre combination for truffles. And you are quite right, of course. These truffles are not love at first bite. Your brain and palate are far too busy trying to work out whether they are peppermint truffles or raspberry truffles to really delight in them. But when you sneakily go back for more – just to try to work out what they actually do taste like – you discover that, actually, they really are rather good. And you want another one. And another after that.
The fact that they are shaped like teeny tiny teddy bears doesn’t hurt, either.
Of course, this still doesn’t explain what possessed me to come up with such a bizarre flavour idea. In fact, it was a unique conjunction of events.
First, today is Andrew’s birthday (happy birthday, Andrew!), and Andrew really likes chocolatey peppermint things. Over the fifteen or so years we have known each other, I have been steadily escalating the chocolate-mint birthday cakes to ever more ridiculous levels of elaboration and richness.
But the last few weeks have been absolutely hellish at work, and not a lot of fun outside it. Which I haven’t been, very much, because I have been working very long hours just to keep up. So by the time I got home yesterday evening, I was in no mood for serious baking. Raw truffles seemed like just the thing.
Which brings me to the third factor (which may be the one you don’t want to know about, but if I have to suffer, I don’t see why others should escape scot-free), and that is the fact that I currently have my period. And, in addition to causing quite a bit of pain and other un-fun side effects, my period has a truly bizarre effect on my sense of smell. Since I cook largely by smell, this means that my culinary judgment at this time of the month becomes seriously iffy, and in really good months, I get to have a nervous breakdown about the fact that I can’t cook, that everything I cook tastes terrible, that everything I cook will always taste terrible, and if I can’t cook, then what is the point of even being a Catherine?
Add all this together with the fact that I’m seriously tired, and what you get is a Catherine who is trying to adapt a recipe while simultaneously not being capable of reading it correctly, and who then finds herself with something that tastes like Dreadfully Wrong Peppermint Truffle, casts wildly about the pantry and the freezer for something with which to fix it, and randomly throws in an entire packet of freeze-dried raspberries.
Of such conjunctions, brilliant recipes are not made… but, in spite of everything, this is still actually quite a good one. The coconut oil is optional, because I put it in by accident and strongly suspect that this was the reason my truffle mixture separated in such an unsightly fashion.
After all this, you might well ask why I am posting such a manifestly imperfect recipe. It’s quite simple, really. I can’t stop eating these things. They are seriously more-ish. I have no idea what it is that makes them work – they shouldn’t work, I’m quite positive, and yet, I keep going back to the fridge for more. And my sister-in-law felt the same way about them, so it’s not just weird Catherinishness. There’s something in this flavour combination that actually does work. I just don’t know what.
This teddy bear is here to help you.
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1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cacao powder or good dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup melted cocoa butter
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup pistachio butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
5 tbsp water
1/2 tsp, or thereabouts, peppermint oil
40 g freeze-dried raspberries