I’ve been at my current job for about a year and a half now, and I generally like it quite a bit. I have to admit, though — I had a lot of culture shock in my first few months. I went from a big law firm to an office full of…normal and generally pleasant people who rarely terrify me or give me nightmares.
If you’ve ever worked at a large law firm, you understand how shocking this can be.
One thing my coworkers do that was a huge change from law firm life is bring treats back from their vacations. I love this! Whenever someone goes on a trip, they (usually) bring back some little treat or local delicacy or something to share with the office. Treats at work are always great, but treats from exotic locales are somehow just a little bit more fun.
When my husband and I went to Vermont earlier this year, I decided to bring back some chocolate bars from a chocolatier (sp?) I kept seeing signs for called Lake Champlain Chocolates. One of the chocolate bars I brought back was this Dark Spicy Aztec bar, and I seriously don’t even know what to tell you about it. It was soooooooooo good. It was spicy, cinnamon-y, a little crunchy…basically, I loved it. I loved it so much I considered shipping some more bars in from Vermont (God bless the internet), but then I thought — hey! Maybe I could make something similar at home.
And I did. And it was easy! And it was good. Plus, what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a little chocolate?
EASY SPICY DARK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES (slightly adapted from Food Network)
For the truffles:
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
12 oz dark chocolate morsels
For the coating (pick your favorite or use all four!):
1/2 cup shredded coconut, and/or
1/2 cup chocolate cookie crumbs, and/or
1/3 cup cocoa powder, and/or
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, crushed
1. Combine cream, cinnamon, chili powder, and cayenne in medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until it just begins to simmer. Add chocolate and stir until it’s completely melted. Remove from heat and chill in refrigerator until it firms up, about 1 and 1/2 hours.
2. Place desired coating(s) on individual plate(s). Remove chocolate from refrigerator. Using small ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop about 2 tsp chocolate out into coatings and roll around completely to coat. Let truffles sit to firm up for a bit, then enjoy. If not enjoying them right away, store in refrigerator.
Loved these! And they’re very, very, very easy. But let’s dish about the spiciness, OK? I personally think these are totally unspicy and only have a little hint of spice to give things an interesting and exotic taste. BUT — I like things really, really spicy. So if you absolutely hate spiciness, you should cut the cinnamon, cayenne, and chili powder in half (as the original recipe calls for). Actually, if you REALLY hate spiciness you should probably skip this altogether. But I thought these were delicious just like this!
One final thing — I coated mine in coconut, pistachios, and cookie crumbs, and they were all great. The only thing I’ll mention is that the truffles coated in pistachios didn’t seem to keep as well as the others…so maybe keep that in mind if you’re not going to eat them same-day.