As someone for whom Christmas has always been an important family holiday, but never a religious holiday, I have long been one of the millions of Americans searching for the perfect gifts starting sometime in November. My circle is small, but my family and friends are the most important aspect of my life, so of course anxiety sets in every year when I realize that gift-giving is fun but also impossibly difficult.
This year, I did something different. It may or may not have anything to do with student loans, but I decided to take to the kitchen to try to make a large batch of worthy Christmas gifts to give out to those on my list. Unfortunately, my immediately family members all live at least 600 miles away, so cookies were off the table as they would no doubt be deliciously stale by the time they arrived during holiday shipping season.
Fortunately, my friend (and occasional partner in crime) Toby recently lent me a book about making candies, chocolates, confections. Basically recipes that required a thousand expensive kitchen instruments and days of free time to work with. I decided to go with it. The results were overall positive, and I am pleased to say that my first foray into chocolate-making benefited everyone on my shopping/shipping list this season!
In case you were wondering (I know you were), from the top left these yummy confections are Poodle Truffles (coffee-flavored), Habanos (mango-habanero), Plum-Raspberry Cups, and Dark ‘n’ Stormies (ginger, rum, and white chocolate). And yes, they are all delicious.
Below are a few methods pictures I took during the process. They are mostly self explanatory, but I wanted to include them for the person who is afraid that their kitchen implements are insufficient for chocolate-making. The tiny spatula turned out to be key, but I winged everything else, and it turned out just fine. Just remember the only rule (seriously) you need to know: chocolate and water do NOT go together. Never mix them. There! Now you’re an expert!
So if you’re wondering whether to try making your own ganache delights, I am here to tell you that the answer to your question is “Yes!”