Dangerous Knowledge

There is some things a person should not be able to make at home at 8pm on a Saturday night. This is one of them. I am not responsible for what you do with this recipe. Especially if you drop a couple of these in a mug of hot milk with some extra sugar. I know NOTHING.
Photo courtesy of Hannah
Honey Jack Bittersweet Truffles

8 oz (1/2 lb) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2-3 Tblsp Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey or liqueur of choice (opt.)
High-quality dutch process cocoa powder or powdered sugar for coating (opt.)

Place finely chopped chocolate in a glass or ceramic bowl. Heat heavy cream just to boiling in a small pan or in the microwave. Immediately pour cream over chopped chocolate, cover bowl with lid or a piece of aluminum foil. Let sit for 10 minutes or so, or until chocolate is melted.

Once chocolate is melted, add the liqueur and slowly whisk the cream and melted chocolate together till smooth. Cover bowl and place in fridge for a couple of hours until set. If you can.

Scoop the solid ganache (yes, that's what you just made) approx. 2 Tblsp at a time onto a lined sheet pan. If it's warm and the ganache starts to melt, place the pan in the fridge and let the ganache re-solidify before proceeding.

Roll the scoops into balls, then roll the balls in the cocoa powder, or powdered sugar, or anything else you can think of. If you don't want to coat them -- like, say, if you doubt they'll be around long enough to warrant the extra attention -- you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap.
Like I said, I know NOTHING. You're on your own.


Wow, that was a year! Also, ginger.

Whelp, as you can see, the Year of Beans & Rice project didn't go quite as planned. I did have an excuse: A week after my last post, I subbed for a bass player in a local band, which led to playing bass in another band, which led to A BOYFRIEND! And we're even still together, almost ten months later. Who knew that leaving my couch could have such extensive repercussions?

Between that, and the fact that I am now the "weekend parent" and only have to cook for the boy a couple times a month, I spent much of 2013 not-cooking, a situation I am slowly trying to rectify. It's going to be painful -- I am so very used to not-cooking -- but there are several compelling reasons *cough* financial *cough* to nut up and get back in the kitchen.

This pic is from David Lebovit's blog.
Isn't it gorgeous?
To start off the new year (and hopefully new habits) I gotta share what I made yesterday. I was home sick from work and through some random combination of firing neurons and a questionable stomach, I decided to make ginger tea from the ginger root I had in the freezer*. First attempt was lackluster, but a little more searching turned up David Lebovitz's recipe for Fresh Ginger Syrup.

David Lebovitz has never let me down, and the perfect combination of just enough ginger on hand and way too much free time led to success. The only tricky part was determining when it was reduced enough. Next time I'll measure the depth of the water in the pan with a bamboo skewer and mark the halfway point to use as a gauge.

So far I've only used it to sweeten cups of green tea, and it's brilliant. I want to try it in sparkling water and in hot lemonade, but I have a feeling it's not going to last long enough for me to go buy lemons. I blame the virus, not my complete lack of self-control. :)

Long story way short, if you like ginger, this is well worth a try.

 *NOTE: Oh yes, you can keep whole ginger root in the freezer for a LONG time in a freezer-weight zip-top bag.