Stacy's Cooking Journal

My cooking journal is an informal space for me to record what I've been up to in the kitchen. It's mainly intended for personal ideas, but feel free to check it out.

Chocolate Truffles

Coming fresh from my second go at dark chocolate truffles. My creations are highly imperfect roundish lumps of sick deliciousness. I made them in three variations similar enough to keep things simple but different enough to jazz up the final version. I have not been too enterprising since this is new to me. However, I have been happy to discover that making truffles is delightfully easy!

For me the most frightening moment is pouring the warm heavy whipping cream over the melted chocolate. At this point, disaster might unfold. And both times I made truffles, it did appear that disaster was upon me. However, it is amazing to watch what appears to be ruined chocolate shards floating in a clumpy white liquid gradually transform into a glossy, deep brown cream. What a mystery this is. It surprised me again this time even though I had already experienced it once before.

I followed the proportions of this recipe but picked up a few techniques here and there from the Internets.

  • After the combined chocolate and the cream had cooled, I covered the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge for a few hours. This led to less messiness and complication later.
  • I made the truffles in two batches, keeping one batch in the fridge while working on the other and then vice versa. For instance, I would roll the chocolate into balls and place on a plate covered with wax paper. I would return the plate to the fridge while I rolled the next batch. Similarly, while I was dipping one batch into the melted chocolate, the other plate would be in the fridge.
  • I powdered my hands in cocoa powder. This made the truffle chocolate less likely to stick on my hands.
  • To dip the chocolate, I boldly lobbed the entire ball into the melted chocolate, pushed it around with a fork, and then used the fork to lift it out. When returned to the wax paper to set, this resulted in a build-up of chocolate on the bottom. But while the final truffle was not perfectly round, the coating was thick, delicious, and easy to make. No one complained.
  • A third of the truffles I left as is, with their rich chocolate coats. They look amazing. The second third were merrily pushed around in a bowl containing a small amount of cocoa powder. The final third were sprinkled with sea salt just before the chocolate coat set. I'll let you guess my favorite!
  • With great glee I used the fork method to drizzle the leftover melted chocolate over the happy truffles!
  • Ladies, I then ate these truffles.

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24 Jan 2011 03:02
tags: desserts

Six Spice Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

On a chilly winter day before Christmas, I decided I urgently needed oatmeal raisin cookies, but I had never made them before. After poking around on Epicurious, I settled on "Diane's Six-Spice Oatmeal Raisin Cookies," which calls for cinnamon, cumin, cloves, fresh nutmeg, ginger, and cayenne. Tempting! They came out delicious, and I'm still enjoying eating them a week later. When I open the cookie tin I am greeted by a medley of cozy winter spices.
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26 Dec 2010 20:04
tags: cookies desserts

Curried Lentil Soup a Winner

During today's blizzard, I made the curried lentil soup for the second time in a month. I loved it. Incredibly comforting during this weather. I think we might be looking at a new staple here…try it out! Today I appreciated the green onions. I also added some fresh ginger at the beginning. If you want to avoid butter, I don't think it would be a problem to leave it out. The best thing? Ridiculously easy to make. And a reviewer on Epicurious had a great suggestion: because the recipe calls for processing a can of chickpeas with garlic and lemon, you might double the amount, take out half for the soup, and then add some tahini to the rest to make hummus!
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26 Dec 2010 19:59
tags: soups

Curried Lentil Soup

I came home from work to an empty fridge today…no leftovers, no veggies, no nada. I recalled an article I had read a few nights ago in Bon Appétit about curried lentil soup. Specifically, I recalled that it was very quick, very hearty, and contained very few fresh ingredients. As it turned out, the only thing I was lacking was lemon, which I (rather sadly) replaced with a dash of white wine vinegar. The thing that distinguishes this soup is adding a can of pureed chickpeas to thicken the lentils. The result was quite rich. I would make this again.

Here's the link:
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28 Nov 2010 02:06
tags: soups

June 26, 2010

Here's what I've been cooking lately:

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26 Jun 2010 13:45
tags: mario wrap-up

Korean Cold Noodles

All I've been eating lately is pizza, bbqed veggies, potatoes, and corn, and tabbouleh. I desperately needed some flavor! Some heat! I fantasized all the way home about…cucumbers. I know, cucumbers hardly seem like the solution to my dilemma. But I was thinking about hot, spicy, cold, salty, sweet cucumbers. Korean-styled cucumbers. Just a large large bowl of crispy, crunchy, spicy, salty cucumbers from which all the water had been squeezed. Cucumbers.

So I stopped at the grocery store and picked up three, returned home, and made quick work of them. I was so desperate that I removed the water by smushing them in my hands since I had no cheesecloth left. Because I was so invested in the cucumbers, I hadn't thought much beyond them. What would I eat them with? I decided on cold Korean noodles. (The weather outside was searing hot.) Here is my slightly bastardized version:

  • Boil thin spaghetti until al dente.
  • Rinse with cold water and drain.
  • Add a few globs of Bibim sauce:
  • Add 1 T of toasted sesame seeds, 3 chopped scallions, salt, 1 T sesame oil and mix.
  • Throw the cucumbers on the top.
  • Eat voraciously.

You might also throw in other veggies and egg, like you would for bibimbap. But I only had so much on hand and a massive cucumber craving.

This was very spicy and barely edible. Yet I triumphed and reveled in the glory of it.
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26 Jun 2010 13:33
tags: korean noodles

Secret to Tabbouleh?

I've been making tabbouleh every Saturday with amazing consistency. That, and hummus. Then I put my face in it. My aunt told me that a secret ingredient in tabbouleh is a dash of cinnamon. I remember, in fact, that my tabbouleh never quite tastes like the amazing version made my an acquaintance. Now I'm convinced this is why. This is on today's schedule.
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26 Jun 2010 13:24
tags: middle-eastern tabbouleh

Arugula Salad with Veggies

Last night I went out to dinner with Amanda, and we both got a yummy arugula salad with chopped avocado, thinly sliced roasted red peppers, sliced marinated cucumbers, and flavored almonds. Might be a great summer salad to make at home!
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17 May 2010 14:08
tags: salads

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