Some days I would like to have a Tazer. I saw one used in a domestic setting once, by those clever boys from Jackass. It had an instant calming effect.
When my children are ruling the house with the iron rod of screaming, squabbling, running and crazed laughter, I want a Tazer. Then I remember that I have playdough.
They all sit and use it. The baby squidges it between her chubby fingers, and my boy makes a row of brightly coloured guns. My two big girls fashion a tea-set. The rules required for the use of their tea-set are extensive, complex and intricate. They make the Japanese Tea Ceremony look like, well, child’s play.
Yes, playdough brings calm to a raging heart and peace to troubled souls.
And the best news is, you can get adult playdough. Not in some dodgy underground night club, but in your very own kitchen. Truffles. First you get to play with the inner mix of chocolate, fat, alcohol and sugar. You can squidge it between your chubby fingers or make a row of guns. I like to make odd-shaped balls. I would like to make perfect spheres, but that skill appears to elude me.
Then you roll the squidgy playdough in melted chocolate. If you are clever, you will get the chocolate up to your second row of knuckles. When it solidifies, there’s only one reasonable way to remove it, just remember to wash your mouth out.
Yes, take it from the Pig, making truffles brings calm to a raging heart, and peace to troubled souls.
(For a gluten-free playdough recipe, click here)
Pig's TrufflesMakes about 30 truffles, more if you make small ones. But who wants small truffles?
For the filling:
175g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids, gluten-free)
125g dairy-free spread
3 tbsp (or more) of Cointreau (or other liqueur)
1 dessertspoon sugar (or more or less, according to taste)
Cocoa powder for dusting
For the shell:
Approx: 200g dark chocolate
Paper presentation cases
- Break the dark chocolate into small-ish pieces and place in a 'bain marie' with the 2tbsps of water. For the bain-marie: fill a small saucepan with about 5 cm of water, place a large bowl on top. The bowl shouldn't touch the water. Heat the water until it boils, it will melt/heat whatever is in the bowl
- Melt the chocolate and water in the bain-marie, stirring continuously
- When the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and add the dairy-free spread. Beat together to form a smooth and glossy paste.
- Add the Cointreau, and sugar if you are using. Beat again. Adjust flavourings to taste
- Fill the sink with cold water so that the water reaches half-way up the outside of the bowl containing the chocolate mix
- Place the chocolate bowl in the sink and whisk vigorously. This will cool the mixture down and also make the resulting truffle centre nice and fluffy. You will need to whisk for about 5 minutes until the mixture suddenly thickens, that point is very gratifying!
- When the mixture is thick like a paste, chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- The best time to mould the truffles is when the mix is still soft but not warm. You can chill the mix for longer than an hour, just remember to remove it at least an hour before you want to mould it
- Line a baking tray with parchment and set aside. Sieve the cocoa powder onto a plate
- Take teaspoonfuls of the mix from the bowl and roll around in your hands to form balls.
- Roll the balls in the cocoa powder until they are covered and then place on the baking tray. Repeat until all the mix is used up
- You could now chill these for at least 12 hours, uncovered in the fridge, or move onto the next stage.
For the shell:
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment
- Melt the rest of the chocolate in a bain-marie.
- Let it cool slightly (placing the bowl in a sink of cold water will accelerate this process)
- Then take the cocoa dusted truffles and one by one drop them into the melted chocolate.
- Roll them around with your fingers and use a spoon to ladle more chocolate over the bits you can't cover. Place the balls onto the baking tray. Repeat until all the truffles are covered in chocolate
- Leave the truffles to chill in the fridge. At least 4 hours, but overnight is fine
- When the chocolate is solid, each truffle will have a little flat base where the chocolate ran down. You can shave this off carefully with a serrated knife if you wish.
- Place the chocolates in their pretty cases and feel very happy
- Serve to grateful and admiring family! Or friends.