Thursday, November 25, 2010

Preparing for the Holidays Part 3: The Magic of Wizards and Truffles

A tradition Chris started the very first Christmas we celebrated in Penetanguishene together was to make truffles. Not the find-with-a-pig-similar-to-a-root-mushroom kind, but the ones make with chocolate. The ones that boast deliciously thin and hard shells and melt-in-your-mouth soft centres. And last weekend, he started the hundreds that will eventually find themselves to the hands (and stomachs!) of our family, friends, and neighbours.

This year he is making truffles with the following centres:
Mint (non-alcoholic)
Mint (alcoholic)
Cherry (non-alcoholic)
Cherry (alcoholic)
Raspberry-White chocolate (made with our own home-made raspberry jam!)

I don't know how he does it, but every year he makes hundreds of the little chocolates all without recipes. And each year, the centres become creamier and creamier; and the variations of chocolate and filling become more elaborate.

I was also busy in the kitchen, making the first batches of cookies that will accompany each box of truffles. Last weekend was the first batch of gingerbread (I'll have to do at least one more before the holidays), and from it, I made a large gingerbread house for Lucien, several gingerbread men and women, and quite a few mini ones. Last time I was at our bulk food store I purchased a pair of tiny cookie cutters, about 2 inches high, that make the cutest gingerbread "hobbits."

And speaking of hobbits, I've finished the first part of Lucien's knitted gift; Gandalf the Grey from the Lord of the Rings:

I am working on Aragorn now, and then I have the four hobbits to complete (Should "hobbit" be capitalized? We don't capitalize "human," but it still does not look right. And yes, this is where my mind wanders....), Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin. I also finished the hat for my brother-in-law, so that's two gifts done. Yay!

So on that note, less typing, and more knitting!


  1. Hi there, I found you through Plain and Joyful Living this morning...your Gandalf is simply wonderful! I am going to subscribe to your blog in the hopes that you will post pictures of the rest of the gang when they are done! :)

    The truffles sound just lovely...we are making truffles this year for the first time. I am on the lookout for a good recipe--too bad you don't have a recipe to share! Maybe I should just experiment too...

  2. Thank you so much! I will certainly post pictures of the rest of the gang as they're finished, and I will have a pattern for The Fellowship up later on in the New Year.

    As far as the truffles go, Chris starts by pouring a little cream (perhaps a 1/2 cup?) in a fondue warmer, and waits until it's hot. Then he adds the chocolate wafers (or chips) a little at a time, stirring frequently, until it's melted, and then he'll add the liquer or flavouring (to taste). The trick is to experiment with consistency; we've had the best results with centres that are still too soft to work with at room temperature, we pour it into a bowl, freeze, and then make the little round centres. Refreeze them, and then drop into melted chocolate to cover. Once the coating is cool and solid, you'll have a nice shell, with delightfully smooth centres!

  3. Hi, I found you through plain and joyful living also, love your knitting - gandalf is amazingly detailed. You are very talented!!! I will be watching in anticipation for the patterns. Also the truffles sound delightful. Yum. Keep up the blog, a friend in KY, shari

  4. The truffles sound delicious! And we're going to have to start making Christmas cookies soon, too. Your knitted Gandalf is amazing!

    My boys (8, 6, and 4)and I just watched the LoTR trilogy. They really enjoy the movies. I'm so excited to hear the patterns coming in the New Year! My middle son would be thrilled if I made him the characters from the movies. His birthday is at the end of February so maybe I would have time to make them. :)

    On a knitting note, are you a member at It's a knitting and crochet community that is an absolutely amazing resource.

  5. Thank you Leah! Yes, I am on Ravelry! It's become my knitting lifeline; and my username is LadyLorien. And I'll do my best to have the patterns up and running to give you enough time to make the birthday presents!


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