My Funny Valentine

A funny thing happened on the way to the chocolate mousse…I made chocolate truffle.

When I chose to mix Italian aquafaba meringue with melted dark chocolate I ended up with a thick rather than airy mixture. The intended mousse become the ideal consistency for a truffle. I should have taken more time and peeked at some recipes on the net to remind myself that aquafaba chocolate mousse should not be made with a heated sugar syrup.

As usual I found a use for the would-be mousse. I mixed it with coconut caramel, rolled it into little balls then coated them with icing sugar. (Now are there any left to take a picture of…?) Some of the truffle mix became the focal point of my heart-shaped mini pie,  a very fashionably late entry to the Valentine’s Day party.

So in keeping with the theme of “I have a bunch of leftover ingredients, now what?’ I cobbled together the following sugar weekend treat.

There are three layers to my edible heart: the pie ‘crust’ is made of leftover vegan sugar cookie dough; the chocolate layer is my aquafaba chocolate truffle; and in between is the leftover low-sugar raspberry jam I used in my Remembrance Day poppy cookies.

For those of you not wishing to accidentally make an aquafaba chocolate truffle mix, here is the recipe I used (more or less). Whether it turns out the same or not, you can always find a use for melted chocolate mixed with sugar.

Drain the liquid from a small can (355mL) of chickpeas into a mixing bowl. This is the aquafaba. Add a pinch of xanthan gum/cream of tartar then, using a motorized whisk attachement, whip into a voluminous, white, stiff-peaked frenzy. During the whipping process, heat 1/3 cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup water over medium heat. When the mixture gets to 248°F (use a candy thermometer to check), remove from heat, then pour slowly down the side of the bowl containing the aquafaba. While pouring make sure the whipping is happening at low speed. Once done, turn speed to high and continue whisking until sugar syrup is fully incorporated and mixture turns glossy. Add a splash of vanilla extract then mix until combined. Meanwhile, melt some dark chocolate pieces over a double boiler. When just melted, add the aquafaba meringue in two stages using a heat-proof spatula to fold it together. The mixture should set almost immediately. Use as desired and store any remainder in a covered container at room temperature.

Now what to do with the rest of the truffle mixture…


Shiver me chocolate

While others celebrate winter with outdoor festivals and mascots that bear a striking resemblance to the Michelin man, I have devised a few of my own food festivals to keep me warm and toasty through the winter. They both centre around chocolate.

Chocolicious The hot chocolate festival 


A festival that runs from January to Easter and includes chocolate indulgences and a chocolate education. Read at least one book about chocolate (its history, health benefits, other but no cookbooks). Buy as many reputable and gourmet brands of chocolate that you can afford and eat over a 3-4 month period. Eg. dark chocolate with varying degrees of cacao content, bars made from rare species of beans and from new cacao markets (Papua New Guinea), uniquely flavoured truffles. Sugary confections don’t count. Bypass New Year’s resolutions and Lent and join me for my inaugural Chocolicious 2018! Feel free to share what you ate and what you’ve learned.

So why eat serotonin-enhancing chocolate during the darkest days of winter anyway?Well cold weather pairs well with chocolate and January onwards is usually a depressing time of year where I live. Chocolate makes perfect sense; it is food for the soul and for warmth.

The hot chocolate festival 

I borrowed this idea from a hot chocolate festival I heard about in Calgary Alberta. For every weekend in February make your own specialty hot chocolate drink. Some ideas: gingerbread hot chocolate, white chocolate and green tea, butter tart flavour. Also, buy at least two specialty hot chocolate drinks from a local establishment. The idea is to try something unique that you’ve never had before.


Sugar Saturday! Chocolate of the season

When life gives you lemons, steep them in vodka to make limoncello. In the meantime, buy chocolate, lots of it, and enjoy eating every morsel. 

caramel bars, dark chocolate mints, solid chocolate and flavoured

So much to choose from! 

It’s Saturday, it’s raining and I’ve got a replenished stock of chocolate in my fridge. I made a pilgrimage to the fair-trade store Ten Thousand Villages as I have been doing every year around mid-November to get my fix of Divine chocolate. This fair-trade company operates a cacao plantation in Ghana, one of the leading suppliers of theobroma (“food of the gods”) to the world chocolate industry. To learn more about this company and their cacao farmers, get recipes and drool over chocolate, check out the following link.