Valentine’s Day is about family, love and chocolate truffles!

Published: February 14, 2014
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They are messy but simple to make, as simple as ‘I Love You.’ PHOTO: SAADIA TARIQ

It is natural that things that seem important to us in our teens do not really appeal to us as much two decades later. That’s the case with me and Valentine’s Day.

Back in the day, hormones were raging, but now you find yourself raging at your own teen kids. Our parents seemed to do everything wrong and now you try your level best, just as your parents once did, to convince your child that you are right. In those days, going out alone with friends was an absolute must and now it’s an absolute security risk.

Back then, Valentine’s Day was spent in anticipation and basking in roses, now it’s spent in exhaustion and kids’ school runs.

To me, the celebrations surrounding St Valentine’s Day seem magnanimously pompous and perplexing at the same time. The time, effort and money spent on pleasing a loved one on this day alone, and not any other, is as unimaginable as little cupid aiming the arrow at your heart.

It is not like I don’t wish my friends, family, relatives and my Mr a very happy Valentine’s Day but over the last few years, as age, grey hair and wisdom (or so I think) has increased, I feel myself failing to associate the expression of love with this single day.

However, celebrate we must.

So, why not as a family?

And so, I decided to replace the usual roses, teddies and chocolates with Valentine’s truffles instead. And that too made by my kids.

They decided to replay Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in the living room – rolling the cold chocolate ganache in their soft squidgy hands, dropping the rounded (well, almost rounded) decadent chocolate balls on the parchment paper, licking off the melted bittersweet chocolate from their hands, sneaking a bite of the creamy bits and laughing in delight.

Chocolate, laughter and love – isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about anyway?

Rolling the ganache. Photo: Saadia Tariq

This was by far the best Valentine moment for me.

They are messy but simple to make, scrumptious and divinely sweet.

Having fun with chocolate. Photo: Saadia Tariq

Here is how we did it:

Ingredients (makes about 12)

Bittersweet chocolate – 220 grams

Heavy cream – 120 ml

Vanilla essence – ½ tsp

Swirl around toppings

Coloured sprinkles, icing sugar, cocoa and shredded coconut (I used pink sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles and icing sugar).

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate and cream over a bain marie (container filled with hot water used for cooking delicate foods like custards to create gentle and uniform heat around the food).
  2. Mix in the vanilla essence. Once all melted, stir thoroughly with a spatula and let cool.
  3. Once cool, refrigerate for a minimum of one hour.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Once the ganache becomes solid, scoop it out in your hands (clean ones please) and quickly shape them into golf-sized balls.
  6. Put them on the baking sheet and once all done put the baking sheet in the refrigerator again.
  7. Put generous amounts of your favourite swirly toppings in small bowls.
  8. Coat the truffles with the toppings generously and refrigerate them in an airtight container until ready to devour.

They will keep for a week, unless of course, you have children (also known as, chocolate monsters) in the house!

Enjoy and a very happy Valentine’s Day to you!

Saadia Tariq

Saadia Tariq

The writer is a food consultant, blogger and food photographer. You can see her work on her website www.capturebyst.com, her Facebook page www.facebook.com/capturebyst or follow her on twitter @capturebyst (twitter.com/capturebyst).

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.