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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love, Luxury & Limitless Indulgence

It's Valentine's Day, a day to celebrate your love for those around you. It's a day to bust out the wine you've been saving, splurge on those decadent truffles, or pull out the silky robe. It's a day to eat chocolates and big dinners, it's a day to order dessert, it's a day to imbibe more than you might normally.

Do you have plans? Will you endure the crowds at a popular local restaurant, or do you know of a private spot? Maybe you will travel with your loved one to a remote location and snuggle by the fire with a glass of rich port, brandy, or special beer. Perhaps you'll opt for a deliciously greasy pizza and play board games with a couple of bottles of wine. Do whatever strikes your fancy.

I work hard to show my love every day of the year, but February 14 is still a good excuse to celebrate and indulge. I hope you enjoy this faux-holiday!

This year I made a batch of these marzipan truffles. The full recipe is on New Scandenavian Cooking's website:

It's just a confectioner's sugar glaze (250g of sugar heated with ~3 tbsp of water) slowly blended with about 350g of blanched almonds. 

I made four different types:
  • Lavender | The intensely floral flavor was tempered by the sweet, rich marzipan.
  • Saffron | Just a few strands of saffron infuse the truffles with a lightly sweet and earthy flavor.
  • Cinnamon Cardamom | The spicy and savory blend matched the sweet marzipan for a great cold-weather treat.
  • Cocoa Chili | The bitter unsweetened cocoa and spicy chili melted into the marzipan making a decadent Valentine's Day sweet.
All four would pair nicely with a standard brandy and could even stand up to a peaty Islay Scotch. Lemon zest (alone or mixed with lavender), hibiscus, turmeric, and sea salt would be nice options too. 

Notes: I needed about 1/4 c more water than recommended (poured into the blender). I also didn't have plums to pull the seeds from (or bitter almonds). I didn't fry up the marzipan to bring out the flavor, but the blender got hot enough to bring out some of the flavors! It was a sticky and delicious mess. Once it hardened in the fridge, it was a delight to work with. Well worth the sticky hands.

Tip: Use a food processor instead of a blender for the power and easy of clean up. 

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