The Food Files:
hocolate has been a delicacy for over
fifteen hundred years, traced back as
far as the ancient Aztecs. However,
it was not until the Victorian period that
chocolate became a solid food. Before then, it
was enjoyed first as a spiced drink made from
ground roasted cocoa beans and chilli, and
later as a sweeter drink.
The Aztecs of Mexico prized their cocoa
beans above gold, using them as currency will go down perfectly with a glass of wine and
(100 bought a slave), they even paid their taxes a good film.
in bean form. Before making these truffles, remember that
England was rather late in joining the they do require time to set. However, you can
chocoholism that was sweeping the world. make them in advance as they’ll keep in the
When English buccaneers boarded what they freezer for up to 6 weeks and around a week
presumed was a Spanish treasure ship in in the fridge.
1579, they found it loaded with ‘dried sheep
droppings’ and subsequently burned it down.
100g plain chocolate
We got there eventually however, with our
50ml double cream
first Chocolate House opening in London in
1657 - though it wasn’t until 1847 that the
1 tbsp Baileys or another liqueur
first solid chocolate appeared, courtesy of Fry
For coating afterwards: good quality plain,
& Sons of Bristol. Quakers were the pioneers
milk or white chocolate.
of chocolate-making for centuries, owning the
likes of Fry, Rowntree and Cadbury.
1.Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring
Why should I eat it?
to the boil.
When eaten in moderation, dark chocolate can
lower blood pressure, is full of antioxidants,
2.Break your chocolate into chunks and
aids circulation, stimulates the brain and has
add to the cream, stirring until melted and
antidiarrhoeal effects. Other research has
suggested that chocolate is good for a cough,
3.Remove the pan from the heat and add the
with the theobromine ingredient being nearly a
butter, stirring until smooth.
third more effective than codeine.
4.Add the Baileys or liqueur and pour the
Why shouldn’t I eat it?
whole mixture into a bowl.
The lighter varieties aren’t quite so good for
5.Place the bowl in the fridge for around an
you and large consumption can lead to obesity.
hour until the temperature has gone down
There are even some concerns over lead
but the mixture has not yet set.
poisoning from some kinds of chocolate.
6.With an electric whisk, beat the mixture until
Remember, the theobromine in chocolate can
it has lightened in both colour and texture.
render it as toxic to some animals such as cats
7.Replace in the fridge and leave overnight.
Baileys Chocolate Truffles
8.Remove the bowl and with a teaspoon, take
Whoever thought a simple recipe could have
small amounts and roll them into balls.
such sophisticated results? These delicious
Try not to handle the mixture too much -
truffles make a gorgeous present when placed
roughly-shaped truffles will look fine once
in a lined gift box or cellophane-wrapped and
tied with a bow. But if you’re staying in on 9.Dip them in melted chocolate and put them
Valentine’s day, a pile of these little delicacies on greaseproof paper in the fridge to set.
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