Candied Orange and Almond Chocolate Truffles

My Grandpa celebrated his 90th birthday this weekend.

Grandpa Earl

This guy is one of my heros. He lost a leg while in the army in his second decade of life, but it never slowed him down. He learned to water ski and snow ski after that and continued to do so until well into his late 70s- early 80s. He even gave us grand-kids lessons on the slope…though, as a child,  I always wondered how he knew how to ski with two skis when he used 3 – one ski and a pair of outriggers.

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Grandpa always knew how to take a good nap…and still does. :)

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I can’t imagine how many books he read to us. They were probably the reason he needed those naps.

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Anna, Grandpa, and me. Just guessing this was December of ’87…

Grandpa is the most positive and upbeat man I know. Even as life gets tougher for him, he’s always got a smile and hug for us and hardly ever complains about things I would say are well worthy of complaint.

Grandpa 2

My sisters made chocolate cupcakes for his 90th birthday party. Not just chocolate cupcakes though, chocolate cupcakes filled with ganache and topped with peanut butter frosting. Yum!

The leftover frosting didn’t last long, but the ganache has been hidden away in the frig for days now. I know, because it keeps calling my name. Last night, I pulled it out and dipped a spoon (or two, who’s counting?) into the bowl, then ate it with candied orange peel. That’s when the truffle idea came to me.

These are so, SO simple, even if you don’t have leftover ganache in the frig calling your name. Ganache is just melted chocolate with a little cream. You can find a recipe for it anywhere and, who doesn’t have chocolate and cream hanging out at their house? (I would get fired if we ran out. Seriously, you should see the looks on people’s faces if we run out of Ghirardelli’s 60% chocolate chips!)

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Now, I won’t expect you to have candied orange peel on hand without a little warning. I honestly never have it around…until last week. See, I made this amazing Fennel Citrus Salad and after cutting off the peel of four organic oranges, I couldn’t bear to throw it all out, so I tossed it in a pot with some water and organic sugar and let it boil down into candied orange strips.

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Well, then I had them calling my name from the cupboard. Sigh...at least ganache and candied orange peel harmonize well.

I figured the only thing missing to make a complete trio would be almonds.

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You just can’t go wrong with chocolate, almonds, and orange. It’s scientifically impossible.

Candied Orange and Almond Chocolate Truffles

  • 1 1/2 c. chocolate ganache
  • 1/2 c. almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 c. candied orange peel, chopped

Fold almonds and orange peel into chocolate. Chill. Roll into balls and dust with unsweetened cocoa powder. Makes approximately 20.

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2011 Culinary Highlights

Is it really, really the middle of January? Wow! 2011 was a great year for me – new adventures, new places, new people and lots of lessons in the journey of life.
And, of course, we can’t forget new recipes!
It was a year ago this month that I started the Penarious Challenge. I’d have to say that the most interesting challenge was the attempt to recreate Heinz ketchup in the kitchen. I learned more about ketchup than I ever wanted to know and came pretty close, but not close enough. Heinz Tomato Ketchup recipe remains a secret.
One of the most exciting moments in my culinary blog world was getting interviewed by Ian Lamont of Slickepott, the fudge sauce company. You can read about all that in this post if you haven’t already.
And, if you haven’t already, click on over to his website and buy some fudge!
Most Complicated Recipe Award goes to the Orange Almond Cream Cake. 
My, was it good though!
Here are the recipes that made the “You Gotta Try” list. No, it’s not every recipe I posted last year either. :D
Sweetness –

Raspberry Cheesecake

Swedish Mazarinmuffins

Cherry Almond Oatmeal

Savory –

Gnocchi with Spinach Cream Sauce

Reubens

Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Salad

It’s another adventure to take on 2012! I annually wonder what the next year will hold and before we know it, it will all be memories! 
So don’t forget to savor the moments – stop to smell the roses, give a hug, breath in fresh air, try a new recipe, or count your blessings! 
Happy TwoThousandTwelve! 
~Sarah