Bites of Heaven: Chocolate Coconut Bourbon Truffles

Have you wondered why truffles (the sweets) are called such? A delectable dessert, it is hardly a rare fungus as the name suggests. Being coated with cocoa powder, chopped nuts or coconut flakes however, sure makes it resemble those kind of truffles and hence the moniker. Although the origins of chocolate truffles are uncertain, it is generally believed to have been the accidental invention of the French chef Auguste Escoffier in the late 19th century. While making pastries, he dumped some hot, creamy contents into a bowl of chocolate chunks, which mixed to give birth to the chocolate truffles as we know them today.

This one’s for all you chocoholics out there. As if these rich, creamy chocolate truffles weren’t delightfully decadent enough by themselves, a shot of fragrant bourbon lifts them to dizzyingly heady heights and sends you straight to heaven. A splash of coconut essence adds further complexity to this already flavourful confectionary, but if you aren’t a fan, feel free to omit it.

Made with coconut milk, the recipe is vegan-friendly— simply make sure to use vegan chocolate chips and you’re all set.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 120 ml coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 340 gm semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

The Process

In a small-sized saucepan, simmer the coconut milk over medium heat. Meanwhile, put the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and set on top of the saucepan of milk so they may soften.

After the milk has come to a simmer, take off from heat and pour carefully into the bowl of chocolate chips. Allow to sit for a minute.

Gently stir the chocolate and coconut milk mixture together using a spatula, until well combined and smooth. Stir in the coconut extract and bourbon.

Pour the mixture into a square 8 by 8 inch glass dish. Cover the dish with cling film and refrigerate for about 2 hours till the mixture is firmly set and cooled.

Portion out the truffles on a baking sheet which has been lined with wax paper and dusted with cocoa powder. They will be about 1 tablespoon each. Form the truffles by rolling into a ball with hands. Then dip in cocoa powder to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Whisky Mac, A Drink from Days of the Raj

Whisky Mac, formerly known as Whisky MacDonald, has its roots in British India where Colonel Hector MacDonald concocted this beverage. In 1899, the colonel proposed a demarcation between China and British India with a border. There was unrest after this demarcation which was followed by a breakout of cholera. Owing to medicinal properties of ginger, ginger wine gained wide popularity. Ginger, apart from being a digestif, brought relief to the cholera patients. Combining his love for whisky and the medicinal benefits of ginger, the colonel came up with the unusual Whisky Mac, which the men in uniform preferred to unwind with after a grueling day at the border. Traditionally, Whisky Mac was served neat. If you want to serve it with crushed ice, it’s best to strain the concoction into a drinking glass after adding ice. This ensures that the liquid is chilled but not too diluted by the melting ice, which might bring changes to the flavor and thereby change the taste. Interestingly, this cocktail is also referred to as the “Golfer’s favorite”. During winters, after a chilly round at the course golfers drink Whisky Mac. This helps ward off the chill and keeps the body warm. The hot version of Whisky Mac (by adding hot water) is the absolute spirit when the temperatures dip.

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IT’S THE END OF YOUR SHIFT: KNOCK BACK WITH SOME BOLIERMAKER

They say “Beer after whiskey is risk,” so better drink them together, right? But that’s not what birthed the Boilermaker, a cocktail which is hardly even a cocktail! The term ‘boilermaker’ was first used to refer to workers who built and maintained locomotives during the mid-19th century. A popular belief holds that after a hard day’s labour, these workers would visit their nearest pub and chased down a shot of whiskey with a pint of ale for a quick, almost analgesic high. There’s another anecdote which possibly delineates the origins of the Boilermaker. The story involves one Richard Trevithick, a Cornish blacksmith who was experimented with steam-propelled vehicles. In 1801, Trevithick decided to put his the latest invention – a steam-propelled road vehicle – to trial on Christmas night. The location was Cornwall village of Cambourne. The vehicle successfully climbed a hill in the village, carrying Trevithick and a few of his friends. They stopped in front of a bar, and stepped in to celebrate, leaving the vehicle in a shed. Amidst all the merriment and drunken revelry, they forgot about the fire burning in the vehicle boiler. When Trevithick and his friends got done, they arrived at the shed to find a molten mass of tousled scrap. Well, keeping that story in mind as a cautionary tale for the unwarranted, reserve the Boilermaker for a celebration, or the end of a really taxing shift. A shot of an aged smoky, sweet bourbon whiskey, or rye whiskey works well for this concoction. A good idea is to use pale for this mega shot, which will ensure that your palate and food pipe are not under siege.

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Bourbon-Glazed Bacon & Turkey Sandwich

The South American barrel-aged darling by the name of bourbon from Kentucky, is a favourite among Southerners. Bourbon whiskey is popular all over the world, so much so that it makes up for two-thirds of the exports of distilled spirits. From Hitchcock’s protagonist in North by Northwest and Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrence in The Shining to James Bond, bourbon is a fashionable American favourite. Hollywood clearly has a lot to do with it. A bourbon-glazed bacon and turkey sandwich is a quick fix and a fitting choice if you are in the mood for something fancy for lunch. The recipe serves four portions, so you might as well have leftovers for dinner.

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