Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Domori Chocolate Truffles

Three sources are responsible for this momentary indulgence: A recipe from Food52 that I've been meaning to make since February, the imaginative fancies of Italian chocolate maker Gianluca Franzoni, and some very wise words from San Francisco chocolatier Kathy Wiley.

Let's start with Kathy. She's the founder of the Poco Dolce brand and owner of the Dogpatch factory store that goes by the same name. Like the buyers for the Williams Sonoma catalog, Murray's cheese and various other upscale outlets that carry her squares of toffee draped in a subtle blend of dark chocolate in a half-utilitarian decision and half-understated-elegance wrapper, I like Kathy's work and so I stopped by her shop in San Francisco one Sunday afternoon to say so in person. But it was closed that day. I asked her, the next time I saw her, why. "Oh," she said. "We don't work on weekends." Why not? I asked. She answered--and this is what makes Kathy such a cool person--with utterly relaxed conviction--"Quality of life."

Yep. I'll second that. So on this Sunday afternoon, my plan was to do a little bit of work, make some good food, and then be out the door by 6:15 so that I can catch the all-female performance of Julius Caesar in Brooklyn's Carroll Gardens tonight.  That gives me fourteen minutes to finish explaining to you how those hand-rolled Domori confections with the buttery sheen ended up in my freezer.

You see, I had that Food52 recipe, plus some almond butter from the Brooklyn Larder, some New England maple syrup, some shredded coconut, a tin of cocoa powder that I wish had been one notch higher in quality, no sea salt, alas (where's Mark Bitterman when you need him), and these four 25-gram bars of Domori chocolate: 100% Criollo, Javagrey, Porcelana, and Teyuna. Each bar, lighter in weight than a pack of dental floss, retails for somewhere near ten bucks--and in a book that's half blind passion and half valuable instruction titled In Search of the Lost Cocoa Domori founder Franzoni tells all about the genetic origins of these couverture chocolates and the rich, fruity, earthy, and roast-ready flavors the beans produce. But on a Sunday afternoon, you can blend all of those flavors together, and I can tell you it's money well spent.

Here's what you do:

In a small pot combine any four 0.88-oz/25-g bars (all the same origin or a variety) of Domori chocolate (broken into quarters) with 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, 1/4 cup almond butter, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste. Stir over low heat until everything is slick and combined. Turn off heat immediately. A minute later, start ladling out spoonfuls of the mixture and mold them into truffle-like balls with your hands. Drop a few flecks of coconut on top of each ball. If you have pink sea salt, use some of that here, too. Refrigerate or freeze for at least twenty minutes and then eat.

Quality of life, man.


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