red velvet truffles

13 February 2015

I know that Valentine's day is supposed to be a Marmite-type thing and you either love it or loathe it, but I've always been fairly indifferent to the whole hoopla. I remember a couple of times nearer the beginning of our relationship when E and I did something special for the occasion, but for the most part it's been a date that's just a date. Oh, except last year was the most exciting, because the new season of House of Cards came out that day. Only a couple of weeks to go until Season 3!

Back to the topic at hand.

This year, the only outing on the agenda is brunch with 2 of my favourite girls (in fact, I seem to have a tradition of always seeing friends on V day) - I'll spend the rest of the day doing some work, my husband will cook us a delicious dinner, and we'll have the quiet, relaxing evening I've been craving all week. So really, nothing fancy at all.

However, I did make a little something that I thought would be appropriate for those who like to celebrate this heart-shaped day, and equally for those who do not but want to make a treat for themselves or for others. Yes, red food colouring is involved, but don't write me off as a V day cliché just yet! Because red velvet cake is a beauty all year round, isn't it?

These are far from being an original idea - google it and it'll give you tons of different recipes. I thought it looked fun, quite easy, and something different, so I gave it ago and I'm pleased with the results.

How can I not be, though? It's cake & icing, smushed together and covered in chocolate. Surely you can't go too wrong? 

Red velvet truffles (makes about 40 small truffles) (based on this recipe)

{for the cake}
2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 egg whites
2 tsp red food colouring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp white wine vinegar
{for the icing}
180g full fat cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
{for covering}
300g dark, milk or white chocolate 
sprinkles for decoration, optional

To make:
1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. 
2) Sieve and combine the dry ingredients for the cake.
3) Beat together the wet ingredients with an electric whisk.
4) Gently fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture, and pour into a greased cake pan (small-medium size).
5) Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven, until a toothpick comes out clean.
6) Mix the cream cheese and icing sugar to form an icing.
7) Once the cake is baked and cooled, crumble the mixture into the icing and mix with your hands until everything is combined.
8) Roll the mixture into small truffle-sized balls, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
9) Heat the chocolate in the microwave for a couple of minutes or until it's melted. Roll each truffle in the melted chocolate, and place them on baking paper. Add any sprinkles whilst the chocolate is still melted.
10) Place the whole lot in the freezer for 10-15 minutes or the fridge for a little longer, for the chocolate to become solid again.
11) Give them to people you love (or at least really, really like), or eat them yourself in PJs, watching Netflix. 

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