Practice is the best of all instructors ~ Publilius Syrus
My dancing instructors used to always drum into us to practise, practise, practise. Everyone starts off completely rookie but to remember your routine / get down in the splits / perform well in front of an audience / pretty much get good at anything: you have to do it over and over and over again.
Which is all good and dandy when you're talking about whirling around in a sparkly costume but a completely different story when you're learning to put in a cannula.
Today was my very first go at putting in an i.v. line and...well, I wasn't a natural. I managed to jab myself with a (clean) needle. Then managed to stab straight through the house surgeon's vein and give him a massive bruise at the back of his hand. Oh dear.
Surely I can only get better at it right?!?
I know at least that baking definitely gets easier with practice, as does making truffles. Have made a few different types of truffles over the years: good old ganache truffles, eggnog truffles, raspberry truffles, oreo truffles and most recently these Peanut Butter Truffles. And it's gone from a stressful messy process to a kinda fun messy process. One can only hope this medicine thing is similar....
These peanut butter truffles are inspired by the much loved confectionary: Reeses Cups and the peanut butter balls that the Hunter Cafe sells down in Dunedin (I miss you Hunter Cafe!). But unlike the more solid almost crumbly Reeses Cups centre, these are creamy and unctous and melt in your mouth with a burst of gorgeous salty sweet peanutiness.
However, the creaminess means that these centres are a tad fiddly to handle since they melt fairly easily. Not to mention, coating with chocolate is always a pretty spatter happy process so make these when you have plenty of time to spare! Having said that they are not as messy as making ganache truffles (albeit more messy than the oreo ones).
Peanut Butter Truffles
makes 60-65 truffles
1 1/2 cup peanut butter (~400g)
110g unsalted butter
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
400g dark chocolate (for coating)
1. In a food processor, blend the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and icing sugar. Taste the mixture and add salt to your taste. It may need only 1/4 tsp or more depending on how salty your brand of peanut butter is. Chill the mixture in the fridge for at least 2 hours, best overnight.
2. Line 2 cookie trays with waxed paper, wax side up. Roll heaped teaspoonfuls of the chilled mixture into balls. It's a pretty rich little morsel so the smaller the better! Gloves would be really handy because you end up getting peanut butter everywhere! The chilled mixture will still be quite soft and prone to melting in your hand so you might need to roll out only say 10 balls at a go and return the rest of the mixture to the fridge. Place the rolled balls in the freezer for around 10 minutes to firm up.
3. While the rolled balls are chilling out in the freezer, melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water (but not touching the water). Or melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts. Coat the balls of peanut butter in the melted chocolate either using 2 spoons or with a glove, aka in fancy patisserie speak "enrobe" your peanut butter centres with chocolate. Make sure you keep a little melted chocoalte left over for decorating. Place the chocolatey truffles on the wax paper to harden. Only do a few at a time as they go oozy out of the fridge pretty quickly!
4. When the chocolate is completely set or "dry" use the remaining melted chocolate and either using a spoon or with a ziplock bag with a small hole cut in the corner drizzle the dark chocolate over truffles. Keep the truffles in the fridge in an airtight container until just before serving. They can be made in advance - I ate the last of the ones I made around 5 days later and they were still good!