Saturday, April 11, 2009

Julie Hasson's Dark Chocolate Truffles

For April's Chef Spotlight dinner event, we're highlighting vegetarian and vegan chefs. My friend Ruby prepared this dish for the dinner and the recipe comes from Chef Julie Hasson.

From writing several dessert-driven cookbooks to owning her own bakery to catering for famous clients like Steven Spielberg and HBO, Chef Julie Hasson has had one “sweet” life. Thanks to a nurturing mom, a natural talent and passion for preparing food, and an Easy-Bake Oven, Chef Hasson has been honing her exceptional culinary skills since she was a small child. Many years and dozens of cookies later, she attended UCLA’s culinary arts/professional chef program and then went on to work at the famous Patina restaurant in Los Angeles.

In the years that followed, this diva of desserts owned and operated two California-based bakery and catering companies and worked as a private chef for a slew of celebrity clients. Also a writer and recipe developer, Chef Hasson has penned four cookbooks dedicated to confection perfection, including the award-winning 125 Best Chocolate Chip Recipes and the newly released 300 Best Chocolate Recipes, and has contributed her know-how to magazines like Bon App├ętit, Cooking Light, and Vegetarian Times. Today, Chef Hasson is a food consultant and cooking instructor who can be found hosting Everyday Dish, a popular Internet cooking show.

With a signature style based on “minimum fuss with maximum results,” Chef Hasson is known for creating mouthwatering meatless masterpieces, like her Ginger-Peanut Tofu Salad, Tofu Scramble, and Triple Chocolate Pudding. -- VegCooking

Dark Chocolate Truffles
recipe from Julie Hasson

6 oz dark chocolate
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon soymilk (such as Silk Vanilla)
2 tablespoons dark rum, espresso or soymilk
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
Cocoa powder for rolling

In a medium sized stainless steel bowl, melt the chocolate over gently simmering water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Turn off the heat and let stand over warm water until ready to use.

Remove the bowl with chocolate from pot. Add the soymilk, rum and powdered sugar into the melted chocolate, whisking well. Whisk or stif until mixture is thickened. If mixture is still soft, chill briefly until thickened and set.

Using the small cookie scoop, scoop out the truffles, forming small balls. Place scooped truffles un a bowl with cocoa powder, making sure to cover truffles completely with cocoa. Place truffles in a shallow container or in small paper muffin cups.

When the truffles are all done, refrigerate until ready to serve. Give them a few minutes out of the refrigerator before serving to bring out the flavor.