I am going to apologize upfront. I try very hard to post seasonal recipes and generally stay away from items that are not in season somewhere in the world. Valentine’s is coming and this is a highly appropriate suggestion as hawthorn is all about the heart. The unfair part is that unless there is hawthorn in some form, already available it will not be possible to make these in time for February 14th. I decided to share the recipe though and offer a good reason to gather hawthorn flowers this coming spring or the berries, as I did last fall. I promise I will post the instructions for the tonic in the fall so you are good to go for next year.These are hawthorn berries. “Haw” is an old English word for hedge, a space that divided properties and was generally speaking left to grow wild. It was a place small animals could travel about without being seen, full of all sorts of native plants.
Hawthorns share a family connection with roses, also connected to love. As a kissing cousin they also have thorns so be aware when gathering for kitchen use.
This link offers lots of information about hawthorn and its use for heart related issues, physical and emotional. As in all things, do your own research and listen within.
You will need:
1/4 cup hawthorn pulp
1/2 cup whipping cream
8 oz. chocolate, melted
Any or all of the following for coating:
extra chocolate for dipping
toasted pine nuts
Spend a moment bringing awareness to your heart. Is it open or are you feeling like a wall is up, protecting yourself? With focus, breath in and out imagining that breath coming in and going out through your heart chakra. Does it feel more open? Since this recipe is so connected to the heart, allow yours the freedom to participate. Invite the compassionate spirits and begin.
These are the berries after they have been sitting for six weeks in vodka, sour cherries, ginger and lemon. You will notice that the colour has left the berries themselves so jelly and tonics will have a brown tone.
Once the liquid has been separated and bottled, the berries are left. Many people throw these away but since they have been nicely preserved by the alcohol in the tonic, I sat down and took all the fruit off the seeds.
This can be a bit if a job as the seeds are large for the size of the berry and there really is not much “fruit” to come off but hey! potion making takes a little time.
I ended up with about 1/4 cup pulp, seen in the picture above. If you have more (or less), either continue along or adjust the other ingredients. More pulp will make the finished mixture softer and might mean it is a little messier to roll but your hands will love it, all that cocoa butter!
Add the mixture to the melted chocolate and stir until everything is combined. I used a 50/50 mixture of milk and dark this time, but use the chocolate variety that you like. Milk will be sweeter and dark will get more intense as the cocoa nib percentage goes up.
Pour into a container, cover and allow to firm up in the fridge.
When it is time to make the truffles, roll into balls just under the size of a walnut. This is an untempered soft mixture so the cooler your hands are the better. If it starts to get messy, pop the mixture back in the fridge for 10 minutes and wash your hands again. This recipe only made 11 truffles, so working quickly, it is possible to get through all the balls at once. The rolled balls can also be returned to the fridge if you are concerned they are getting too soft.
You can see in the pictures below that I made all the balls the same size and finished with three coating options. One was a roasted, chopped pine nut roll. Due to the added dimension of the nuts they ended up a little larger than the other truffles and could probably have had smaller fillings so that all the chocolates finished a similar size.
Option one is a roll in cocoa. Short and sweet and the traditional finish for a truffle. It is best to do this just as the balls are being rolled. Your hands will have warmed the outside layer and the cocoa will attach more easily than rolling cold from the fridge balls.
Option two was a dip in dark chocolate. This can be a melt and pour chocolate option but choosing to buy good quality couverture chocolate with cocoa butter and tempering was my choice. Step by step instructions are here. Dipping fresh from the fridge balls will be a little easier as the balls are firmer. They will also pick up more chocolate as the coolness of the filling will help solidify the chocolate.
Option three was to roll by hand in chocolate then dropping in roasted, chopped pine nuts. Rolling the truffle by hand will put less chocolate on the truffle but enough to attach the nuts. When rolling in nuts some people choose to use melted untempered chocolate on the truffle ball before rolling in nuts. If finishing this way, the truffles are better off staying in the fridge until being served as untempered couverture chocolate will melt quickly when touched.
Viola! Chocolate love for the ones you love!