Truffles have this mystic, extravagant air about them. When you throw around the word "truffle," people Ooo and Ahhh and think of fancy, expensive things. Partly because actual truffles are those really pretentious mushrooms no one can afford. But mostly because the word truffle is associated with some sort of delicious chocolate treat for the rest of us. And everyone likes delicious chocolate treats (even, god forbid, those people who just don't know it yet).
A friend recently gave me a bit of saffron to play around with since I had never used (or tasted) saffron before. My immediate thought was to put it in truffles because I had already planned to make them (but for all I knew about saffron, it could have been a steak spice). Had I known saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, I might have treated it with a bit more reverence. Though I still managed to unwittingly combine two of the most pretentious foods in existence.
Now that I've wildly thrown about the words "truffle" and "saffron," I feel sufficiently pompous. So I apologize for this (deliciously) arrogant post but, since the damage is already done, I don't see the harm in being a bit cheeky for a bit longer. Do you?
Let me describe these sassy little devils to you.
White chocolate saffron truffles are sensual. Subtle. Conceited and coy. They send you a come-hither gaze from across the room. They make promises that sound too good to be true. They urge you to partake, to give in, to indulge. When you give into that unceasing gaze (and oh will you ever), these truffles live up to all of those expectations. The very moment they disappear into the mouth, they melt into a velvety smooth chocolate that circles the tongue like a silk scarf. The chocolate dances and weaves between the taste buds. It waltzes. It tangos. When the final chords strike, it gives a finishing whirl before dipping out of sight.
If you don't happen to have saffron lying around, it can be substituted for another herb such as lavender or removed completely. I don't think anyone can turn down a simple and elegant white chocolate truffle. And that's the truth.
White Chocolate Saffron Truffles
Yields about 20 truffles
1 1/4 cups white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
Place the chopped white chocolate into a medium glass bowl.
In a small saucepan, stir together the cream, saffron, honey, and butter. Cook over medium high heat until boiling. Remove from heat and pour the cream over the white chocolate. Let sit for 2-3 minutes before stirring.
Allow the chocolate to cool down and firm up in room-temperature. This will take approximately 30 minutes.
Place the powdered sugar in a small mixing bowl.
Take small amounts (somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon) of chocolate and drop them into the powdered sugar. Shake around the bowl of sugar until all the truffles are evenly coated. Remove the truffles and shake slightly to remove any excess powdered sugar (I like to shake mine like I'm a high rolling craps player with big money on the line. Personal preference, really).
Truffles should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, up to 2-3 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving. If the truffles have absorbed the powdered sugar, you can always re-roll them before serving to give a more polished appearance (in fact, I suggest this for the best results).