Whosoever says truffle, utters a grand word, which awakens erotic and gastronomic ideas…. – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste
Of course Brillat-Savarin was writing about the tuber, the earthy truffle snuffled up by pigs, priced like gold, and then eaten in savory dishes finely shaved. But cannot I say the same of these astonishing, rich little sweet confections? I created these truffles for a recent Plated Stories post, the theme being Fake, and fake truffles they are but who could confound them with their heady scent of chocolate? The addition of sesame in the form of tahini, smooth sesame paste, and sesame oil adds the earthy, nutty quality also found in the tuber, elegant and mysterious, but oh so much sweeter!
Days fly by at the Hôtel Diderot and I am somewhat astonished that it has already been five weeks. Or is it six? I have had no time at all to bake since we moved in and started working. Well, to be honest, I may have had the time but little energy. And my spare time is filled up with writing. I know that once I begin baking then the bug will have bitten and I’ll be baking as before, but it takes me a while to kickstart myself. And maybe more now that I have people to eat what I make! But so far, zilch. Until I had to create something – and test the recipe – for Plated Stories. It was my turn.
And so I made truffles. What made me want to add sesame paste and oil? I don’t remember, to tell the truth. Because I think chocolate and sesame go particularly well together, like pairing chocolate and peanut butter but with that very adult hint of bitter earthiness that tahini brings. I know there are many recipes out there for Chocolate Sesame Truffles but I played around, starting with my traditional truffle recipe, adding tahini and then increasing the ratio of tahini to chocolate and replacing some of the butter with sesame oil to bring out the flavor, accentuate the sesame more than other recipes do.
Sadly, the black sesame seeds that I had tucked away in the farthest corner of my refrigerator had gone stale and tasteless so I simply rolled my truffles in unsweetened cocoa powder which didn’t do them justice, hiding the wonderful, delicate sesame flavor, having to pass through a veil of bitter before the chocolate-sesame burst upon the palate. And the seeds would have added a satisfying little crunch, as well.
Truffles – anyone who does not declare himself ready to leave Paradise or Hell for such a treat is not worthy to be born again. – Maurice Goudeket, Close to Colette
You will find the recipe here on Plated Stories. And while you are there, read the fun post on Fake.