Chocolate Truffles

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I’m a terrible mother. I’ve been neglecting my third child (Project Pastry Love). It was her 2nd birthday on the 12th of April and I didn’t even acknowledge it. No cringe-worthy singing of the Happy Birthday song. No gifts to open. No cake, for goodness sake! And I love cake–to bake and eat it too! In my defense, I’ve had a lot going on with my 2nd child, Wesley. He has been delayed in speaking for quite a while now, and we’ve been working with many doctors to figure out what might be going on. Some good news has come our way, however. We found out that Wesley has been accepted into a language-enriched preschool. Yippee! Hopefully, he’ll start speaking clearly, become very articulate, go to a pricey college on a full scholarship, study all languages, and become a world renowned professor of linguistics. Now, I just need to get Project Pastry Love to start talking to me again and then I’ll be good to go. Maybe these chocolate truffles (lemon white chocolate macadamia nut and bittersweet) will do the trick. Continue reading →

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Milk Chocolate Strawberry Jams

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My husband gave me the greatest gift ever. He took our two boys to New York City for an overnight adventure. They left at 9:30 A.M. and did not return for another 24 hours. I think they planned to go to the Bronx Zoo, and out to eat, and… well, the point is I didn’t care what they were going to do. That morning I had the biggest smile on my face while I was getting them all ready. It wasn’t until Cameron started to cry when he said good-bye to me that I felt a pang of guilt. The smallest pang. I just couldn’t wait to be alone! I couldn’t wait to clean up my house, and bake without distraction, and drink an entire cup of coffee without ever having to reheat it, and take a glorious nap. It was a dream day that ended with a fabulous girls’ night at my friend Tallie’s place. By the time my boys came home I was ready to reclaim my family. I woke up missing them. I couldn’t wait to hear Cameron say, “Mom, do you know something…” and then tell me about something I probably knew already. And I couldn’t wait for Wesley to grab on to my leg tightly and kiss my knee. I couldn’t wait to be with them again. I happily took them to the park to play “lion catchers: we catch escape zoo lions”. After about 30 minutes of this I couldn’t wait to be alone again. Motherhood. It messes with you. Continue reading →

Easy Chocolate Taffy Roses

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I am turning 40 years old this June 4th, and I’ll be honest, I’m a little uncomfortable about it. I don’t mind turning 40, I just don’t like that 40 is closer to 50 than it is to 20. It’s a bit of a bummer. Anyway, I am already dreaming up my birthday cake. Cake decorating isn’t my thing, but I do want this birthday cake to be beautiful. I envision 3 tiers. I want it to be square-shaped. And it has to taste really good. I’m thinking about decorating my cake with sculpted chocolate or marzipan, so I’ve started to practice. Today I made easy chocolate taffy roses from Susie Norris’ & Susan Heeger’s book Hand-Crafted Candy Bars. This taffy was incredibly easy to make, and has a deep chocolate flavor. I made vegan chocolate cupcakes and vegan vanilla frosting (recipe here) and then placed a rose on top. I thought the cupcakes looked elegant and beautiful. Here’s to hoping that 40 feels the same.  Continue reading →

Capezzoli di Venere (Nipples of Venus)

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I’ve always wanted to make Capezzoli di Venere (Nipples of Venus) ever since I saw the 1982 film Amadeus. These Italian delights are suggestively decorated, I know, but they’re so delicious. The inside contains a buttery, brandy-soaked chestnut filling, that is then dipped in white chocolate and topped with a white chocolate “nipple”. I suppose Capezzoli di Venere would make a great Valentine’s Day dessert, or a fun baby shower favor. Heck, they’d probably be a hit at a bachelor party. You know men… they love little chocolates. Continue reading →