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u'Scrumptious: (adj.), very pleasing, especially to the senses; delectable; splendid.'

Photo and Column by Lindsay Kucera/The AS Review

Chocolate connoisseurs the world over tout the divinity of gourmet truffles. The trouble with gourmet truffles, however, is they seem nearly impossible to make at home. Even the easier recipes can be intimidating. However, in honor of the Hallmark holiday of Valentine’s Day, I have developed a recipe for foolproof truffles. These, my friends, are the chocolate truffle’s response to the little black dress, something you can turn to again and again to make a spectacular impression.

Costs: $7.00

Makes: A dozen truffles

Ingredients:

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Cocoa powder

Directions:

Using a sharp knife, chop the chocolate into rough chunks. To melt the chocolate, use either a double boiler or a heat-resistance glass bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Put the chocolate in the bowl, add the heavy cream and stir constantly. Remove the bowl from the heat as soon as the chocolate is smooth, overheat the mix and the cream will burn and get gritty. Immediately stir in the balsamic vinegar, mix well. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to set up for an hour. Using a spoon, scoop out a small amount of the solid chocolate and roll gently between your palms to form a ball, about an inch in diameter, and then roll in cocoa powder to cover the truffle. Put back in the fridge for another 30 minutes. Pack into small cupcake wrappers to make excellent gifts for your sweetie.

Variations: Add a few tablespoons of ground ginger to the chocolate, and roll in toasted coconut after truffles are set. You can also dip any truffle into melted semi-sweet chocolate and then freeze briefly to set up a chocolate shell.