BE PRESENT. Close your eyes, take three deep, cleansing breaths and quiet the mind.
SEE the shine and color on the truffle’s round shape.
TOUCH. Run your thumb and forefinger across the chocolate surface. Is it smooth, rough, bumpy, dry, moist or…?
SMELL. Bring your thumb and chocolate to your nose and inhale deeply. Close your eyes. Cup your other hand around the truffle and smell.
SNAP. Bite the truffle into two pieces. If the proper temperature conditions are present, you should hear a crisp, clean pop that indicates a well-tempered chocolate.
TASTE. Take a small bite. Break up the chocolate in your mouth, let it sit over your tongue, press to your palate (the roof of your mouth), and melt. What does your tongue detect: sweet, salty, bitter, acidic combination?
Now, taste with the help of your nose…as the chocolate is melting on your tongue, take a deep breath, aerating your palate as you stimulate your sense of smell through the back of your throat. What flavors do you taste now?
EVALUATE. After you have eaten the chocolate, take a breath into your mouth and chew on the breath, this gives you the lingering sense of the experience. Did you enjoy?
THE RECIPE: Yield: 36
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
½ cup superfine sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
6 tbsp. unsweetened natural cocoa powder
2 tbsp. brewed espresso or dark coffee, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened finely shredded dried coconut
Combine butter, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and use a handheld mixer set to medium speed to beat the mixture until pale and fluffy, 1–2 minutes. Add chocolate, cocoa powder, espresso, and vanilla and continue beating until combined, about 1 minute more.
Place oats in bowl of a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped, about 7-10 pulses. Add oats to chocolate–butter mixture and mix until combined; refrigerate until chilled, 1 hour.
Divide chilled chocolate mixture into 36 portions using a tablespoon-size measuring spoon or small cookie scoop; roll each portion into a 1″ ball. Place coconut in a shallow dish and roll each ball thoroughly in coconut; transfer balls to a baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.