Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…

Valentine's Recipe: Champagne Gold Leaf Truffles

Rich and silky champagne-kissed chocolate truffles...
...what could be more romantic?
A touch of edible gold-leaf makes these homemade delicacies
as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palette.  

Last night, seven lovely ladies gathered at my home for a truffle-making workshop.  We made three types:  Raspberry Dusted Dark Chocolate, Honey Truffles, and Champagne Gold Leaf.  All three truffles follow a very basic recipe involving heavy cream, good quality dark chocolate, and butter.  If you can boil water (or in this case, cream, you can make truffles).  Here's how...

Champagne Gold Leaf Truffles

Yield:  approx. 3 dozen
  • 1 3/4 cups high quality chocolate*
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons Champagne 
For dipping and garnish
  • 10 ounces high quality chocolate, chopped
  • Gold leaf (I purchase mine at Michael's.  A .1 oz. bag costs around $8 and will cover several hundred truffles)A small paint brush

Step 1: Microwave method

In a microwave-safe bowl, place chocolate and cream. Microwave at medium power till cream begins to boil (In my microwave, this happens at 2 minutes 30 seconds). Let sit for two minutes, then whisk until smooth. Stir in butter. Then stir in champagne till smooth and glossy.

Step 1: Stove-top method

Place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour boiling cream over the bowl of chocolate. Let sit for two minutes, then whisk until smooth. Stir in butter. Then stir in champagne till smooth and glossy.

Step 2: Cover and refrigerate until firm (6-8 hours)

Step 3: Line a tray with parchment or wax paper. With a Tablespoon or Tablespoon scoop (#60), scoop chilled chocolate from the bowl and place on the lined tray. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. 

Tip: It's best to work in a cold room when making truffles.

Step 4: Remove tray from refrigerator and, working quickly, roll a chocolate scoop between your palms to create a smooth, uniform ball. Freeze tray for 30 minutes (or until firm).

Step 5:  Melt chopped chocolate over low heat.  Using a skewer, toothpicks, or chocolate dipping fork, dip truffles one at a time in the melted chocolate.  Gently tap off excess chocolate before returning to the lined tray to set.  Once chocolate has set, use small paint brush to dab on a few flakes of gold leaf.

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