Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Orange Flower Water Truffles

Here is what you do NOT do with orange flower water. You do not decide on the spur of the moment to make exotic miniature doughnuts with your new doughnut pan and your intrepid friend. You do not decide to fly by the seat of your pants and "just wing" the recipe for kumquat-orange blossom doughnuts, which recipe you and your friend randomly dreamed up during a long car ride. Never mind that this combination sounds kind of delicious. Don't do it. Most importantly, you do not get overly casual with the bottle of orange flower water and carelessly tip a teaspoon..or two...or possibly two and a half...into the small bowl of doughnut glaze you're mixing up. Finally, do not glaze all of your precious doughnuts with this glaze that now has such an overpowering flavor that it feels like a whole tree of orange blossoms punched you in the mouth. Heed my words, children, because I am speaking from experience. Disappointed, disgusted, doughnut-less experience.

Previous story notwithstanding, I am actually quite fond of orange flower water (also known as orange blossom water.) This unusual ingredient is common in Mideastern cooking and can be found in everything from beverages to desserts. It has a unique and irreplaceable flavor--somewhat citrusy, somewhat floral, very light and delicate but unmistakable. That is why I kept the bottle of orange flower water around after the Great Doughnut Debacle of 2011, and why I continue to use it in recipes.

Here is what you DO with orange flower water. You take some cream, and infuse it with lemon zest and a few fresh mint leaves. You mix the hot cream with chocolate, a little butter, and a small (small!) amount of orange flower water. A quick chill in the fridge, a dunk in chocolate, and you have successfully made Orange Flower Water Truffles! Believe me when I tell you that these are ever so much more delicious than the ill-fated kumquat-orange flower water doughnuts that shall not be named. They're fruity, floral, herbaceous, and utterly tasty. The friends I shared these with loved them, even though they couldn't put their finger on what flavor they were tasting. These truffles like to play coy, and when they taste so good, that is fine by me.

Get the recipe: Orange Flower Water Truffles

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Orange Flower Water Truffles Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

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