Sunday, December 20, 2009

Edible Christmas fruit tree and a wish for a very Happy Holidays!

Every year around this time the same question starts popping up into my mind: what should I make for the holiday gatherings? I think everyone has atleast a few dashing staple stars; these are the dishes that you can whip up with no worries at-all, with very less preparation and they are sure to please every tummy! I am always awed by all the fellow food-bloggers who whip up these delightfully scrumptious baked goodies; seeing the pictures of which make me wish I had more of a baking woo-doo :) But with my limited baking talent all I feel comfortable taking to any holiday gatherings is usually a banana nut bread or some fruit cake!

This year though when I saw this chocolate truffles post on Yasmeen's blog I knew exactly what I wanted to make! Chocolate truffles are a type of chocolates made with a chocolate ganache inside and coated with various coatings, the most ubiquitous of which is cocoa powder but powdered sugar and toasted nuts are common coatings too. Ganache is just a fancy name for smooth melted chocolate with cream (low-fat milk or heavy cream). Occasionally ganache is flavored with flavorings such as vanilla and espresso. Chocolate truffles are named for the look-alike wild truffle fungus/mushroom variety which is a delicacy. Now the truffle-police will insist that the real chocolate truffles must be uneven and rustic to resemble the mushrooms they are named after.. but I am raised in a round and perfect laddoo tradition and what the heck I took pride in making my truffles perfectly circular and round so the pictures will look better (don't tell the truffle-police!) :D

Anyway, so here is how I made my truffles:
Recipe source: multiple truffle posts mainly Yasmeen's post, an old Joy-of-Baking article describing anatomy of a truffle and a step-by-step photo post from here.
Ingredients:
For ganache:
8.5 ounces of dark chocolate (I used Trader Joe's Belgium chocolate brand with 54% cocoa)
1/2C cream (I used mixture of heavy cream and 2% reduced fat)
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1tsp instant espresso coffee

For coating:
cocoa powder
toasted crushed slivered almonds
powdered sugar
Recipe:
(The posts linked above have a much detailed description of the method, but here is what I did in a nutshell).
  1. Cut the chocolate into as many thin pieces as possible. My chocolate slab was very thick and so I chopped it very roughly into big pieces.
  2. Heat the cream just until the boiling point. Add espresso and mix well.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate pieces and let it stand for a minute. At this time if your chocolate was very finely chopped then the cream will be able to melt the chocolate. If instead you had big chocolate chunks like mine, you will need a double-boiler method to melt the chocolate. For double boiler method: heat water in a large pan to barely simmering. Place the pan holding the chocolates and cream over the simmering water and continue stirring until the entire chocolate is melted.
  4. Add vanilla extract to the melted chocolate and mix it really well to get a smooth consistency. This is your ganache, cover and let it chill in refrigerator for overnight.
  5. Remove from fridge when you are ready to make truffles. Place each of the coating ingredients in a separate plate.
  6. Using a mellon scooper scoop out a chocolate bowl. Roll in your hands for a smoother round shape. (Heat from your hand will start to melt the chocolate making it easy to reform into a round ball).
  7. Roll the chocolate balls in one of the coating plates making sure the truffle is thoroughly coated. Place  the truffle on a parchment paper.
  8. Ready to serve! Serve them at room temperature or refrigerate for later use.
These were heavenly and had a perfect truffle byte! I forgot to take a photo of the truffle byte, may be next time :-)

I have a lot to be thankful for this season including my friends and family and all of you wonderful bloggers who encouraged me through these initial steps of my blog! Happy Holidays to all! Till next time, leaving you with an edible fruit tree that I made few weeks ago for some decoration:

Edible Fruit Tree - by Prajakta Gudadhe
(Image credit: my husband, Saurabh Deoras)

Note: Since many people asked me how this tree was made I am updating this post with the instructions on how you can make an edible tree like this one!
Source: Inspired from a supermarket holiday flier.
Material:
1 styrofoam cone (small or medium size) from your local craft store. (I got mine from Michaels or something like this).
Toothpicks
Cookie cutters with various shapes (I used a gingerbread-man shaped and a star shaped cutter - similar to these)
Assorted fruits - I used green and black grapes, strawberries, kiwis, dried cranberries and a honeydew melon.
Cilantro garnish.
Steps:
  1. My styrofoam cone was green in color, if you only have a white one then I suppose you could drape some green paper on a white cone or attach fruits very densely so it resembles more like a tree trunk.
  2. Using the cookie cutters create various shapes out of the melon slices.
  3. Attach toothpicks to the styrofoam cone. Attach one piece each of a fruit to a toothpick. (Think free-form; as the tree starts building you will know more about which fruit combinations are looking better and how densely packed you want your tree to be).
  4. Continue building the tree as dense as you want!
  5. Use cilantro leaves as grass garnish.
  6. Enjoy your new edible fruit tree!!

65 comments:

  1. They sure look delicious and skilfully made. Just the thing for the season.

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  2. aha.. my favorite truffles! nice pictures, PJ.

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  3. ~ GASP ~
    PJ, you already killed me just showing these beautiful truffles!!! Lady, you are doing really good. :) How did you make this fruit-tree? I m drooling over my PC. :D
    You are so creative. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful recipes.
    Keep it up. :)

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  4. beautiful truffles, Im sure most back home are brought up on laddus :-) and an awesome fruit tree!!!! I too have a fruit arrangement which i had taken for a friend!!

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  5. That edible fruit tree is the most gorgeous thing. How creative you are!

    The truffles look fantastic too.

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  6. indosungod, thanks :) Holidays are one time when I do enjoy such treats without the guilt :)

    amt, thanks, they were delicious.. not much you can do wrong with chocolate I guess :)

    Sonia, thanks :) you are too kind! The fruit tree has a green styrofoam cone (sold at most craft stores) as the base and then I inserted a lot of toothpicks into it and attached fruits to the toothpicks. Then there are some melon pieces cut-out using cookie cutters for decoration. I found this really cute gingerman-shaped cookie cutter that I used for a more Christmas-tree like effects, but I don't think thats discernible in the photo :) I am so glad you liked it though!

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  7. SE, thanks :) I love fruit arrangements! Whats best is that you decorate and then you also get to eat your decoration :D

    Nupur, thanks :) I am sooo glad you liked it!

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  8. Oh the truffles look perfect, certainly the best kind of holiday goodie,considering how much we love chocolate.The edible tree also makes an awesome treat.You have a very happy holidays.hugs!

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  9. Well, actually you deserved my words! :) I come here again to tell you...the effect of 2nd and 3rd pics are superb! Beautiful photography! :)

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  10. Yasmeen, thanks :) truffles was a very good recipe that you provided!

    Sonia, thanks so much for stopping by again :) I am taking pointers from your photos and compositions all this while!

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  11. Thats such a beautiful tree and the most gorgeous truffles!!!

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  12. Mwaaah...thanks girl..they look ooooohhh delectable...and i just LOVED the fruit tree..such a lovely idea!

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  13. Whooo, the picture looks adorable...sets one's mood into holidays:) Lovely creation, dear.

    Shared an Award with you. Please feel free to collect them.:)

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  14. Miri, thanks :) I am so glad you liked the tree and the truffles!

    s, you are most welcome! thanks so much for giving me the award :) You deserve a box full of chocolate truffles!

    Malar, thanks! These truffles are perfect for the season :) Thanks so much for sharing an award with me!

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  15. wow absolutely great !!
    can i have some from ur platter

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  16. Wow... Fantastic...Perfect way to celebrate the holidays...truffles have come out so perfect for you :-)Wish you too a wonderful holiday season !!!!!

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  17. Truffle looks absolutely delicious, love your fruit tree as well.

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  18. FoodLovers, you absolutely can! thanks for the kind words and stopping by :)

    Gulmohar, thanks! A very happy holidays to you too :)

    A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine, I am so glad you enjoyed it! thanks :)

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  19. Wow, PJ , I'm falling in love with your beautiful fruit tree. YOu are so creative. Absolutely love your Chocolate truffles. Delectable and Irresistible.!!! Absolutely stunning presentation. Happy Holidays.

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  20. The truffles looks delicious and the tree is a visual trat!fabulous!

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  21. wow these truffles looks so good and tempting...must be delicious to have as well,would love to try out this one...

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  22. Dolly, thanks :) I am so glad you liked the fruit tree and the truffles. The tree was real easy to make and best of all you get to eat your Christmas decoration :D Happy holidays to you too, dear!

    Madhuli, thanks :) I am so glad you enjoyed the tree and the truffles!

    Sushma, the truffles were a delight! With creamy chocolate and cream ganache they had a wonderful bite, not too soft and not too crumbly. I hope you try it sometime :) thanks for stopping by!

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  23. Lovely presentation and lovely clicks.First time here. Do drop by
    http://padhuskitchen.blogspot.com/

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  24. PJ, wow your tree is looking so wonderful and so are the laddos..:)..first time here and loved checking your posts..must say they all look fab..

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  25. excellent variety, excellent presentation and the best part the fruitilicious christmas tree :). Beautiful. Thanks for stopping by and your wonderful comments :)Merry Christmas.

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  26. they look simply superb. pass me some

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  27. Padhu, thanks a lot for stopping by and dropping a line! Your blog is wonderful, I'll be sure to visit it often!

    Srivalli, welcome to my blog! I am so glad you liked it! Thanks :)

    Deepa, thanks! I am so glad you liked the fruit tree :) It was fun making it!

    Deesha, thanks! Sure thing, you definitely deserve a platter full of these chocolate truffles :)

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  28. These look delicious, just perfect for the holiday season.

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  29. Thanks 4 visiting, what a discovery I made here. U ve a impressive space. The tree and truffle got a professional touch. Happy Holidays!

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  30. Rekha, thanks :) I am glad you liked them!

    Cham, welcome to my blog! Thanks a lot for your kind and encouraging words! I am very glad you liked the tree and the truffles :)

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  31. Hey this is my first visit here...u hv a very nice food space...all recipes r so nice with tempting pics..this truffles luk yummm...i love them...m following ur blog now to get more of such good recipes...happy cooking n happy holidays

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  32. hey PJ you almost killed me with guilt for not making truffles this winters....rum truffles we love...
    your picture look great ...marvelous..
    the edible fruit tree looks so colorful n inviting !!

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  33. Truffles look divine!
    Love the fruity tree..so creative!
    Happy Holidays!!

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  34. Siddhi, welcome to my blog! I am so glad you liked my recipes and the blog! Happy holidays to you too dear!

    Sangeeta, rum truffles sound absolutely delicious! I was thinking of adding some alcohol to the truffles, but since this was my first time making them decided to stick with the basics :) You got to post a recipe sometime soon :)

    Parita, welcome! I am so glad you liked the tree and the truffles! Happy holidays to you too and thanks for your kind words and appreciation :)

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  35. Hey..Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year !!

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  36. Hi PJ, I am drooling over the Truffles and what fruit decor. hats off to u gal.
    Wish you a very happy new year.

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  37. SE, thanks :) a very happy new year to you dear!

    Pari, happy new year and thanks so much for stopping by! I am very glad you liked the tree and the truffles :)

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  38. Wow thats soooooooooo cute... love the fruit tree..

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  39. thanks Pavithra :) I am so glad you liked the tree.

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  40. I love the fruit arrangement; that is a yumm edible tree!

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  41. The fruit tree looks FANTASTIC :) amazing work.. I am still wondering how you made it stand that way.. :) would surely try something of this kind to impress my ppl at home too ;) and for sure the credits will go to you :)

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  42. Preeti, thanks! I am so glad you liked this edible tree. It was fun to make!

    Nithya, thanks! Please do try it, it was so much fun and it looks really good as a decoration double-serving as a snack when decoration part is done :D Do let me know if you run into any issues making this, I can try to help.

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  43. awesome PJ....speechless.! hope u are having good christmas...

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  44. Edible tree looks awesome!
    wishing u a great year 2011

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  45. I love your tree! I'm going to bookmark this and give it a try next year.

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  46. your tree is so beautiful and yummy too...

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  47. Very good idea! I must try it.
    We made one out of cupcake stand few days ago.

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  48. I loved this idea for a Fruit Christmas Tree!! I'd like to share how I made a tree for my daughter's class.....I used a pineapple core for the core of the tree and I used a
    the end of a small watermelon for the base of the tree(looks just like a tree stand) So the entire tree was made with food. Thought I'd share.

    Thanks again for sharing!!

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  49. brill!!!!! i think this is fantastic! i am making it for christmas!!!!

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  50. Hi! In the last couple of weeks I've seen this beautiful fruit Christmas tree hundred of times on Facebook but I couldn't find out, who was the creator behind of this beauty (often the source and credits are "forgotten". So sad!)
    A little research on google brought me here.
    You've made a such a fantastic job! It looks amazing.

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  51. May I share the picture of the fruit tree, adding your name?
    Your ideas are great and I would love to recomend them to materna´s moms.

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  52. I am making one of these trees today, would you recommend it like you showed or make any changes? I saw today of them being made with pineapple as a base. I paid a small fortune for the base and cone I'm going with it ;)

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  53. THe tree looks great, afterwards would you change anything? I bought the foam and that was pricey but now I see some have made it with a pineapple to start.

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  54. I am making one of these trees today, would you recommend it like you showed or make any changes? I saw today of them being made with pineapple as a base. I paid a small fortune for the base and cone I'm going with it ;)

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    Replies
    1. Pineapple base sounds very appetizing! The cone is probably easier to handle the first time - hope your tree turned out good :)

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  55. Awesome. I plan to make this fruit tree this year. I am in charge of making a healthy snack for my son's kindergarten class.. this will be perfect! I will substitute lollipop sticks for the toothpicks. Thanks so much for posting! Oh.. liked your site on facebook!

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  56. If I make this tree the night before will it keep in the fridge? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. yes - absolutely! It will keep in fridge surely for a few days.

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  57. If I make this the night before, will it keep well in the fridge? Thanks.

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  58. I made truffles a few years back. Surprisingly easy to make! So much better than the boxed ones which tend to be expensive anyway. The only problem was keeping them at the perfect temperature (hot Christmas in Australia:)

    The ones I rolled in moist shredded coconut went quickly :D

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    Replies
    1. oh yeah, truffles are definitely a cold-weather friendly goodies :)

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  59. Found this on Pinterest today when looking for a fruit Christmas tree centerpiece. Totally doing this for a family get together tomorrow. Thanks so much!

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  60. I linked to this post and your adorable fruit tree on my blog today, plaidfuzz.com.

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This page and all of its contents is copyright of Prajakta Gudadhe. All rights reserved.

This is a web catalog of the recipes that I have tried and tasted in my kitchen. While these recipes and instructions have worked well for me, please use all the information and the recipes from Ginger and Garlic at your own risk.