Bonus Recipe: Lavender Chocolate Truffles with Lemon Zest, Salted Butter and a Blindfold

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Con affetto from Tiberio…

Here is a recipe that creates what I call “a party in your mouth.” The combination of chocolate, lemon zest, and salted butter infused with lavender perfume is a perfect blend, and a unique pleasure for you and anyone you love or want to surprise.

1 pound semisweet dark chocolate chopped in small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces granulated sugar
3 to 4 teaspoons dry lavender seeds (depending on your palate and the strength of the lavender)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest (very finely grated)
2 ½ ounces salted butter (room temperature, cut into small pieces)
1 ounce unsalted butter (room temperature, cut into small pieces)
*Very important – a large dose of love

Warm a 2 to 3-quart saucepan on medium heat. Toast the lavender seeds in the pan for 1 minute making sure to stir with a wooden spoon. Add the cream and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

Strain the cream to remove the seeds. Return the mixture to the pan and bring to a gentle boil, then turn off the heat.
Add the chopped chocolate. Once it melts, stir with the wooden spoon until smooth and blended. Add the butter and continue stirring until completely melted. Add the lemon zest and stir for one minute.

Pour into a flat baking pan or dish. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Make marble-sized truffles by scooping a spoonful of the chocolate mixture and rolling it with your hands. I like to keep these delicate truffles small because they look more elegant and the strong flavors can be overwhelming if the truffles are too big.

Once formed, refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. Before serving, coat the truffles in powdered cocoa or sliced, toasted almonds.

Here is a serving hint – feed it to someone with your hands or have someone feed it to you. Food tastes better that way – try it and do not forget the blindfold! Enjoy making this recipe and know that you can use your imagination ‒ substitute bittersweet or milk chocolate for the semisweet, or use orange or lime zest in place of lemon.

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La Figa: Visions of Food and Form is a book featuring a spectacular collection of sensual photography – models wearing nothing but the edible creations of James Beard award-winning chef Tiberio Simone. Using the human body as his canvas, and natural fresh ingredients as his paint, Simone’s elegant and tasteful nude images are the culmination of a five year collaboration with photographer Matt Freedman.

$39.95, 192 pages, Hardcover
• 160+ images
• 20 Recipes
• 40 Essays about food, love, and life

Next Generation Indie Book Awards Winner: 2012 Coffee Table / Photography Book of the year.