nuit tranquille and chocolate truffles (second simple pleasure)

10 May

Sleep when you are tired.

As 1000 Awesome Things would confirm, sleep is awesome.

Dog tired, you creep up the stairs in the dark and slip into bed. Just one moment of wriggly delight in the cool enveloping covers and then you drop like a stone into sleep.

Mildly sleepy, you tuck yourself up with a cup of tea and a book that gets heavier and heavier until it too falls. Watching what is supposed to be a classic movie on the sofa, your eyelids blink, close, rest until the dialogue becomes a lullaby.

Or even on the train, rocked by the whirling scenery, you doze, drowse, even sleep deeply, securely.

Illicit, brief, deep, delicate, all kinds of sleep feel luxurious to me. The idea of a nap or a long dream-filled night fills me with a disproportionate joy. Something that I sometimes forget about until I am deprived and grumpy.

A simple pleasure that is apparently worth a LOT. One extra hour of sleep a night could make you happier than a generous pay rise, according to one study.

And if you can’t sleep? Elephant’s nuit tranquille tea has always worked like a drug for me. (I once bought 100 teabags and was nearly laughed out of tte French supermarket. It was a Friday evening.) The soothing taste of pure chocolate and cream has the same effect. A heady herby concoction with an obligatory chocolate chaser: the simplest chocolate truffles.

Simple chocolate truffles

Use a chocolate that you really like to eat plain. I love Green and Black’s Maya Gold for its hint of orange and spices.

200g chocolate

175ml cream

25g butter, cubed

Break the chocolate into small pieces. Heat the chocolate and the cream in a small bowl on a very low heat in the microwave. Do not let the cream boil. When the chocolate has all but melted, stir it very gently. Add the butter and stir again. Leave the mixture to cool until solid enough to hold its shape.

Scoop out teaspoonfuls of mixture. Either shape rough truffles with two teaspoons or attempt to roll them in your hands (covered first with cocoa). For the simplest finish, dust the truffles in more cocoa. Alternatively, roll them in very finely chopped nuts. Pistachios are nice for the colour contrast. Leave in a cool dark place as long as you can resist eating them.

(According to the fancy chocolate shop where I worked, chocolate is technically supposed to be kept between 16-18C. Much cooler and the cocoa butter separates, creating that white dusty bloom. But if it is summer and you do want to keep them in the fridge, take them out a few minutes before you want to eat them.)

One Response to “nuit tranquille and chocolate truffles (second simple pleasure)”

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  1. THE chocolate cake (seventh simple pleasure) « tangerine drawings - September 12, 2011

    […] carefully thought out one day in a park with a squashed strawberry-thyme tart. Eat when hungry, sleep when tired. Move your body. Be in nature. Discover the new and beautiful. Do what you do. But the […]

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