Osmanthe-Saffran Truffles

Here is a snapshot of my Osmanthe-Saffran truffles in the making. I make them square or diamond shape rather than round, because I like to sprinkle the saffron on top for the visual effect. Having it inside the truffles will give the same flavour, but not the crunchiness of biting into the roasted crocus stamens; and you won't be able to see the saffron threads until biting into the truffles.
The diamond shape is also an homage to the exotic Middle Eastern desserts that are often made in large trays and cut into diamonds (harrissa, baclava and sesame or nut barks are cut that way).
This is my 2nd time making thes luxurious truffles. And the first times, I'm always experimenting with flavours and spices. In the 1st time creating these, I infused the cream with osmanthus flowers, and added saffron salt and saffron gin.
The 2nd time around, I infuesed the cream with my favourite milky oolong tea (which is also the flavour of the dark chocolate truffles that share the tray in the photograph below). I forgot about the gin, unfortunately. For the osmanthus flavour, I used osmanthus absolute. I think if it weren't for the missing gin, this would have been the winning recipe.

I still have both of these truffle flavours for sale. They make a perfect gift (boxed in our reusable tins and tied with a bow - 12 truffles for $15); and they are an elegant, stress-free dessert for any festive meal or afternoon tea with special guests.

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Saffron Scones

1/2 stick (4 Tbs) butter
2 cups unbleached white flour (or half and half whole wheat and white flours)
1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch saffron, soaked in a tablespoon of hot water or milk
1/4 tsp. Saffron salt
1 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup cottage cheese and 1/2 cup buttermilk)
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400F
Soak the saffron in hot water or milk.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt
Cut the butter into the flour mixture and using a pastry blender, create a crumb dough
Whisk egg with the buttermilk and add the soaked saffron
Pour over crumb dough mixture
Knead with fingers until a soft dough forms (do not over knead!). Add flour if dough is too sticky.
Flatten into a shape of a disk, about 2" thick, and cut with cookie cutter
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden-brown (if using smaller scones, bake for less)

Serve with orange marmalade and clotted cream (in the picture, it is served with Preserved BC Sunshine's Seville Orange Marmalade, which is lightly sweet and fragrant)

These lovely scones will be served at my Midsummer's Tea Party August 8th!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
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