I’ve always had a love of baking but got distracted with the art of growing up and all the responsibilities, duties, lessons and fun that comes with it. I then had a traumatic experience in January 2011 where I slipped and fell down the stairs at a tube station. Thankfully nothing was broken, but I managed to knock my head badly. I didn’t realise all of this at the time but actually had a mild brain injury which affected my memory, concentration, hearing and resulted in the most awful migraines (basically had a headache every day for at least 8 months!). Since it was mild, it didn’t get picked up properly by doctors. So it has been a long recovery process with some very dark times, especially the first year when I didn’t know what was going on half the time.
But there are some things that have stood out so strongly for me through all this – that no matter what you are going through, how you think and what you look for in difficult times, will shape you and determine your experience. Four key words that helped me through are Patience; Persistence; Positivity and Reflection (damn, would have been better to have four P’s but didn’t quite work). Obviously having a strong support network is also invaluable and I am incredibly lucky to not only have an amazing family but also wonderful friends.
Ok so slightly diverted there, but it sets the scene. So I don’t recall much of those first three months after the accident, which is pretty damn scary as I was still trying to go to work and manage my life as normal! That clearly wasn’t working. I found it hard to watch TV or read or be on the computer and didn’t know why or what was wrong with me.
I’m not sure why I started or where the idea came from but one day I decided to make my own truffles. And not just any truffles, Oreo Chocolate Truffles. Now most people I know are fans of Oreo’s whereas me, not so much. But in this very simple (I needed things to be at this stage), all I had to do was grind the Oreo’s, mix them with cream cheese, roll them into balls and let them set. Then microwave the chocolate, dip the now chilled Oreo cream cheese balls and decorate…
It sounds simple, and it is. But it is also pretty time consuming with the different stages. This was perfect for me though. I could do one stage and rest, then remind myself of the next step and follow that, and so on. I almost felt like a child learning to do simple tasks like tie a shoe lace. Make a knot, then take one lace and make it into a loop…
This was really the best recipe I could have tried. It helped me feel human again. Alive. Useful. Creative. Worthwhile – I could actually do something, finish it and have a good result! And after months of feeling so out of control, this gave me such joy and confidence.
What makes this even better is that these Oreo Truffles are the most delicious chocolate truffles I have ever had. Over the last two years, they have become my special fail-safe recipe with various people telling me they don’t usually like chocolate but these are the best and most more-ish thing they have ever tasted! They were so good in fact that one friend said I should start a business selling these…(more on that another time). One of my best friends Jacky also asked me if I would make these for her wedding as the favours for each guest which I was honoured to do.
These little melt in your mouth balls of heavenly chocolate will forever be my favourite recipe as they started me on the road to My Sugar Tree. It gave me such comfort to be able to bake during this difficult time in my life. I found a creative outlet, and if I couldn’t remember what came next, it didn’t matter, I could just look back at the recipe. Baking really become a light for me through all this. And I even found I was quite good at it.
So, this is where it all began. Here is the full recipe for these special treats:
Oreo Chocolate Truffles
- 300g Cream Cheese
- 150g Oreo cookies (note: you can use any chocolate flavoured biscuit, I have used the different flavoured Oreo’s as well as Crunchie biscuits and then decorated with honeycomb bits on top)
- 200g Dark chocolate
- 200g Milk/White Chocolate
- Various decorating bits (can also drizzle different chocolate over or used some crushed up Oreo’s to sprinkle on top)
- Grind the Oreo biscuits in a food processor.
- Mix with the cream cheese until well blended.
- Use two small spoons and roll into small balls, placing them on waxed paper on a baking sheet.
- Refridgerate or place in freezer for at least half an hour.
- Melt the chocolate (one colour at a time).
- Dip the ball into the chocolate, place back onto the wax paper and decorate immediately.
- Place baking sheet in fridge and allow to set.