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By ALEXANDRA WEE, Staff Columnist


This February 14th, sweeten things up by raising your glass to these beer chocolate truffles. Box up a few for the one who gives you butterflies or serve a batch at your Anti-Valentine’s Day party. Single or taken on V-Day, you’re never too good for chocolate.

·       9 ounce dark chocolate (65-percent cacao)

·       ½ cup heavy cream

·       3 tablespoons of beer

·       1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch process

·       Chopped peanuts (optional)

Place chocolate and heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl over (not on) simmering water. Let chocolate and cream heat up for 3 minutes untouched. After 3 minutes, whisk mixture until fully incorporated. Remove bowl from heat and let cool for 20-30 minutes. Slowly and gently stir in beer. Pour finished mixture into a flat casserole pan. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.

Remove chilled truffle mixture. Using a melon-baller, scoop out chocolate rounds. Finish forming truffles by hand and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Dust truffles with unsweetened cocoa powder to finish or roll in peanuts if desired. Makes 28 1/2-inch truffles (Recipe from

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One bite in, the bread is soft and sugary in your mouth. Second bite—oozes filing. Tart strawberry jelly? Or rich and creamy custard? A voice inside you says “400 calories!” But you proceed to third and fourth bites thinking, “Damn diets, today is Fat Tuesday.”

Also knows as Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Or Paczki Day, “Fat Tuesday” has more to it than just the sinfully good pastries.

Paczkis, pronounced “pooonch-keys” and native to Poland as far back as the Middle Ages, were originally made as a way of using up all the butter, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, foods from which many Catholics traditionally abstained during Lent, forty days of fasting that begins with Ash Wednesday.

With later influence from the French who came to Poland, paczki dough became lighter and spongier. Filling selections also expanded from the original plum and rose-hip jams to include blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, apple, custard, lemon, apricot, pineapple and Bavarian cream. And with various toppings that range from powered sugar or icing to dried orange zest to pure milk chocolate, the birth of the Paczki has ever since revolutionized the jelly donut.

If you’re itching to bite into your first paczek of the year, Detroit’s own Hamtramck, home to many Polish Americans, invites you to grab a box from one of its specialty bakeries this Fat Tuesday. In fact this morning, as during every Paczki Day morning, dozens of Hamtramck residents alongside visitors from all across the metro area will line up for a box of fresh baked goodness. If you’re lucky, there may still be some left after class.

Check them out:

New Martha Washington Bakery

10335 Joseph Campau St.


New Palace Bakery

9833 Joseph Campau St.


I also hear New Palace offers a paczki with three fillings. Three.

Paczki on!