Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chocolate Truffles

* 8 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (high quality, 62% cacao or higher), well chopped into small pieces
* 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
* 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Optional base flavorings:
* Mint leaves (1 bunch, stems removed, chopped, about 1 cup)
* Cinnamon and cardamon (1 cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom pods)
* Amaretto (1-2 tablespoons)
* Almond extract (1 teaspoon)

Truffle coatings
* Cocoa powder
* Finely chopped walnuts
* Finely chopped almonds


1. In a small, heavy saucepan bring the heavy whipping cream to a simmer (this may take a while, be sure to stir and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula every few minutes).

If you are using one of the other recommended flavorings, stir it in with the cream (and ignore vanilla in the next step). If adding mint or other solids, after the cream simmers, remove from heat and let seep for an hour. Then strain away solids, and return the cream to a simmer and proceed with recipe.

2. Place the chocolate in a separate bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate, add the vanilla, and allow to stand for a few minutes then stir until smooth. (This chocolate base is called ganache.)

3. Allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator for two hours. Remove and with a teaspoon roll out balls of the ganache. Roll in your hands quickly (as it will melt from the heat of your hands) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

4. Roll in cocoa powder or chopped nuts and serve, or place back in the refrigerator until needed.

Makes 30-40 chocolate truffles.

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