Recipe by Cucina Casalingo
All truffles start with a rich chocolate ganache center, flavored or plain. To finish, dip truffles in melted chocolate and sprinkle with sugar decorations or chopped nuts. Or, more simply, just roll the ganache centers in cocoa. Be aware that you're going to get your hands full of chocolate as you make these, but it's SO worth it!
- 12 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (2 cups, semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips)
- 1 cup heavy cream
Choose one of the following
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1⁄2 teaspoon raspberry flavoring (combined with 1/4 cup melted raspberry jam) or 1 tablespoon espresso powder (combined with 1 1/2 tablespoons coffee liqueur) or 1⁄2 teaspoon hazelnut flavoring (plus toasted chopped hazelnuts) or 1⁄8 teaspoon orange oil (combined with 1 to 2 tablespoons orange liqueur) or 1⁄2 cup finely chopped chocolate-covered english toffee bar (or praline candy bar)
- 1 lb finely chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips (about 2 2/3 cups) or 1 cup cocoa
- chopped nuts
- candy sprinkles
- sugar, decorations
- cocoa nibs
- toasted coconut
Directions See How It's Made
- Place the chocolate and cream in a microwave-proof bowl.
- Heat in the microwave until the cream is very hot.
- Remove from the microwave and stir until the chocolate is melted.
- Add the flavors or flavor combinations of your choice.
- Stir till everything is well-combined.
- Line a 9" x 13" baking sheet with parchment or plastic wrap, and pour the chocolate over it; don't spread it out.
- Cover the pan, and refrigerate for 60 to 90 minutes, until the mixture is thick and "scoopable.".
- When the mixture is cool enough to hold its shape, scoop small balls of the chocolate onto a baking sheet that's been lightly dusted with cocoa.
- A teaspoon cookie scoop is exactly the right size for this; you want balls that are about the size of a small chestnut, or a small melon ball.
- For perfectly round truffles, quickly roll each one between the palms of your hands.
- You have to do this quickly, or the chocolate will become too soft.
- Your palms will soon be coated with chocolate -- yum!
- Refrigerate the centers for about 30 minutes, covered, till they've firmed up a bit.
- To take the simplest route, coat the shaped centers in unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-process preferred, as it's smoother in flavor than natural).
- Put the cocoa in a shallow pan and roll the centers around in it; or place cocoa and 4 or 5 centers at a time in a plastic bag, and shake gently to thoroughly coat.
- To coat with melted chocolate, heat 2 cups of the chopped chocolate (reserving some to add later) in the microwave until it's melted.
- Add the remaining chopped (unmelted) chocolate to the melted chocolate.
- Stir constantly until the chocolate is thick and shiny.
- This is the potentially messy part. If you have a chocolate dipping tool, use it to dip each center in the melted chocolate, setting the dipped truffles on a piece of parchment or on a plastic-lined wire rack.
- Immediately, as you make them, sprinkle each truffle with the garnish of your choice.
- Be aware that if you don't cover the chocolate coating with a garnish, you'll probably see dull patches on its lovely sheen after a day or so; this is because you didn't temper the chocolate, to keep it shiny.
- If you have a chocolate temperer, and want to temper your coating chocolate before dipping the centers—go for it!