Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Sinfully decadent in more ways than one, these surprisingly easy to make humble truffles are one of my favorite go-to potluck contributions, most recently at Caroline on Crack's New Year's Eve party. The ingredient list is short, the actual prep time is brief and it can be made and stored hours or even days prior to serving. And with its silky texture, rich mouthfeel and thoroughly deep cocoa flavors, just a few nibbles will satiate even the most hardcore of chocoholic cravings. I would know.
Ingredients (for approx. 40-50 truffles)
2 cups bittersweet/semisweet chocolate*, in chips or finely chopped chunks
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsps vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
1/4 cup powdered sugar
*goes without saying, the higher quality the chocolate, the better the result -- I opted for Callebaut 60% bittersweet for its intense flavor and a delightfully complex aroma ripe with hints of red berries and flowers. Likewise, I used Callebaut's cocoa powder.
1. Heat heavy whipping cream in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally
2. Once the cream is simmering, turn off heat and remove saucepan from burner, add vanilla extract and chocolate chips, whisking fairly vigorously until the chocolate is fully melted
3. Pour into chocolate ganache into a bowl, using a spatula to scrape bottom & sides, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours
4. After the chocolate has chilled and is ready for rolling and shaping, sift the cocoa powder and powdered sugar together into a shallow dish
6. Using your hand, a spoon (or a melon baller if you want a perfect sphere truffle,) grab about half a tablespoon's worth of the chilled ganache and drop it into the dish of sugar and cocoa. Roll it in the powder (and shape it as needed) with your hand until it's coated all over, then place in dish/bowl/box.
Tip 1: To make things less messy a.k.a. I Love Lucy, I try to keep one hand dry during the process, using a spoon to scoop out the ganache and the other hand to shape and roll the truffles.
Tip 2: If the ganache warmed up and have a harder time holding their shape, you can always return the bowl in the fridge to re-chill and firm up for 15 minutes.
7. Serve or chill the truffles in fridge (bringing it back to room temperature when serving) - I was told you can even freeze them for weeks, though they'd never last that long with me . . .