Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Trouble with Truffles

... is that they're hard to make. But they don't have to be. They can be as simple as 3 ingredients. And the worse part of the process -- getting ganache all over your fingers -- turns out to be one of the best -- licking your fingers.

You can coat the ganache centers with whatever you like ... finely chopped nuts, coconut flakes, etc. I use unsweetened cocoa powder because I usually have some on hand, and the bitter/sweet contrast is nice.

Note: This is the same basic recipe as the chocolate filling in the Dark Chocolate Tartlets post that precedes this one. Sometimes I make these truffles with the left-over filling for the tartlets. It's a good way to make use of extra filling (instead of gorging on it with a big spoon).

Simple Little Truffles
This makes about 17 small truffles (about an inch in diameter).
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 60%)
1/4 cup (slightly less) heavy cream
1 tbsp brandy, bourbon, or other spirit (optional)
unsweetened cocoa powder (for coating)
Chop or otherwise break up the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan on stove over medium-low heat, then pour over the chocolate. Stir/whisk the mixture until it's smooth, then stir in the brandy (optional).
Let it cool down a bit, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours to harden.
Spread some cocoa powder in a separate shallow dish. Using a teaspoon (or other small spoon or scoop), spoon out a small glob of the hardened ganache (I shoot for about an inch or so in diameter). Roll it quickly and carefully between your fingers/hands until you have a little ball that's round enough to roll around in the cocoa powder. (The ball shapes don't have to be perfect; mine look like little asteroids.) Then roll the ball in the cocoa powder to coat.
As the ganache begins warming to room temperature, it will melt a bit on your fingers. Just keep rolling as quickly, and calmly, as possible. When the bowl is empty, lick your fingers!
Store the truffles in a covered container in the refrigerator.

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