Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chocolate Truffles

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Chocolate truffles are the perfect rich, creamy, decadent confection for any occasion! The best part about this recipe is you can infuse your truffles with extracts, espresso, liquors, or choose to keep it simple and stick with luscious rich traditional chocolate.



Making truffles may seem a little intimidating, but they are really simple and you will impress everyone with your confectionery skills. This is also a big money save around the holidays. Instead of purchasing a small box for big bucks at high-end department stores and candy boutiques, make your own! They package up nicely for gift giving, to say "I love you", "Happy Holidays", "Congratulations" or a special gift for any celebration. It is a great treat to serve at parties, or to share with friends and family.


You can also infuse your truffles with your favorite alcohol or liqueur to give your truffles a more adult flavor. Try spiking your truffles with Grand Marnier for an orange flavor, Chambord for a raspberry flavor, Kahlua for a coffee flavor, brandy, kirsch, rum, or even a stout beer. You can also flavor your truffles using your favorite extract, like peppermint for the holiday season, or vanilla for a classic, rich decadent taste. Remember, the better quality chocolate you use, the better your truffles will taste.

Chocolate Truffles
(Yields about 1 dozen truffles)

Ingredients
  • 4oz good quality, semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup (2oz) of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or flavoring of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoons liqueur or alcohol (optional)
  • Coating (Such as: cocoa powder, melted chocolate, finely chopped nuts, toasted coconut, sprinkles, crushed cookie crumbs, or powdered sugar)
  • Decorative Sprinkles (optional)

Directions

Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set aside.  In a small saucepan bring the cream and butter to a simmer over medium heat (or use the microwave, 30 seconds at a time, until liquid starts to bubble). Bring just to a boil, remove from heat and immediately pour over bowl of chocolate. Let sit for a minute or two. Gently stir until smooth (You have now made ganache that can be poured over cakes or desserts, or cooled and whipped into a whipped ganache topping).

Stir in extracts/flavorings. If you are infusing your truffles with alcohol or liqueur, let ganache sit for 20-30 minutes before stirring it in, so you don't burn off any of the alcohol.  Make sure all liquid it is at room temperature, DO NOT add cold liquid to your warm ganache.

Pour into a shallow baking dish, cover and place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours until it has set and is firm, yet pliable

Using a melon baller or small ice cream scoop, scoop into small bite-size balls. (Roll in your hands quickly if desired, as it will melt from the heat of your hands, even sculpt them like I did for Valentine's Day). Roll in cocoa powder (or coating of your choice) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and refrigerate until firm and ready to serve.

If you want to coat your truffles in a chocolate shell, dip your truffle into a bowl of melted chocolate using a fork, tapping the fork against the bowl to let excess chocolate drip back into bowl. Top with sprinkles, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or topping of your choice if desired.

Want more chocolatey, fudgy goodness?!





  
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