How to make it

  • Note: These truffles are meant to look like the real thing—small, irregular mounds instead of perfectly spherical balls. If you decide to omit the liquor flavoring, reduce chocolate from 9 to 8 ounces. For microwave-oriented cooks, you can melt the chocolate at 50% power for about 3 minutes. The ganache mixture is quite forgiving. If it cools too much in step 1, place the bowl in a larger pan of warm water and stir the mixture until it has softened and warmed up. If this overwarms the mixture, cool it again as directed. The same flexibility applies if you overwhip the ganache by mistake. Simply warm it over the hot water, cool it, and whip it again. One person alone can dip and coat the truffles, but the process is simpler with a second person to roll coated truffles in cocoa and lift them onto a clean pan.
  • 1. For the ganache: Melt chocolate in medium heatproof bowl set over pan of almost simmering water, stirring once or twice, until smooth. Set bowl aside. Bring cream, butter, and corn syrup to strong simmer (about 160 degrees) in non-reactive pan over low heat. Remove pan from heat, cool for 5 minutes, then whisk into chocolate. Whisk in liquor. Refrigerate mixture until it cools to 80 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • 2. Either in bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment or with handheld electric mixer, whip mixture at medium speed until slightly lightened and thickened to a texture like store-bought canned chocolate frosting, 25 to 30 seconds. Spoon ganache into large pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain tube. Following illustration 1, hold bag perpendicular to pan and with tip about 3/4 inch above work surface, and pipe 3/4 -inch mounds (pulling tube away to the side to avoid leaving points) onto parchment or wax paper-covered baking sheet. Alternatively, scoop mounds with tiny (less than 1 tablespoon) ice cream scoop or melon baller. Refrigerate mounds until hardened, at least an hour.
  • 3. For coating: Following directions in step 1, melt coating chocolate, then cool to 90 degrees, making certain that no water comes into contact with chocolate. Arrange chilled truffle mounds, bowl of melted chocolate, and cocoa-filled high-sided roasting pan on work surface. Working one mound at a time, dip palm of one hand about 1/4-inch deep into melted chocolate, pass one truffle mound with other hand to chocolate-covered hand and close hand around mound to coat, re-dipping hand into chocolate every third or fourth mound (see illustration 3). Drop coated truffle into cocoa; roll to coat using fork held in now empty clean hand, leaving truffles in cocoa until chocolate coating has set, about 1 minute. Repeat process until all mounds are in pan of cocoa. Following illustration 4, gently roll 5 to 6 truffles at a time in medium strainer to remove excess cocoa, then transfer to serving plate or tightly covered container. (Can be refrigerated for up to one week.)
  • Note: The Perfect Chocolate Truffle
  • 1. Forming truffles: Using a pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain tube, pipe 3/4-inch spheres onto a pan covered with parchment or wax paper. They do not form perfect balls and will droop slightly.
  • 2. Use mini ice cream scooper/cookie scooper to form truffles.
  • 3. Use one hand to coat the truffles in the chocolate glaze. Drop the coated truffles into a roasting pan filled with cocoa, nuts, or coconut (depending on variation). Toss in the cocoa, nut, or coconut mix with hands or with fork.
  • 4. Gently toss finished truffles in strainer (in batches) to remove excess cocoa, nuts, or coconut.

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