Monday, December 08, 2008

For Mel

When my daughter was in Virginia for seven weeks this year, she enjoyed the company of a delightful couple, Justin and Mel. In gratitude for their kindness, I sent some homemade truffles.

The request was made for the recipe, so here it is:

Chocolate Truffles

12 oz. sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 whipping cream, scalded
1 1/2 tsp. flavoring
Powdered sugar
12 - 16 oz. semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces. Or, high quality milk or white chocolate.

* Use dry bowls and utensils. Can use wooden spoon. *

1. Melt sweet chocolate on high for two minutes. Stir. Melt on high approximately thirty seconds more until done (time may vary according to microwave.)
2. Melt butter on high thirty seconds at a time.
3. Mix the melted butter with the melted sweet chocolate.
4. Slowly strain 1/4 cup of the hot cream into the chocolate mixture, whisking by hand until the cream is absorbed. Repeat procedure twice, using 1/4 cup cream each time.
5. Drizzle flavoring into chocolate mixture, stirring until mixture is smooth.
6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chocolate mixture is firm, at least two hours (overnight, if desired.)
7. Line baking sheet with waxed paper. Spoon out one inch mounds of chocolate. Chill on baking sheet.
8. Cover hands with powdered sugar. Cover chocolate mound in powdered sugar; roll into ball with sugar covered hands.

At this point, truffles may be frozen. They should be chilled thoroughly before continuing.

9. Melt chocolate of your choice. Keep "melty" by having it over hot water (do NOT let water get into the chocolate.) Dip chocolate ball into the melted chocolate; place on waxed paper. Store in air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Flavoring notes:
I have used two tablespoons of peppermint syrup, rum flavoring, real rum, kahlua, brandy, espresso, mint flavoring, and orange flavoring.

Chocolate notes:
I have used Baker's, Ghirardelli, and Guitard chocolate, as well as the hunks of dark, milk and white chocolate sold at Trader Joe's.

Topping notes:
I have tried to do different things to distinguish the fillings. Powdered sugar for peppermint truffles (dusted over the top), cocoa mixed with a skosh of sugar dusted over the top for dark chocolate, a coffee bean for mocha, a green or orange colored dab of white chocolate on mint or orange flavored ones. On rum ones I tried to make a skull and crossbones (symbolizing the pirate-ish nature of rum) but it just become a swirly design. That's okay. Have fun and be creative.

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