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Chocolate Truffles

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Truffles are a universal favorite, rich, elegant, and satisfying. So what makes them a nightly special? Well, in my mind, they’re one of those things that are savored only on rare occasions. I recommend them to you as a great holiday gift, or personal indulgence at the conclusion of an ambitious home-cooked meal. Truffles are easier to make than you may think. You might especially like to make them with children, who enjoy the process more than anyone. In fact, my goddaughter joined me on my program Michael’s Place to help me demonstrate this recipe. (Be sure to carefully supervise kids if you do this with them.)

Notes

Nightly Specials



After forming chocolate balls in step 6, refrigerate. Once chilled, truffles can be rolled in shredded coconut, crushed nuts, cocoa powder, or other coatings. If rolled in coconut or nuts, they can then be dipped in chocolate, as in step 7.

For a different rendering of the same flavors, dip the truffles in chocolate in step 7, then, while they are still wet, dip them in shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or other coatings.

You can also add 2 tablespoons orange liqueur along with the vanilla in step 4 to infuse the truffles with an elegant scent.

Makes70 to 75 truffles

CostSplurge

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party, Cooking for a date, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner

Moodfestive, romantic

Taste and Texturechocolatey, creamy, rich, sweet

Type of Dishchocolate dessert

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds high-quality semisweet chocolate, preferably Belgian or French
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter; softened and cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Melt 1 pound of the chocolate, slowly stirring, in a double boiler set over simmering water.

  2. Warm the cream in a large saucepan over medium heat, being careful not to scorch it.

  3. Remove the chocolate from the heat, let cool slightly, then stir into the heavy cream. Remove the chocolate-cream mixture from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

  4. Stir the butter and vanilla into the chocolate-cream mixture. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm but still pliable, about 20 minutes.

  5. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a #5 tip and pipe teaspoon-size mounds on a waxed paper-covered cookie sheet, or use a spoon to dole out teaspoon-size mounds. Refrigerate the entire sheet until the chocolate mixture is hard to the touch, about 30 minutes. (The recipe can be made to this point, or up to the end of step 6, up to 2 days in advance.)

  6. When the chocolate mixture is sufficiently firm, remove from the refrigerator and, working quickly to prevent melting, roll the chocolate mounds into balls, then chill the balls again until firm on a waxed paper-covered sheet. (The recipe can be made to this point up to 2 days in advance. Be sure to cover the balls with waxed paper if refrigerating for more than a few hours.)

  7. Melt the remaining 1 pound chocolate in a double boiler set over simmering water. Remove the double boiler from the heat and let cool slightly. Using a wire dipping spoon or a regular teaspoon, with your hands in latex gloves, make the truffles by dipping each ball briefly into the melted chocolate. Place on a cake rack set over a cookie sheet until dry and refrigerate until firm. You may scrape up any chocolate that has dripped on the cookie sheet and return it to the dipping pot for more dipping. The truffles will keep for several weeks if refrigerated in an airtight container.

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