" Thin Line Between Love and Hate, A" Truffle in Paradise

If you're a chocolate lover, this may be the treat for you. Delicious, but also easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (60-70% Cacao), separated
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons orange liquor, hazelnut liquor or cognac (optional)


Coatings:
  • Valrhona cocoa powder
  • Toasted coconut
  • Ground chili
  • Powdered green tea (a.k.a.matcha)

Directions:

  1. Chop all the chocolate until pieces are no bigger than peas; place 8 ounces in a medium mixing bowl and reserve the rest until later.
  2. Heat the heavy cream in a small, heavy saucepan until it just comes to a boil. Pour hot cream in a thin stream evenly over the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate. First let the mixture stand for about a minute and then using a rubber spatula or dry wooden spoon, begin stirring in small circles. Begin stirring in the center of the mixture, working outward in larger circles until chocolate and cream are fully incorporated and the mixture becomes very smooth, lustrous and shiny. Gradually stir in the liquor, if desired and then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes. If the mixture cools and thickens too much, place the mixing bowl in a larger bowl of warm tap water and stir until it loosens.
  3. Half fill a piping bag fitted with a inch tip with the chocolate mixture (now known as ganache). Pipe 1 inch dollops onto a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate 60 minutes, or until firm. Shape each chocolate dollop into a smooth ball by rolling gently between the palms. (Have a bowl of ice water at the ready if you are a warm-handed person by nature.) Return balls to the baking sheet and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours before continuing.
  4. In a medium saucepan, bring an inch or two of water to a simmer. Place reserved chopped chocolate in a stainless-steel or Pyrex mixing bowl that is large enough to nest in the saucepan and sit over the water, but not touch the surface of the water. Once water is simmering, remove pan from heat, place the bowl of chocolate over it and then stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted. Continue stirring for 2 minutes after chocolate melts.
  5. Arrange the chilled truffle balls, bowl of melted chocolate and the various coatings within easy reach on a large, clean work surface cleared of all knick-knacks. (No matter how clean one works, chocolate usually ends up everywhere). Wearing gloves and working one ball at a time, dip palm of one hand into the melted chocolate; use the other non chocolaty hand to place one truffle into the chocolate-covered hand. Roll and coat with warm chocolate and then drop the coated truffle into a bowl of one of the toppings. Roll in a strainer to remove excess and store airtight until eaten (which is usually about 5 minutes).
Makes about 20



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