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Basic Chocolate Truffles with Variations

RG

Truffles should always be served chilled, placed in paper or foil cups. Serving them on a tiered cake plate is nice if you have several varieties. You can refrigerate the truffles, wrapped well, for up to 1 week or freeze them in an airtight container for 1 month. Remove from the freezer 5 minutes before serving.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt or Tobler, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • About 1/4 cup cocoa


Instructions

  1. Bring cream to a boil in a small heavy-bottom saucepan over moderate heat or in a bowl in a microwave. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate and butter, whisking until smooth.
  2. Pour the warm chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  4. Using a spoon, scoop 24 rounded teaspoonsful of the cold chocolate mixture onto a sheet of wax paper. Coat your palms with cocoa and roll each mound between your palms to form a ball.
  5. Dredge the truffles in the cocoa, tossing them gently from one hand to the other to remove the excess cocoa.
  6. Chill the truffles, covered, for at least 2 hours before serving.

Almond-Amaretto Truffles: Add 2 tablespoons Amaretto the warm chocolate mixture before chilling. Toast 45 whole almonds, reserving 24 and finely chopping the remainder. Mold each truffle around a whole almond. After dredging the truffles in cocoa, roll them in the chopped nuts.

Brandied Apricot Truffles: Soak 1 rounded cupful finely chopped or diced dried apricots in 1/4 cup brandy in a covered container for at least 1 hour. Add this mixture to the warm chocolate mixture.

Cappuccino Truffles: Make a paste of 1 tablespoon boiling water, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder. Add the paste to the warm chocolate mixture.

Frangelico-Hazelnut Truffles: Reduce the butter to 1 tablespoon. Add 2 tablespoons Frangelico and 1 cup toasted and skinned chopped hazelnuts to the warm chocolate mixture before chilling.

Grand Marnier-Sweet Orange Rind Truffles: Use a zester to remove strips of rind from 3 oranges. Put the rind in a small saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Drain and repeat process. Bring 1 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar to a boil. Add rind and boil 5 minutes. Drain. When the rind is cool enough to handle, chop it fine and mix with 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier. Add the rind and liqueur to the warm chocolate mixture.

Hazelnut-Frangelico Truffles: Reduce the butter to 1 tablespoon. Add 2 tablespoons Frangelico and 1 cup toasted and skinned chopped hazelnuts to the warm chocolate mixture before chilling.

Kahlua-Pecan Truffles: Reduce the butter to 1 tablespoon. Toast and chop 1 cup pecans. Add 2 tablespoons Kahlua and the nuts to the warm chocolate mixture before chilling.

Rum-Macadamia Truffles: Add 2 tablespoons dark rum to the warm chocolate mixture before chilling. Reserve 24 whole Macadamia nuts and finely chop 5 Macadamia nuts. Mold each truffle around a whole Macadamia nut. After dredging the truffles in cocoa, dip the tops in the chopped nuts.

Scotch-Raisin Truffles: Soak 1 cup raisins in 1/4 cup Scotch in a covered container for at least 1 hour. Add this to the warm chocolate mixture before chilling.


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