Thursday, October 22, 2009

EZ Truffles

This is such an easy recipe--little work, big impact. It's basically just ganache, which is chocolate melted with cream and/or butter. This recipe has both. It was the perfect recipe for me to make this weekend, since between jetlag and a trip to Tuscaloosa and the beginning of a new session at the ELI, I had very little time to spend in the kitchen. I think it involved about 20 minutes of hands-on time, with lots of wait time in between. Perfect.

This Valrhona chocolate had been waiting patiently in my stash for a chance to really shine in a recipe. Since it wasn't enough for even a quarter recipe, though, I augmented with the Trader Joe's. It made for a very bittersweet truffle. Claire said it needed sugar.

Here's the chocolate, melted down with cream and butter to luscious smoothness. That sat in the fridge for a good 36 hours.

Here are some unlovely (but delicious) mounds of truffle. They went back in the freezer for a couple of hours.

Here are the finished truffles, rolled in ground toasted hazelnuts and placed in cute candy cups. The recipe has you roll them in unsweetened cocoa powder but offers this as an alternative. I think that with the very bittersweet chocolate I chose, cocoa powder would have taken them over the edge into bitterness territory. Besides, chocolate and hazelnut--what's not to like? Maybe subbing Frangelico for the rum would make the combination even more pronounced. Either way, it's lovely to have an elegant little snack stashed in the freezer. And it's a good thing that I only made a quarter recipe!

Here's the recipe I made. It made about a dozen little truffles.

Joan and Judy's Truffles

3.5 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
4-1/2 T. cream
1-1/2 T. butter, room temperature, cut into about 6 pieces
1 T. dark rum (or any other liquor you like)
About 1/4 c. (1 oz.) hazelnuts, toasted and ground

Microwave the chocolate and cream about 45 seconds (stop and stir after 30 seconds) and stir until smooth and melted. Stir in the butter until it's melted, then add the rum. Refrigerate or freeze this until firm (or until you're ready to make truffles). Get out a baking sheet and line it with waxed paper, then spoon out mounds of chocolate about the size you would like to eat. Put that back in the freezer for a while. You can toast (don't forget to rub off the skins) and grind the hazelnuts while you're waiting for the truffles to freeze. Get some candy cups ready. Then take the truffle mounds out of the freezer. Roll each one into a ball, and then roll the ball in hazelnuts and nestle the truffles in the candy cups. Pack them into a Tupperware and put them back in the freezer. Get them out to serve with coffee after dinner or any time you need chocolate therapy.

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