I discovered these truffles last year. I was shelving DVDs as part of my library job and serendipitously found myself with this instructive 2-disc set by “chocolate man” Bill Fredericks in hand. A slightly goofy fellow with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things chocolate, he explained how to make a number of delectable chocolate recipes. The truffles seemed appropriate for my entry-level skills and I promptly decided these would be my home-made gift to family for the year. Experimenting with different flavors and coatings was a blast and made these both pretty and delicious.
8-9 ounces of good quality chocolate
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
flavorings such as orange zest, mint, etc. (optional)
cocoa powder or ground nuts for coating
For quality truffles, choose chocolate that uses only cocoa butter for the fat. You can sometimes find this in high quality melting chips (I’ve found some at Winco before). Anything advertised as couverture chocolate also usually falls in this category.
Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate or heat in the microwave a few seconds at a time to prevent burning.
In a small sauce pan, heat the whipping cream to just before the boiling point. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. If you would like to flavor your truffles, add your flavorings to the cream right after taking the cream off the heat. I have successfully tried orange and mandarin zest, mint (even tea bags will work), vanilla bean, and ground coffee.
Pour the cream over the melted chocolate (make sure to pour through a sieve if you used flavorants!) and gently stir until completely combined.
Allow the truffle mass to cool for several hours until it is solid but malleable.
Scoop out chunks of truffle mass and roll them between your hands, then roll the truffle in the desired coating. As far as coatings go, cocoa powder is the most traditional, but you can experiment with lots of options. Some of my favorites so far are different kinds of ground nuts mixed with orange zest, and a mix of coffee grounds, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. I imagine a small amount of coarse sea salt or a little chili would be interesting for the more adventurous palate.