Basic Chocolate Truffles
4 oz 72% bittersweet chocolate, such as Trader Joe’s 72% Pound Plus bar
2 oz (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
A good pinch of salt
1 tsp flavoring, such as orange, mint, vanilla, almond, etc.
Optional: 1 fl oz liqueur – orange, mint, coffee, amaretto, whatever matches your flavor
Optional: ½ tsp cinnamon, cardamom – again, whatever goes with your flavor of choice.
Equipment: small ½ oz molds – novelty silicon ice-cube trays can work well. If you don’t have or cannot find small molds, line a shallow 9” x 9” pan with foil and cut the cold chocolate mixture into squares once it has set.
In a double boiler or microwave, gently heat butter and chocolate together until almost melted. Stir occasionally. Take off the heat; residual warmth will complete the melting. Stir until completely smooth.
Add salt, flavoring and optional liqueur to the chocolate mixture, stirring until silky smooth.
Using two teaspoons, spoon the mixture into the mold(s). Tap and shake horizontally to get out any air bubbles. Place in the fridge and chill for four hours, until very firm.
If you’re using a shallow pan, cut the pan of truffles into 1” squares; I use a metal ruler and a very sharp knife.
Keep chilled in a covered container until ready to eat.
The first flavor I ever made was spiced mocha, using 1 tsp instant coffee grains, ½ tsp each cinnamon and cardamom, and a splash of Tia Maria – yum!
For peppermint truffles, I add mint flavoring and a dash of peppermint schnapps, and then grind fresh black pepper over the truffles once they are in the molds.
I like making flat rectangular truffles in various combinations, such as lemon+pistachio, ginger (with ground ginger, ginger paste, and chopped crystallized ginger on top), maple with a touch of whiskey, and a candied pecan on top of each truffle. This is a great time to experiment because you know your guests will love whatever you create!
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