Chocolate Truffles

20 ounces best bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, divided 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon softened butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 tablespoons Cognac or dark rum
2 cups alkalized (Dutch process) cocoa powder, see Note
2cups alkalized (Dutch process) cocoa powder, see Note

1. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil and turn off heat. Place 8 ounces of chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set over pan of hot water. Stir occasionally until chocolate is melted. Remove bowl from the pan, dry the bottom of bowl and set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside 5 minutes. Whisk cream into chocolate, then whisk in butter, corn syrup and Cognac, one at a time. Set aside to cool until firm, several hours or overnight.

3. To shape the truffles, fit a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch plain tube, then line a cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper.

4. Using a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the chilled truffle center mixture for about 30 seconds, or until it lightens visibly in color. Scrape the mixture into the pastry bag and pipe out 3/4-inch spheres onto the waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill 1 hour.

5. While the centers are cooling, melt the remaining 12 ounces of chocolate over a pan of hot water, as you did for the center mixture, and then let it cool to about 90 degrees. Sift the cocoa into a roasting pan.

6. To coat the truffles, dip your right hand in the cooled chocolate and pick up a center with your left hand. Place the center in the palm of your hand and rub the chocolate around the center to cover it. Drop the center into the cocoa and use a fork to push it to the other end of the pan. Repeat with remaining centers. This is a good two-person job, with one person coating and the other manning the cocoa.

7. After all the centers have been coated, chill them in the cocoa for 30 minutes. Carefully lift the truffles from the cocoa and place a few at a time in a strainer. Roll them around in the strainer over the pan of cocoa to release excess cocoa from the surface of the truffles.

8. Place the truffles in paper containers or in layers separated by waxed paper in a tin or other container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool place and bring to room temperature before serving. The chocolate on the outside of the truffles will keep the centers intact at room temperature. Freeze for longer storage.

Makes about 50 small truffles.

Note: Sift the cocoa to remove hardened bits of chocolate and reuse the cocoa for any purpose. Or substitute toasted ground nuts or grated milk, white or dark chocolate for the cocoa.

Recipe from Nick Malgieri.


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