Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dark Chocolate Espresso Truffles

I decided to make these for my mom and grandma, as a decadent Mother's Day treat.

The trick to good truffles is simple: always use high quality chocolate.  Mid-level brands like Hershey's, use wax.  Varhola and Lindt are great brands.  For these, I used Trader Joe's brand.  They came out pretty delicious, but Varhola is my favorite.  It's made with cocoa butter, which gives the final candies a rich, buttery texture.

3 1/2 ounces good bittersweet chocolate
3 1/2 ounces good semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 Tbsp Coffee Liqueur (I recommend Kahlua, but for this recipe I used Seagram's Espresso Flavored Vodka; Grand Marnier also works well)
1 Tbsp prepared Espresso (or super-dark coffee)
1/2 Teaspoon Good Vanilla Extract
Cocoa Powder
Optional: Penzy's Baking Spice
Optional: Confectioners' Sugar


Chop the chocolates finely and place in bowl.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it boils.  Immediately pour the hot cream through a fine-meshed sieve into the bowl with the chocolates.

With a wire whisk, slowly stir the crewam and chocolates together until the chocolate is completely melted.  (If the chocolate doesn't melt compeltely, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir for a few minuts JUST until it melts.)  Whisk in the Coffee Liquer, espresso and vanilla.  Cover and chill for 45 minutes to an hour until pliable but firm enough to scoop.

With two teaspoons, make dollops of the chocolate mixture and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Refrigerate for about 15 minutes, until firm enough to roll into rough spheres.

Roll in cocoa powder and chill.  Truffles are best when they're allowed to set overnight in the refridgerator.

If so desired, top with Penzy's Baking Spice and/or roll in confectioners' sugar.  Serve chilled or at room temp.

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