Wednesday, December 16, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Cookies - Day 5 - Chocolate Truffles

i know, i know, these aren't technically a cookie but they do remind me of the holidays so i added them in. E and i love to have a dark chocolate after dinner. i decided to make some truffles and dug out an old recipe for them.

they are really pretty easy to make, you just have to allow some time for the chocolate to chill (i let mine in the fridge overnight) before you roll them into balls.

i used bitersweet chocolate mainly because i love dark chocolate and it does have health benefits too.
dark chocolate is good for your heart. a small portion (like one piece) can help lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. yes, it has fat in it, but if you limit it to 1 to 2 pieces a day, you will be fine.

basically all the recipe calls for is heavy cream, chocolate, and cocoa powder. once the chocolate melted, i divided it into two bowls. one i kept plain chocolate and one i added grand marnier too. i love the taste of orange and chocolate together. those chocolate oranges that you whack and unwrap are one of my favorites.

so, you start out by warming the cream in a small saucepan and then pour it over the chocolate that has been either chopped up or i used chocolate chips (ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips). let it sit for a minute or two and then stir until it is blended, smooth, and shiny. it needs to sit in the fridge for a while to harden but then you can scoop it out, roll it into balls and roll them in cocoa powder. it doesn't matter if they are prefect. truffles are actually named after the truffles that are found in the ground in europe that look like oddly shaped mushrooms. so, don't worry about getting a perfectly round ball.

be prepared to make another batch of these a little later. everyone seems to love chocolate and they go quickly. again they are easy so make some chocolate this year instead of buying it.

Dark Chocolate Truffles
(makes approximately 30 truffles)

1 c heavy cream
16 oz dark chocolate (i used 60% cacao chocolate chips)
3/4 c cocoa powder
grand mariner, baileys, kahula, or other flavored liquor (optional)

heat cream in saucepan over medium low heat until simmering. meanwhile, chop chocolate into very small pieces (or use chocolate chips - you may even want to chop the chips a bit). the smaller the chocolate, the easier it will melt. gather all chocolate into one large clean and dry glass bowl. pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. stir slowly with whisk until smooth and shiny. if you have a couple lumps that won't seem to melt, microwave for 20-30 seconds then stir again.

if desired, divide chocolate into smaller bowls and add a different liquor to each bowl (approximately 1 tsp). let sit at room temperature for at least an hour. then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. 

using a small scoop or melon baller, scoop out teaspoon size balls and form into round balls with hands. roll in loose cocoa powder and place into airtight, wax paper lined container. store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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