The thing I like most about holidays is the guilt-free excuse they provide to make things people might otherwise consider gluttonous. So, Happy Easter.
This was my first attempt at truffles and it will certainly not be my last. The amount of pleasure they deliver, the amount of awe they inspire in those who receive them far outweigh the effort put into them. And, having made them once and figured out better strategies along the way, the next time will be that much easier. For instance: don't try to scoop your ganache into truffle-sized blobs when it is just out of the fridge and rock hard. Rather, allow it to warm up a bit and then use your mellon baller instead of two inappropriately shaped tea spoons.
makes 70-75 bite-size truffles
- 1 recipe basic ganache
- 2 Tbs. butter, softened (I used salted, but use unsalted if you prefer)
- 1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
- Make the ganache and add the butter while the ganache is still warm and in the food processor. Process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours or overnight).
- Put the cocoa in a pie pan or other wide, flat dish and set aside. Allow the truffle mixture to warm up a bit and then, using a melon baller and your index finger, drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. When all the truffles have been scooped, dip them in the cocoa and use your palms to roll the truffles into smooth balls. Put the truffles back in the fridge.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from heat just before all the chocolate has melted and continue to stir until it melts all the way and is smooth.
- Using two forks or your fingers, coat the truffles with the melted chocolate. Drop each coated truffle into the cocoa powder and then cover it with cocoa powder, letting it sit in the cocoa until the coating has firmed up before transferring it back to the baking sheet. Or roll them in nuts or another coating of your choice.
- Let the truffles sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving. If not serving right away, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they will keep for up to 5 days.
Bring truffles to room temperature before serving.
makes about 10 nests (or more cookies)
- 2 egg whites, room temperature
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
- 1-1/4 cups coconut, flaked or shredded
- Whip the whites and salt until foamy. Add lemon juice and, beating on high, gradually add the sugar. Beat until a stiff meringue is formed. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Fold in coconut. Spoon batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets, making an indentation with a soup spoon if going for the nest effect. Bake at 300°F for 25 minutes or until macaroons feel dry to the touch.
Fill nests with chocolate truffles.
And then you get to wrap them up with parchment and string and give them away to people who will ooh and aah and swoon with pleasure and disbelief that you actually made them, yes, even the truffles.