Who knew these were easy? In my mind, any type of candy-making is extremely hard. And the better it tastes, the harder it is to make. But oh, how wrong I was. These are so delicious, so incredibly rich and dark and chocolatey, and they are even easier than baking cookies.
The secret to truffles is that they're really only two ingredients. Really good dark chocolate, and cream. You can't really get much easier than that. They do take a while to set, though, so don't make these ten minutes before your guests are scheduled to arrive. And, I wouldn't recommend trying to make them at 8:30 pm when you get home from work, if, oh, say, you've promised your coworkers that you are bringing homemade truffles to your holiday party the next day. But, if you're having a dinner party on Saturday night, you could easily make the ganache early in the day, and just roll the truffles right before the party starts.
Also, these truffles will support almost infinite variations. They could be flavored with some liqueur, lemon or orange zest, or made with white chocolate instead of dark for a lighter, creamy truffle. And spices! So many options, so little time.
For these, I rolled a third of the truffles in cocoa powder, a third in crushed peppermint candy, and a third in a mixture of cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg. They all turned out delicious -- the peppermint is my favorite, probably because I love love love peppermint. All three of the flavors are absolutely, 100%, utterly impossible to resist.
12 ounces good dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1. In a small saucepan, heat the cream to a scald (small bubbles around the edges but not boiling).
2. Pour chocolate into a medium bowl. Add heated cream, cover, and let sit for five minutes.
3. Whisk cream and chocolate until smooth. If chocolate has not melted, heat over a double boiler until melted and smooth.
4. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, until truffle mixture is nearly solid.
5. Using a melon baller or your hands, form ganache into small balls. Place on wax paper on a cookie sheet.
6. Once balls are formed, refridgerate for 10 minutes.
7. Roll each truffle in cocoa powder until covered. Serve.
Makes about 36 truffles. Will keep for up to one month at room temperature.