by Alice Medrich
from Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts
by Alice Medrich
Alice's Recipe using Callebaut Bittersweet Couverture
Makes 2 to 3 dozen truffles
For Truffle Centers:
10 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into bits
3 tablespoons sweet butter, cut into bits
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or liqueur of choice
2 pounds bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into bits
Tiny ice cream scoop (with bowl about 1 inch
in diameter), melon baller, or teaspoon
Instant read thermometer
Large shallow baking pan or jellyroll pan
Baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper
1. To make truffle mixture: Place chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a saucepan, bring cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour cream over chocolate and butter. Stir gently with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Do no whisk or stir briskly or the texture of the truffle will be granular instead of smooth. Stir in liqueur. Strain mixture into another bowl. Cool without stirring. Refrigerate until very firm, at least 4 hours or longer.
2. To form centers: Scrape the ice cream scoop or teaspoon across the surface of the cold truffle mixture and use your fingertips to help form 1-inch balls. Place balls in a pan and freeze, uncovered for several hours or overnight, until very hard. Centers may be made to this point, wrapped well, and kept frozen up to 2 months.
3. To dip centers: Melt chocolate in a clean, dry medium bowl set in a pan of barely simmering water. Or, microwave on MEDIUM (50%) for about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to hasten melting. Be sure that all utensils are dry and that no moisture is introduced into chocolate. When chocolate is smooth and melted and about 115-130 degrees F, remove from water bath, if you have used one, and wipe the bottom of bowl dry. Pour chocolate into the clean, dry shallow pan.
4. Stand directly in from of pan of melted chocolate. If you are right-handed, place paper lined baking sheet to the left of melted chocolate. With your left hand, pick up 1 frozen truffle center and drop it into the chocolate. With the side of you slightly cupped right hand, scoop lots of chocolate on top of center. Push the center back and forth in melted chocolate until it is entirely coated. Wipe you hand on the side of the pan to remove excess chocolate . Quickly pick up the coated center with you wiped fingers and shake off excess chocolate by flicking you hand upwards or to the side. Place coated truffle on paper-lined cookie sheet. Repeat dipping procedure, always using one hand to pick up frozen center and the other hand to manipulate it in the melted chocolate. Work as quickly as possible. Once the truffle is coated with chocolate, don't hold it any longer than necessary' or the chocolate will harden and the truffle will stick to your hand. When you have dipped half of the truffles, remove the other half from the freezer and continue to dip. Place tray of dipped truffles in the refrigerator to harden coating. Once coating is hard, peel truffles from paper. Store in a closed container, in the refrigerator. for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for 3 months.
NOTE: There are two great secrets to these truffles. First, freezing makes it possible to dip a center that would ordinarily be much to soft to dip. After coating, the center thaws and becomes incredibly soft and luscious inside the crisp hard outer coating. The second trick is to dip the centers in good quality chocolate which has been melted but not tempered. Untempered chocolate melts in your mouth quicker than tempered chocolate and releases an explosion of flavor. Finished truffles, however, must be stored in the refrigerator to keep the chocolate coating from blooming.
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