Step Up to Truffles

Yesterday I made my first truffles. It seems weird that I’ve never made them, and maybe I’ve just forgotten, but so sad that it took so long to get to this sublime tiny bit of perfection. These are more delicious than any candy on the buffet, they are especially beautiful because they don’t have to be perfect – so you can call them artisinal if you want to be pretentious, and they blow away the competition at the party pot lucks on both taste and looks accounts.

Once you realize that you can conquer these quite sophisticated delights, you will never go back. I must say I am so impressed with myself and my candies that I just started coming up with tasty revisions. But before I talk about flavors, let me share the secret of forming and overcoming that formerly messy and fussy process.

I followed the directions on the recipe and had messy chocolatey hands. So I went surfing and found these wonderful lessons on how to roll them. Done and done. Thank you sweetie, that was the deal! I did make my own additional adjustment and found I don’t have to touch them AT ALL. So start with the melon-baller. That is a non-negotiable. Use the small end to scoop. Then take an iced-tea spoon and help it out of the baller. Plop it into a custard cup with your cocoa powder in it. Roll it around the not-too-full dish and let the rounded bottom corners do your work to coat it. Then use that iced-tea spoon to sort of tamp the edges to firm it up. Then scoop up with the spoon and drop your truffle onto your serving dish. No touching at all with your warm, moist fingers. Besides some cocoa on the counter, very little muss.

I must say, these Chocolate Peppermint are quite delicious. And don’t sweat buying extra special chocolate – I totally used the chocolate chips in my pantry; again, delicious I must say and I am usually an ingredient snob.

But now, I found I wanted to try something boozey. Or even spicey.

So following the advice here, which is for adding chili powder to the cocoa, I’ll make spicey ones. Further up in the directions, they advise a 1/4 Cup Bourbon. Yum. I also found Ina puts 2 Tbsp. of Grand Marnier in hers. I think I will do the Orange route and mince up some of the Candied Orange Peel I made this morning. That sounds the best of all to me. But I think any liqueur of your liking would be a great addition; Amaretto, Frangelica, Franbois, all great additions to chocolate. I would steer away from fresh fruit because that will introduce too much moisture. Also, with the liqueurs, not too much: start with 2 Tablespoons and taste, that way you won’t have too runny ganache or too bitter either.

The other thing I like about truffles rolled in cocoa is that they are not a lot of trouble like dipped chocolates. Oh, and taste your first one; if it is too bitter, cut your cocoa mixture with powdered sugar.

Do try making these. They’ll be your new holiday must-have. And you’ll puff up your confectioner confidence!

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