I must confess that I really don’t have a raging sweet tooth. I guess you’d never know it by the number of desserts I’ve posted recently. And it’s not that I don’t like dessert, but I could very easily do without it. I’ll take seconds on the pasta, thank you.
So I didn’t make these for myself. Both my Dad and my Father-in-law have a real sweet tooth, so I thought I would indulge them a little. My Father-in-law is turning 92 today (Happy Birthday!) and is quite famous for the chocolate peanut clusters he makes for just about anyone who mentions that they’re running low. My Dad loves dark chocolate, especially if it’s got caramel somewhere inside.
So I made these truffles the other day and sent them each a box. Of course, I had to sample them before sending them off, and although this isn’t the first time I’ve made them, I have to say it’s one of the best chocolate moments I’ve had in some time.
If you’ve never made them, truffles are one of the easiest and most rewarding confections that can come out of your kitchen. You must start with REALLY good chocolate, which is melted with a little cream. After it cools and thickens, you just scoop out bits, roll them into balls and then roll them in the topping of your choice. Cocoa powder mixed with powdered sugar is very traditional and very delicious.
I made 3 kinds, so after dividing the chocolate into thirds, I rolled the first third in some chocolate sprinkles. The next third I rolled in crushed Heath Bars to create a sort of almond roca truffle. With the last ones I made a little hole in the center with my thumb and filled it with some peanut butter, and then closed it up and rolled it in the powdered sugar/cocoa powder mixture. Oh my. Yes, they were awesomely good.
Although these make great gifts, you could just make some for yourself. It was great fun sending them off to the Dads, but I guess I should confess that I held back several and they’re sitting there in the fridge right now mocking me for writing the first sentence of this post. I really should have sent them all.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten
1/2 pound good bittersweet chocolate
1/2 pound good semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur, optional
1 tablespoon prepared coffee
1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract
An assortment of dipping options such as toasted nuts, coconut, crushed candy, etc.Peanut butter, optional
Chop the chocolates finely with a sharp knife. Place them in a heat-proof mixing bowl.
Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just boils. Turn off the heat and allow the cream to sit for 20 seconds. With a wire whisk, slowly stir the cream and chocolates together until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in the liqueur, if using, coffee, and vanilla. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour (it took considerably longer for my chocolate to set up. I put it in the fridge for a few minutes to speed the process).
With 2 teaspoons, spoon round balls of the chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roll each ball of chocolate in your hands to roughly make it round. Roll in confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, both, or dipping options of your choice. These will keep refrigerated for weeks, but best served at room temperature.