Makes about 36
The orange flavor is subtle here, but you can match coatings to accent it or play off it. Use one or all of the suggested coatings here, or come up with some of your own. Truffles are a great dessert idea when you want a decadent last bite without a lot of fuss. You can round out the course with fresh fruit in season to end the meal on a light note.
- TRUFFLE MIXTURE
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
- 1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- COATING SUGGESTIONS
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
- 1 cup finely chopped pistachios (optional)
- 1 cup finely chopped toasted almonds (optional)
- 1 cup chopped toasted coconut (optional)
- ½ cup instant espresso powder (optional)
In a small saucepan, combine the cream and orange zest. Bring to a bare simmer, just until bubbles form around the edges.
Put the chocolate in a medium glass bowl. Slowly pour in the hot cream. Let sit for a few minutes, until most of the chocolate appears to be melted, then add the liqueur, butter, and vanilla, and beat vigorously until smooth and shiny. Let sit at room temperature until set but still soft, about 1 to 2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Use two small spoons to make thirty-six dollops of truffle mixture on the baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
You can roll the truffles in just one or any combinations of the ingredients above, according to taste. Meanwhile, prepare the coatings of your choice and put them in small shallow bowls. Rolling will be a little less messy if you wear disposable kitchen-prep gloves or oil your hands with a little vegetable oil. Roll the truffles in your hands to form balls, and roll them, one at a time, in the coating of your choice, pressing gently as you roll to make the coating stick.
Put the truffles, without letting them touch each other, on wax paper in an airtight container, and refrigerate until ready to serve. (They can be made up to 2 days ahead; just be sure to store them tightly covered.)