Aside from saving me tons of money (I am a bit of a “regular” at some of New York’s best — and most outrageously priced — chocolate shops), the thing that I love about these boutique-quality, dark chocolate confections is that they make a great base recipe for other types of truffles. If you want to make a sweet and spicy truffle just add a pinch of cayenne to the heavy cream and increase the amount of cinnamon that this recipe calls for. Love coconut? Replace some of the heavy cream with full-fat coconut milk and roll the finished truffles in unsweetened, shaved coconut instead of the cocoa powder. Be creative — chocolate pairs well with both sweet and savory flavors.
If you’ve never tried making candy before, this is the recipe to start with. Truffles only require 3 basic steps (make ganache from heavy cream and chocolate, cool the ganache, and then roll the ganache into balls) and there are plenty of ways to make this recipe your own. What flavor will you invent?
Dark Chocolate Truffles
¾ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
12 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao or higher), chopped into small pieces
Cocoa powder, for rolling
Put the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla paste, cinnamon, and salt into a small saucepan and place the pan over medium-high heat. If you don’t have vanilla paste you can use a scraped vanilla bean or vanilla extract instead.
As soon as the heavy cream starts to bubble around the edges, turn the heat off and add the chocolate. Leave the pan untouched for 5 minutes.
Then, stir the chocolate and heavy cream until perfectly smooth. If the ganache is lumpy, put the pan over low heat and stir constantly until the chocolate is melted.
Pour the ganache into a dish, press plastic wrap directly onto its surface (to prevent a skin from forming), and put the ganache on the counter to cool.
When the ganache has reached room temperature, move it to the refrigerator and allow it to cool, until firm.
Then, scoop about a tablespoon of ganache, roll it into a ball, and roll the ball in cocoa powder.