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1/2 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, halved
Pinch salt
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

In a saucepan heat heavy cream, vanilla bean and salt and bring to a gentle boil. Meanwhile, in bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water melt chocolate, stirring often, until smooth. Remove chocolate from heat. Strain cream mixture through a fine sieve into chocolate. (Rinse vanilla beans, dry them and reserve for vanilla sugar or another use.) Replace bowl in electric mixer and whip chocolate ganache mixture until cool and light in color. Cover and chill.

When ganache is firm, spoon up about 1 tablespoon. Place cocoa in a shallow plate and use to dust palms. Lightly and quickly roll chocolate mixture between palms to form irregularly-shaped balls. Dredge truffles in cocoa until well-coated. Set on a foil-lined baking sheet while you continue to make truffles with remaining ganache. Best when served within 24 hours, or store in a cool place up to 3 days.

Yield: about 2 1/2 Dozen


1 cup heavy cream (preferably not ultrapasteurized)
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (commercially prepared)
24 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
'Goobers' for truffle center, optional
1/2 cup Dutchprocessed unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 to 1 cup finely ground cocktail peanuts (optional)

Special Equipment:
Mediummesh sieve
Triple mesh sieve or a sifter
Food processor to grind nuts, if using (If unavailable, place nuts in a heavy plastic bag and run a rolling pin or wine bottle over them to crush evenly.)

To prepare chocolatepeanut butter mixture and chill: Heat cream with peanut butter in a 1quart heavy bottomed saucepan. Use a whisk to break up peanut butter so it melts evenly. Meanwhile, melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. When chocolate and peanut butter is smooth, combine with melted chocolate, using a whisk. Force through a mediummesh sieve into another bowl, using a rubber spatula. Stir in vanilla. Let cool, then cover and chill 2 to 4 hours (or overnight).

To up to shape truffles: Whisk powdered sugar and cocoa together, then sift into another bowl to combine thoroughly. Grind peanuts, if using, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Line a large baking sheet or tray with waxed paper or 30 to 50 1inch paper candy cups (yield will depend on the size of your scoop used to shape truffle).

To shape truffles: If very chilled, let mixture sit out at room temperature for 20 minutes to soften slightly. Scoop out or spoon small portions of chilled filling and roll into a ball. If desired, push a "Goober" through the side, into center of round and roll to correct shape. Roll truffle in cocoa mixture or ground nuts and place in candy cups. Place in a decorative tin or gift box, separated by sheets of waxed paper or decorative foil. Keep chilled to maintain best flavor and texture.

Yield: 30 to 50


8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, sifted
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, sifted

Place 8 ounces semisweet chocolate and the unsweetened chocolate in a 4-quart bowl.

Heat the heavy cream in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth (now you have ganache). Refrigerate the ganache for 1 hour until firm but not hard.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon of ganache for each truffle (approximately 3/4 ounce), portion 24 truffles, evenly space onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the ganache portions for 15 minutes (so the ganache will be firm enough to roll into truffles). When the ganache is firm enough to handle, remove from the refrigerator and individually roll each portion of ganache in your palms, in a gentle circular motion, using just enough pressure to form smooth rounds. Roll 16 of the rounds in 2 tablespoons cocoa and separately roll 8 in the confectioners sugar until completely covered. Store the truffles in a tightly sealed plastic container, in the refrigerator. Remove about 1 hour before serving.

Prep Time: 1 hours 45 minutes



1 cup heavy cream
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Optional flavorings:
2 tablespoons liqueur, 2 tablespoons instant expresso, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or other spice, etc.
1 pound liquid tempered chocolate for dipping
2 cups cocoa powder

Place heavy cream in a large pot and bring slowly to a boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes then stir well until smooth. Stir in the butter. Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer, and let cool until set.

Fit mixer with a paddle and beat the chocolate mixture on medium speed until aerated and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the liqueur and/or other flavorings. Load ganache into a pastry bag fitted with a halfinch plain tube. Line several baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Pipe the truffle mixture out to form 1/2-inch balls. Place pans in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly.

To coat the truffles, set up your counter like this: tray of chilled centers on your left, bowl of melted tempered chocolate in the middle, large pan filled with cocoa powder on your right. (Reverse this if you=re lefthanded) Pick up a truffle with your left hand. Touch the palm of your right hand lightly onto surface of tempered chocolate. Drop the truffle into your chocolaty right hand and roll it around to coat. Move your right hand over the pan of cocoa powder, turn your hand over, and drop the coated truffle into the cocoa. Repeat the process to coat about 5 truffles, then pick up a fork with your clean left hand and use it to roll the truffles round a bit in the cacao. (A second person can help do this continuously.) Repeat until the cocoa pan is filled with a lot of truffles. Then wash and dry your hands (or enlist your helper to do this); place the truffles in a strainer and shake it over the pan of cocoa powder to dislodge any excess cocoa. Place finished truffles on another paperlined pan to set completely. Truffles do not need to be refrigerated.

Repeat coating processes with remaining centers.

Yield: about 50


1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
8 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon nonfat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sweet ground chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder

In a large microwaveable bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, on High setting, stirring thoroughly every 30 seconds; set aside.

With an electric mixer on Medium setting, beat the fat-free cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, beating until well blended. Dissolve the instant coffee in the non-fat milk; stir it into the cream cheese mixture. Add the vanilla and melted chocolate. Refrigerate about 15 minutes. Shape into 1-inch balls. Sift the sweet ground chocolate over truffle balls. Store in refrigerator.

Yield: 48 truffles
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy


1/2 cup unsalted butter, well softened
1 large egg, well beaten
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into 6 pieces
1 tablespoon strong coffee
About 1 pound confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate threads or grated chocolate

In a mixing bowl, whisk the butter together with the egg until evenly blended. In a double boiler over gently simmering water, combine the chocolate and the coffee and melt, stirring occasionally.

In a large mixing bowl, place about 2 1/2 cups of the confectioners sugar. Add the butter and egg mixture, the melted chocolate mixture, cream and vanilla. Stir well and, if necessary, add more sugar to make the mixture into a paste stiff enough to handle. Roll the paste quickly into little balls, using about 2 heaping teaspoons for each one. Roll the balls in the chocolate threads. Chill until firm, on a tray lined with parchment paper in the refrigerator. If desired, layer the balls with parchment in an airtight cookie tin and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Yield: about 30