Truffles are easy to prepare and can be stored in the freezer (well wrapped) for at least 3 months. They are also fun to make—sitting around chatting and rolling can be quite relaxing. Listen to the Beatles’ song “Savoy Truffle” as you make them!
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 12 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 Tbs. brandy
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the cream until very hot but not quite simmering. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate and butter until they are melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the brandy and whisk until a smooth ganache forms. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop level tablespoonfuls of the chilled ganache and place on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Spread the cocoa powder on a plate. Using your hands, shape each tablespoonful of ganache into a ball or a log 1 1/2 inches long. Roll in the cocoa powder and return the truffles to the baking sheet.
Refrigerate the truffles for at least 30 minutes to firm them up. Remove them from the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving. Makes 4 dozen truffles.
Vary the flavor:
Toasted coconut: Replace the cocoa powder with 1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted.
Cinnamon sugar: Replace the cocoa powder with 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon mixed into 1/2 cup sugar.
Praline: Replace the cocoa powder with 1/2 cup finely chopped peanut brittle.
Pink peppercorn: After rolling the truffles in the cocoa powder, gently press a small pinch of finely ground pink peppercorns into the top of each truffle.
Sea salt: After rolling the truffles in the cocoa powder, gently press a small pinch of Maldon or other flaky sea salt into the top of each truffle.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends, by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm (Oxmoor House, 2008).