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Spicy Chocolate Truffles

You can make a variety of truffles using this method. Instead of rolling the truffles in the spicy cocoa mixture, try rolling them in chopped toasted hazelnuts or almonds. Or, add 1/4 cup bourbon along with the vanilla and serve the truffles after dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

Make the truffle filling
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream and butter and heat until the butter melts. Remove from the heat, add the semisweet and unsweetened chocolates, and let stand until softened, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth. Scrape the truffle mixture into a large bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until firm throughout, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Shape the truffles
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a dinner plate, using a fork, stir together the cocoa powder, sugar, chili powder and cinnamon. To form each truffle, scoop up a tablespoonful of the cold filling, quickly roll it between your palms into a rough ball and roll the ball in the cocoa mixture to coat evenly. As the truffles are formed, place them on the prepared baking sheet.

Serve the truffles immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. For best results, bring to room temperature before serving. Makes about 30 truffles.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Desserts, by Elinor Klivans (Oxmoor House, 2007).