Did I have you at chocolate? Or at bourbon? I have always wanted to make homemade chocolate truffles. We were in the kitchen tonight and I asked my husband what liquor I should put in them and he suggested bourbon, the results I think you'll find quite delicious! Feel free, though, to substitue any other liquor, I would think Grand Marnier or calvados would be quite delicious... (I love calvados) I'm tempted to try them with red wine also... I can see I have many projects ahead of me... To the truffles!
Chocolate Bourbon Truffles
8.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably with cacao >50%, for this I used 72%)
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
pinch sea salt (small)
1 cup heavy cream
1.5 Tbsp. bourbon
equal parts unsweetened cocoa powder and granulated sugar
Chop the chocolate coarsely and place in a bowl. Add the corn syrup to the chopped chocolate. In a small saucepan, heat the milk until it just boils. Alternatively, you could heat the milk in the microwave. It just needs to be hot enough to melt the chocolate. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and corn syrup, allow to rest for 1 minute. Using a whisk, mix until smooth, then add the bourbon and small pinch of sea salt. Mix well. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Put in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes, go watch some television in the meantime...
Back to your ganache! This is technically ganache, but we've added a few flavorful elements, the bourbon, salt and corn syrup. So for this next step I used a little squeeze bottle, like the kind you see ketchup served in at restaurants, but if you don't have one, a zip lock back will be fine! (Or a pastry bag) Get a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Transfer the ganache from the bowl, it should resemble chocolate pudding at this point, into either your squeeze bottle, pastry bag, or zip lock bag. If you are using a zip lock bag, cut a very small hole in one of the corners of the bag to create the tip of your makeshift pastry bag. This is messy, so just go with it! The beauty of these truffles is that a) they are not meant to be uniform and symmetrical and b) it's impossible to make them so... So just relax! These are kind of free form truffles... Ok! Depending on the consistency of your ganache, you may need to chill it for a little while longer. When it's sufficiently cooled that it isn't runny, pipe small, 1/2" mounds of ganache onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes (go back to watch television).
After 15 minutes, prepare your coating, which is just equal parts cocoa powder and sugar, I mix 1 Tbsp. of each at a time. With clean fingers, take each little truffle and roll it in the coating until it's well covered. Place back on the parchment paper. The little mounds of ganache will be firmer after being chilled, but they will still be fairly soft. It is ok if they change shape a little while you handle them and roll them in the coating! It makes them interesting! When you are finished coating all your truffles, place them back on the parchment paper and chill until firm to the touch. Well done! You are a home chocolate maker! Look at you!
Some thoughts: Since these are mostly ganache, I'd keep them in the fridge. Before you serve them, though, let them get a little closer to room temperature by taking them out of the fridge.