Sunday, February 13, 2011

Decadent Chocolate Truffles with Raspberries

Dark chocolate and raspberries go together just like sweethearts, so how appropriate for a Valentine's Day dessert.

There are so many possibilities for desserts using these two ingredients, but this year I've chosen this one for our V-Day dessert. I love the way the tartness of the raspberries contrast with the richness of the truffle.

The truffles recipe is from Tyler Florence, with my additional notes. The truffles are so rich, one--or at the most two--is more than enough. It definitely can be eaten with a fork,  with a few raspberries on the side, to savor the flavor while you smile at your sweetheart across the table.

One other note: This is a great basic truffles recipe; add ingredients to change the flavor. For instance, you could add a bit of chile powder or instant expresso to the mixture. Crystalized (or ground) ginger or candied orange peel would be delicious. Instead of cocoa,  roll the truffles in chopped hazelnuts or ground blanched almonds.

Hope you enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Truffles
makes 15 - 20 candies

1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good-quality (70 percent) bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder, for dusting

In a sauce pan, bring the cream just to a simmer over low heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate in a bowl and let stand about 10 minutes to melt the chocolate (be certain it is finely chopped or it won't melt). Add vanilla and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool for one hour at room temperature. Then, beat the chocolate at medium speed until it gets thick and lighter colored. Spread over the bottom of a baking dish (a glass, 9" square pan is perfect) and smooth the top. Refrigerate two hours until firm.

Sift cocoa powder into a shallow bowl. I used a spoon to scrape out some truffle chocolate and then formed them into little 1 inch balls with my hands. Don't worry about perfectly smooth or round truffles; these are handmade after all.

After forming, drop each truffle into the bowl of cocoa and roll between two forks to coat completely. Lift out the truffle with the forks and place onto a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet. Chill until firm and, if making these ahead, wrap and refrigerate.

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