Friday, April 13, 2012

Dark Chocolate Truffles with Sea Salt

Since enjoying the most amazing dark chocolate truffles at Harrod's in London, I have been craving them, searching for decent varieties in every chocolaterie in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. But not the cloyingly sweet variety dripping with liqueur or artificial flavoring and dipped in milk chocolate. Blech.

No, I want the real deal. Dark chocolate. Straight up. Thus, like so many things I cannot find readily available in the store, I make my own.

I loosely follow the recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but use vanilla instead of orange liqueur, and add sea salt, the piece de resistance of my truffles. I also, use slightly less butter.

So before you tune me out, thinking truffles are only for frivolous cooks who lounge at home all day contemplating their next meals, listen, this is probably the easiest dessert I have ever made. And so rewarding!

yields 36 truffles 

7-8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, at least 70 percent cocoa solids
1/4 cup strong, hot coffee
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
1/2 cup good-quality butter, cut into thin slices

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Melt the chocolate and coffee over very low heat in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. When melted, drizzle in the vanilla then use a whisk or electric mixer, and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat. Add the butter one piece at a time, whisking until combined after each addition.

Cover the pan and refrigerate for one hour.

Sprinkle the sea salt on top of the chocolate.

Using a small teaspoon, scoop small balls of chocolate from the pot, trying to get a small amount of salt in each truffle. Place the truffle in a small ramekin with the cocoa powder and swirl to coat. Set the finished truffle in a paper liner.

When finished, refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for a month.

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