Mexican dark chocolate truffles

truffles3These truffles are only for the most hardcore dark chocolate fans, with their bitter cocoa exterior and smooth, rich interior with a hint of cinnamon and spice. I made these for our building’s 3rd floor Thursday cookie hour, which is really just an opportunity for our lab to show off our superior baking skills. We’re still working on the science part, but at least we’ve got the tasty treats under control. If you’re not as extreme as I am, this recipe could easily be toned down by using high quality milk chocolate and powdered sugar instead of the dark chocolate and cocoa powder. I acknowledge that some people have different taste preferences than I do, and will at times try to be sensitive to that fact, albeit infrequently. I call these truffles ‘Mexican’ primarily due to the dash of cinnamon, which is commonly found in Mexican hot chocolate. I also add cayenne for a subtle spicy surprise which plays really well against the dark chocolate and rich cream. While there are few ingredients, this recipe is definitely labor intensive so make sure you plan ahead. This recipe makes about 2-3 dozen truffles.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (32 oz) high quality dark chocolate
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • cocoa powder (to roll truffles in)

*** Note: This recipe takes 2 days to complete! ***

Instructions

For the chocolate, I used 2 packages of Ghirardelli premium semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz each package), and added a 100% cacao baking  chocolate bar (4 oz), to end up just under 2 pounds. Therefore I used just under 2 cups of cream in this iteration.

truffles1Start by pouring your cream into a small saucepan and heating, uncovered, on medium heat until it just starts to boil. Once you’ve started heating the cream, you should get a double boiler going. For this I just used a large pot with 1-2 inches of water in the bottom, heated over medium-high heat until boiling, with a large glass bowl sitting on top to trap the steam. Put all of your chocolate into the glass bowl and it should start melting. A double boiler is the best way to heat up chocolate because it will melt it slowly and uniformly without scorching, which happens if you put the chocolate on direct heat. Watch the cream carefully to make sure it doesn’t boil over. Once it just starts to boil, pour the cream over the melting chocolate. Stir slowly and continuously until the cream and chocolate melt together and there are no lumps. Then, add in the cayenne and cinnamon and stir well. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the heat and set aside, away from the stovetop.

truffles2The chocolate will need to cool for about 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours until it reaches a consistency that you can form truffles with. You’ll want to stir the truffle mixture every 20-30 minutes. If you’re in a rush, stick it in the fridge for up to an hour and check on it regularly. Once it’s somewhat firm, you can just pour it out into a sheet like I did (the quick and lazy way), or you can spoon it out into individual portions of about 2-3 tsp. Leave the chocolate sitting out in the open air overnight to thoroughly firm up.

The next day, cut the sheet of chocolate into even-sized pieces, roll them individually in your hands, and then roll in cocoa powder to coat.

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