- 8 ounces of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (a cacao content of about 60% works best)
- ½ cup of cream (for chocolate with 70% cacao, increase the cream by about a tablespoon or two)
- 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
- 1 tablespoon rum, or other liquor (optional)
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder for coating the truffles (or use chopped nuts or melted and tempered chocolate)
Chop the chocolate into fairly even, small pieces—a heavy serrated knife works well.
Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to boil. Remove from heat. Add the chopped chocolate to the cream. For an extra smooth truffle, add butter. Add any liquor here, too. Wait a minute or two until most of the chocolate and butter is melted.
Transfer to a mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Once the chocolate is mostly melted, quickly but gently transfer the mixture to a bowl so that you can form your emulsion in a cooler environment.
Whisk the mixture vigorously until it’s thick and smooth, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl and incorporating all the cream and chocolate. If you have one, an immersion blender helps make sure the emulsion is stable.
If the ganache shows signs of breaking at this point (if it looks curdled or oily), you can add a few drops of cream to help re-emulsify it. A well-emulsified ganache should look like chocolate pudding: thick, smooth, and glossy. Leave it in a cool spot to firm up for at least four hours, ideally overnight.
Once the ganache has set into a uniformly firm mass, scoop out small balls with a melon baller or spoon. Roll each one briefly in the palms of your very clean (or gloved) hands. It helps if you have cold hands or are in a cool room.
Chill the truffles briefly, for about 15 minutes, while you prepare whatever you’d like to roll or enrobe them in.
If your ganache isn’t firm enough to scoop into balls, you can chill it in the fridge to harden. Or, whip it very briefly until the color just begins to lighten—about 30 seconds on medium-low with a hand mixer. Let it set again and it will firm up.
Roll the truffles in cocoa powder, shaking off any excess cocoa. You can also roll them in chopped nuts or enrobe them in melted and tempered chocolate.
Store them at room temperature for up to a week, in the fridge for two to three weeks, or in the freezer for two months. They taste best eaten at room temperature.