- 1 Pound block good bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, 60% or higher cacao
- 8 Ounces heavy cream
- 1 Ounce softened butter
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dutch-processed cocoa powder, crushed nuts, powdered sugar, sprinkles or other coating ingredients
Using a serrated knife, shave chocolate into thin slices, then mince the pile of shavings to make very small pieces.
Scrape chocolate into a clean, dry, stainless steel bowl.
Heat cream to simmering, then pour over chocolate.
Stir in a tight circle from center of bowl, gradually working in cream from edges to form an emulsion. This is your ganache.
(Note: If your chocolate doesn’t melt all the way, place the bowl over a bain marie — a saucepan in which a couple inches of water is simmering. Keep the flame turned low and take care not to get any water in the ganache while you continue stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.)
When the cream is fully incorporated and the chocolate ganache is smooth and creamy, stir in butter and vanilla until incorporated.
To form truffles, there are two common methods, which we’ll call Method A and Method B.
Method A: Pipe small ganache pyramids onto a parchment-covered baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes, then roll each piece between your palms to form a sphere.
Method B: Refrigerate all the ganache in the mixing bowl or in a flatter container (for faster chilling), until firm, 30 to 60 minutes. Using a melon baller, carve out spheres of chocolate and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Do not obsess over the perfection or lack thereof of your ganache balls. When the baking sheet is full, roll each ball between your palms to achieve a more spherical shape.
Place cocoa powder, nuts, powdered sugar or some other coating ingredient into a bowl.
Roll each truffle in coating, then return to baking sheet.
Refrigerate up to 2 weeks, as if they’ll last longer than a couple days.