1 Lb. Good Chocolate, Chopped
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2-3 Tablespoons Liqueur (Rum Chata, Chambord, Coffee, Creme de Menthe) (optional)
1 Tablespoon Sweet Shoppe Seasoning
1/2 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Tellicherry Peppercorns
3/4 Cup Chopped Dried Fruit: Cherries, Cranberries, Apricots (Optional)
3/4 Cup Chopped Nuts
Dark Cocoa Sugar, Cocoa Powder, etc. for Finishing
We tend to think that decadent chocolate treats are best reserved for the holiday season when everyone is in a festive mood and will enjoy them most. So we reserve one day a year to make our Chocolate Truffles: dark chocolate, bittersweet, milk chocolate, white chocolate. You name it, we make them all. Our favorites are spiked with liqueur of one kind or other; but it's not necessary to use liqueur if you prefer not to do so. Sometimes we lace them with dried fruit or nuts. We finish them off by rolling them in confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, sprinkles, nuts, or coconut. Or we add an additional layer of decadence by dipping them in another melted chocolate. It doesn't really matter what you put in the truffles, as long as it starts with a good chocolate. No matter what type you choose, you'll be amazed that something this decadent, this incredible, this special could be so easy! And by the way, these make a great treat for Valentine's Day, too!
Pour cream into medium saucepan placed over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and strain. Return to pan. Add chopped chocolate and whisk slowly until chocolate has melted. Add liqueur (if using), coffee, vanilla, salt, and pepper and stir to combine completely. If you're adding dried fruit or nuts, do so now. Stir to combine. Allow mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes. Then cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours until mixture has thickened and is ready for handling.
Using a mini scoop, scoop out chocolate and roll in your hands until a ball is formed. Then roll in dark cocoa sugar, cocoa powder, sprinkles, nuts, or coconut to finish. If you are planning to dip the truffles in melted chocolate instead of rolling them in something, return rolled truffles to refrigerator and allow to cool completely. Then dip in melted chocolate and allow to stand until the outer layer has cooled and hardened.
Truffles can be refrigerated for several weeks. Remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.