Holiday Truffles

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Truffles are perfect for holiday gifts, or for serving when one wants “just a bite” of something sweet.  Truffles are unlike fudge or other candies, and well worth the time to make!

Chocolate-Dipped Truffles with Amaretto-Chocolate Cream Centers

1 cup whipping cream
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup Amaretto (almond liqueur)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
2 ounces milk chocolate
1 pound semisweet chocolate coating

1.  Heat cream in a medium-size saucepan to simmering; remove from heat.  Add 10 ounces semisweet chocolate and the butter; whisk until smooth.  Cool to room temperature.  Stir in Amaretto and almond extract.  Refrigerate, covered, in a medium bowl until firm; at least 4 hours or overnight.

2.  Scrape spoon or melon ball cutter across the surface of chilled mixture.  Quickly press with fingertips into 1-inch balls.  Freeze uncovered on baking sheets until hard, about 1 hour.

3.  Meanwhile, melt milk chocolate to 92 degrees; reserve.

4.  Temper the chocolate coating to 86 degrees. Using a fork, dip the frozen centers completely into chocolate coating and transfer to baking sheets lined with waxed paper.  Dip tines of fork into melted milk chocolate and drape threads of it over the top of dipped truffles to make decorative streaks.  Let truffles sit until set.  Makes about 3 dozen.

Note:  If you do not care for Amaretto, you can substitute 3 Tablespoons Kirsch for the Amaretto and omit the almond extract.  Also omit the milk chocolate and thread with the melted chocolate coating instead.

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