FINELY CHOPPED TOASTED NUTS MINCED DRIED FRUIT OR CRYSTALLIZED GINGER LIQUEUR, SUCH AS KAHLÚA (1 TABLESPOON) EXTRACT, SUCH AS PEPPERMINT (1∕4 TO 1∕2 TEASPOON) SPICES, SUCH AS CAYENNE, CINNAMON OR SEA SALT
COCOA POWDER COARSE DECORATING SUGARS SPRINKLES FINELY CHOPPED TOASTED NUTS FREEZE-DRIED RASPBERRIES, BLITZED TO A RED POWDER IN THE FOOD PROCESSOR
Chop chocolate (for quantity, see note below). Set aside. Heat 1∕2 cup heavy whipping cream in a double boiler or heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until steaming (do not boil). Add chocolate; stir to coat, then remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir
until combined, scraping sides. If necessary, briefly return to low heat to melt fully. Add a mix-in, if desired. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread mixture evenly on paper.
Let mixture stand for
2 hours to set, then chill at least 2 more hours in the fridge. Using a 1-inch scoop or 2 teaspoons, divide mixture into 1-inch pieces. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If necessary, chill 10 to 15 minutes, until just firm.
Roll each piece between your palms until round, smooth and a bit tacky, but not gooey. Toss each ball immediately in coating of your choice. HOW MUCH CHOCOLATE? You can use bittersweet, milk or white chocolate—but the amount varies because each melts to a different consistency. For every 1∕2 cup cream, use 150 grams bittersweet chocolate (yield: about 16 truffles), 300 grams milk chocolate (yield: 26) or 410 grams white chocolate (yield: 32). For shopping reference: Good-quality bars such as Lindt or Ghirardelli weigh about 100 grams, but an inexpensive digital scale makes precise measuring a breeze.
“Buy the nicestlooking bars at the store,” Pete says. “Look for something without artificial flavors or fillers like vegetable oil.” “Sometimes the mixture will break and the fat starts to separate,” Pete warns. But not to fear: “If it looks lumpy or oily, an immersion blender quickly and easily makes it really smooth again. A whisk works, too.” The mixture shouldn’t be rock-hard, but you’ll be rolling it with your hands, so you want it firm enough to avoid melting. Truffles coated with freeze-dried raspberries taste and look best the first day. Other coatings will hold fine for a few days. Store truffles at a cool, dry room temp.