|Dark chocolate truffles with chopped almond topping|
6 squares (1 oz each) semisweet chocolate, cut up
2 Tbl. butter or margarine
1/4 c. whipping cream (its also fun to replace all the cream with all-fruit preserves of your choice, like raspberry or apricot)
1 Tbl. shortening (like crisco)
1 pkg (6 oz.) semi sweet or milk chocolate chips
(Truth be told, I have used chocolate chips for both parts. You can also do a white chocolate filling or coating using white chocolate chips.)
Heat squares of chocolate in a heavy 2 qt, saucepan, stirring until just melted. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Stir in the whipping cream. Refrigerate, but stir often, just until thick enough to shape, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto aluminum covered cookie sheets. Shape to even out into a ball. Return to fridge if still too soft to shape. When all balls are shaped, put in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Heat choc. chips and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly until chips are melted and smooth. (I put the chips and shortening in the microwave, and zap a few seconds at a time and sneak up on it. The chips will soften and hold their shape so you need to poke at them to see how soft they have gotten.) Dip each filling ball and completely coat with chocolate, place on the foil lined cookie sheet. (I use a fork, and let the excess choclate drip back into the bowl.) Top with garnish of your choice, (see suggestions below). Return to the freezer for ten minutes more.
Top with chopped nuts, coarse sea salt, cocoa powder, a few pieces of crushed peppermint candy etc. its fun to make different flavors, and code each one with different toppings.
Salt: I made these with Pinot Noir salt, I added a pinch to the filling, and sprinked some on the top of each truffle before setting them up.
Almond or other flavor: stir in 2 Tbl. almond liquer into the cream. Also could work for any other liquer you like, like kahlua, orange, cherry brandy, etc.
Apricot: Chop 3 Tbl. dried apricots and soak in 1 Tbl. brandy for 15 minutes, add to cream. I like making these using white chocolate in the coating but dark chocolate in the filling. Garnish with a small piece of apricot.
Keep in a cool dry place, but serve at room temperature. Keeping them in egg cartons works really well.