The key to making creamy, melt-in-your-mouth truffles is using the highest-quality chocolate you can find.
- Yield: Makes about 5 dozen
Source: Martha Stewart Living, 2002
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1 pound finely chopped semisweet chocolate, plus 12 ounces more for dipping
- 5 cups (1 pound) sliced blanched almonds
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To make praline, toast almonds in rimmed baking pan for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned, stir- ring once halfway through. Set aside. Line a baking pan with a Silpat (French baking mat) or parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil over medium heat. Wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water to keep sugar crystals from forming. Once all the sugar has dissolved, increase heat to medium-high and continue cooking until syrup is a caramel color. Remove from heat. Stir in the almonds using a wooden spoon. Working quickly, pour mixture onto prepared baking pan and spread out with the back of a spoon. Let cool completely. Break into pieces and finely chop into 1/8-inch pieces. Using a strainer, sift out and discard dust. Set chopped praline aside.
In a small saucepan, bring cream, butter, and corn syrup to a full boil over medium heat. Turn off heat. Add 1 pound chocolate; gently swirl pan to cover chocolate with cream, but do not stir. Let stand, undisturbed, 5 minutes.
Slowly whisk until combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; refrigerate, stirring every 15 minutes.
After 45 minutes, mixture will thicken quickly, so stir every 3 to 5 minutes until thick enough to scoop, 10 to 20 minutes more. Stir in praline pieces. Using two spoons or a small ice-cream scoop, form into 1-inch balls; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Chill until firm, but not hard, about 10 minutes. Remove from refrigerator; roll in palms to form a ball, and press gently with fingers to create irregular shapes. Chill until ready to dip, up to 1 week. Place remaining 12 ounces chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water; stir occasionally until chocolate melts. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
Very finely chop the remaining praline pieces in the bowl of a food processor. Do not let praline get powdery. Place praline in a small bowl. Remove centers from refrigerator. Using one hand, dip one center into melted chocolate, then roll around in your hand to coat evenly, letting excess drip back into pan. Place truffle in praline. With your clean hand, cover truffle with praline. Let sit in bowl 20 seconds.
Lift out, and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining truffles. If your kitchen is warm, refrigerate 5 minutes to set. You can store truffles in airtight containers up to 1 week at a cool room temperature.