These simple truffles feature a hint of Crème de Cassis liqueur, to pick up the berry flavor in late bottled vintage Port wine. Make sure to finely chop the chocolate before you begin, or it may not completely melt when whisked with the cream. If there are lumps in your truffle mixture, set it over a slightly larger bowl of hot (not boiling) water and stir until melted.
8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Crème de Cassis liqueur
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
1. Place the chocolate in a medium-size heatproof bowl. Bring the cream just to a boil in a small saucepan. As soon as it begins to boil, pour it through a fine strainer and into the bowl with the chocolate. Whisk the cream and chocolate together until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in the Crème de Cassis. Cover and refrigerate until stiff and cold, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
2. Scoop up some of the chilled chocolate mixture with a teaspoon and roll between your palms to make 3/4-inch balls (they don't have to be perfectly round). Work quickly so the chocolate doesn't melt in your hands. Transfer the balls to a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, setting them 1/2-inch apart. Wipe your hands periodically with paper towels to remove any chocolate left behind from rolling. If the truffle mixture becomes too soft to roll, return it to the refrigerator briefly to firm up before continuing.
3. Lightly cover the balls with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator until cool and firm. Place the cocoa powder in a pie plate or other flat-bottomed dish with sides, and roll the truffles in the cocoa powder a few at a time, until coated. Store the truffles in a waxed paper-lined tin in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
From Everyday Dining with Wine by Andrea Immer (Broadway Books, 2004). © 2004 by Andrea Immer.
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