Melissa Rubel sets out a huge bowl of ganache and dishes of coatings, like almonds and cocoa powder, so guests can create their own truffles.

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Steps:

Make the Ganache

In a saucepan, bring 1 quart heavy cream to a simmer. In a large bowl, combine 3 pounds chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, 1 1/2 sticks chopped unsalted butter and a pinch of salt. Pour the hot cream on top. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth.

Flavor the Ganache

Divide the ganache into 4 bowls. For each quarter batch, stir in either 1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum, 4 teaspoons pure peppermint oil and 1 teaspoon ground cardamom or 2 teaspoons instant espresso dissolved in 2 teaspoons water. Cover and refrigerate until firm, 3 hours.

Roll the Truffles

Using a small scoop, drop tablespoons of the ganache onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Using cold, wet hands, roll the ganache into balls. Coat the truffles in crushed mint candies, chopped almonds, toasted coconut flakes or cocoa powder.

Truffle Ideas

  • Peppermint filling with powdered sugar, chocolate cookie crumbs or mint candies
  • Espresso filling with cinnamon–sugar, amaretti or cocoa powder-salt mixture
  • Rum filling with coconut, candied ginger or toffee
  • Cardamom filling with cinnamon–sugar, amaretti or candied ginger
  • Plain chocolate filling with raspberry, malt balls or peanuts

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