Pastry expert Dominique Ansel takes the extra step to greatness: His Armagnac-spiked truffles are dipped in melted chocolate before being dusted with cocoa powder. The crunchy outer shell and tender ganache inside are an irresistible matchup.
Slideshow:More Chocolate Truffle Recipes
Make the ganache In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream and sugar just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. In a heatproof medium bowl, pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes, then add the Armagnac and whisk until smooth. Press a piece of plastic directly onto the surface of the ganache and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours.
Scoop 2-teaspoon-size mounds of the ganache onto a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the mounds until firm, about 30 minutes.
Using your hands, roll each mound of ganache into a ball. Refrigerate the balls until very firm, about 1 hour.
Make the coating In a microwave-safe medium bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 20-second intervals, until nearly melted; stir between intervals. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Let cool slightly.
Put the cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Using a fork, dip each ganache ball in the melted chocolate, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, then coat in the cocoa powder and return to the baking sheet. Refrigerate the truffles for 2 hours before serving.
The coated truffles can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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Review Body: The good news: the truffles are delicious, and the combination of textures is fantastic. I made 1/2 of the recipe as written, but also added some very finely diced prunes that had soaked in Armagnac for several days. The Armagnac flavor was quite subtle, but lovely--I'm curious to try the recipe using other liqueurs.
However, I had problems when I went to dip the truffles. My first few attempts at following the process as written were disastrous--when I dipped the chocolate-coated truffles in the cocoa powder, they lost their shape and dripped chocolate into the cocoa powder. However, when I dipped all the truffles in the melted chocolate, waited a few minutes for them to set, and then dipped them in the cocoa, they came out beautifully. They seemed to work best when the melted chocolate was at 90 degrees, and the coating produced at that temperature had a nice snap and sheen.