Start with a good-quality chocolate
Chocolate with a cacao content of about 60% works best with this formula, though you try out other kinds of chocolate and tweak the proportions slightly. For chocolate with 70% cacao, I’ve had to increase the cream by about a tablespoon or two. I decreased the cream when using milk or white chocolate.
Boil cream, add chocolate
Add the chopped chocolate to the cream. For an extra smooth truffle, add butter, about a tablespoon for every eight ounces of chocolate. The same amount of liqueur can be added at this point, as well. Make sure none of these additions is cold or it could break your ganache, turning your smooth pudding-like mixture into a greasy-looking mess.
Wait a minute or two until most of the chocolate and butter is melted.
Transfer to a mixing bowl
Whisk the mixture vigorously until it’s thick and smooth, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl and incorporating all the cream and chocolate. If you have one, an immersion blender helps make sure the emulsion is stable.
If the ganache shows signs of breaking at this point (if it looks curdled or oily), you can add a few drops of cream to help re-emulsify it.
Set at room temperature
You can speed things up by letting it set in the fridge, but resulting ganache tends not to taste quite as silky.
Broken ganache is fixable!
Scoop and form ganache
If your ganache isn’t firm enough to scoop into balls, you can chill it in the fridge to harden. Or, whip it very briefly until the color just begins to lighten—about 30 seconds on medium-low with a hand mixer. Let it set again and it will firm up.
Roll in coating
If your ganache isn’t firm enough to scoop into balls, you can chill it in the fridge to harden. Or, you can whip it very briefly until the color just begins to lighten—about 30 seconds on medium-low with a hand mixer. Let it set again and it will firm up. I’ve found this method especially helpful with white chocolate.
Or, enrobe with tempered chocolate first
Use two forks to roll the truffle around in the melted chocolate and coat it evenly. Let the excess chocolate drain through the tines of the fork and place on a smooth surface to harden at room temperature. If you want to coat the enrobed truffles in cocoa, roll them before the chocolate fully dries.
The shortcut method
Very gently melt grated or very finely chopped chocolate in a bowl immersed in a warm water bath (around 90 to 95°F), stirring it gently as it melts and adding hot water to the bath as necessary to maintain the temperature. Make sure that no water gets into the chocolate.
Rolling the chocolate shell in cocoa powder before it sets will help mask any tempering imperfections.
The finished product
When you are finished decorating them, store them at room temperature for up to a week, in the refrigerator for two to three weeks, or in the freezer for two months. They taste best eaten at room temperature.