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Balsamic Truffles

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Balsamic Truffles Photo
(c) 2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Never fear--Balsamic Truffles do NOT taste like balsamic vinegar! While it's true that they do contain a splash of good-quality balsamic vinegar, no one will mistake these candies for a salad dressing. Rather, the vinegar intensifies the chocolate's flavor, and gives the truffles a more fruity, tangy taste.

For the best results, make sure you use a good-quality balsamic vinegar, and don't try to substitute another type for balsamic.

Yield: 4 dozen Balsamic Truffles

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pound chocolate or candy coating, for dipping
  • Sprinkles for coating (optional)

Preparation:

1. Place the finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate in a medium bowl.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream and the corn syrup over medium heat. Cook the cream until it comes to a simmer and small bubbles appear on the sides of the pan.

3. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit and soften the chocolate for a minute. Gently whisk the cream and chocolate together until your mixture is shiny and smooth.

4. Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and whisk it in. Taste the ganache, and if desired, add a little more, up to an additional tablespoon until you get a flavor you like. You don't want to actually taste vinegar; rather, the vinegar will intensify the fruitiness of the chocolate. Whisk in the room temperature butter.

5. Press a layer of cling wrap on top of the chocolate and refrigerate it until it's firm enough to scoop, about 1 hour.

6. Once firm but not hard, use a small 1-inch candy scoop or a teaspoon to make small balls of ganache. Roll them between your palms to make them round, and dust your palms with a bit of cocoa powder, if necessary, when the truffles start to stick. Refrigerate the tray while you prepare the chocolate coating.

7. If you want to use real chocolate to coat them, temper the chocolate by following these directions. Otherwise, melt chocolate flavored candy coating until it is smooth and fluid. Place the sprinkles (or anything else you want to dip the truffles in) in a shallow bowl nearby.

8. Spoon a few tablespoons of melted chocolate into your palm. Drop a truffle into your palm, and use the fingers of the other hand to roll it around until it's coated in a thin layer of chocolate. Gently drop the coated truffle from your hand into the bowl of sprinkles, and use a fork to roll it around until it's coated with sprinkles. Let it sit for a moment or two in the bowl, while you prepare the next truffle, before transferring it to a baking sheet. Repeat until all of the truffles are dipped and coated.

9. Refrigerate Balsamic Truffles in an airtight container for up to two weeks. For the best taste and texture, bring them to room temperature before serving.

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