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Chocolate Dulce de Leche Truffles

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Chocolate Dulce de Leche Truffles
(c) 2013 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Chocolate Dulce de Leche Truffles are a fun twist on traditional chocolate truffles! In addition to the usual chocolate and cream, they contain a hefty dose of dulce de leche, the delicious caramelized treat made from sweetened condensed milk.

Dulce de leche can come in various consistencies. This recipe was tested using homemade dulce de leche that was firm enough to slice into pieces. You can find a recipe for dulce de leche here. If you are using store-bought dulce de leche, or one with a consistency similar to caramel sauce, it will still work well, but your truffles might be a little softer.

Yield: 50 truffles

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 14 ounces dulce de leche (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 1 lb chocolate candy coating
  • 1/4 cup candied pecans or plain toasted pecans, finely chopped

Preparation:

1. Place the bittersweet chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside for now.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the dulce de leche and the heavy cream. Heat the mixture, whisking occasionally, until the dulce de leche melts and combines with the cream. The mixture will be very thick, and you might see a few lumps here and there. Heat the mixture until is just starts bubbling.

3. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate, and let it sit for one minute to soften the chocolate. Then, whisk everything together until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. This is your ganache. If you still see some lumps from the dulce de leche, transfer the ganache to a food processor and pulse in 5-second intervals, about two to three times, until your ganache is silky smooth and glossy. (A high-speed blender or immersion blender can also be used.)

4. Transfer the ganache to a bowl, press a layer of cling wrap on top, and refrigerate it until it's firm enough to scoop, about 1 hour.

5. Cover a baking sheet with foil, parchment, or waxed paper. Place the cocoa powder in a shallow bowl at your work station. Using a candy scoop or a small spoon, form the ganache into small balls. Dust your hands with cocoa powder and roll them between your hands to make them round. Repeat until all of the ganache has been rolled into balls.

6. If you have the time, let the tray of truffle sit out overnight at cool room temperature, ideally between 60-70 F. This will help your truffles to develop a "skin," meaning they are sturdy enough to be dipped while at room temperature instead of chilled. This helps prevent cracking in the outer chocolate layer. If you're pressed for time, refrigerate the tray of truffles until they're firm enough to dip, about 45 minutes.

7. Melt the chocolate candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after every 30 seconds until melted and smooth. Use dipping tools or forks to dip a truffle into the chocolate, then remove it from the bowl and let excess drip back into the bowl. Place the truffle on the prepared baking sheet, and while the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the top with a pinch of chopped candied nuts. Repeat until all of the truffles have been dipped.

8. Store Chocolate Dulce de Leche Truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and for best taste and texture, bring them to room temperature before serving.

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