Mascarpone is a mild, soft Italian cheese that is often used in desserts thanks to its rich, creamy texture. If you cannot find it, you can substitute full-fat cream cheese instead, but the flavor and texture will be slightly different.
Yield: 20 truffles
- 6 ounces (about 1 cup) chopped good-quality white chocolate
- 3 ounces (about 1/3 cup) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- Zest of 1/2 orange
- 8 ounces chocolate candy coating
- 4 ounces white chocolate coating, to decorate (optional)
1. Carefully melt the white chocolate in the microwave, using half-power and stirring it after every 30 seconds. White chocolate scorches easily, so it's best to heat it slowly and gently. Stop heating when there are still a few unmelted pieces remaining, and let the residual heat of the melted white chocolate melt the remaining pieces.
2. Once the white chocolate is melted and smooth, stir in the room temperature mascarpone cheese and the orange zest until there are no lumps remaining. Taste the mixture, and if you want a strong orange flavor, you can add the zest from the remaining 1/2 orange or a few drops of orange extract. Press a layer of cling wrap on top of the white chocolate and refrigerate it until firm enough to scoop, about 1-2 hours.
3. When the truffle mixture has firmed up, use a teaspoon or a small candy scoop to form it into 1-inch balls on a foil-lined baking sheet. If it's too hard to roll, let it sit on the counter at room temperature until it softens a bit.
4. Melt the chocolate candy coating in the microwave until it is fluid and smooth. Use forks or dipping tools to dip a truffle in the melted coating, then let the excess drip back into the bowl. Place the dipped truffle back on the foil-covered baking sheet and repeat until all of the truffles are dipped.
5. If you want to decorate the truffles with white chocolate, melt the remaining 4 ounces of white candy coating and pour the melted coating into a paper cone. Alternately, you can pour it into a plastic bag and cut off the tip. Drizzle the melted chocolate all over the tops of the truffles in a random pattern to produce a beautiful abstract design.
6. Refrigerate the truffles until the coating sets, about 10 minutes. Mascarpone White Chocolate Truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For best taste and texture, bring them to room temperature before serving.