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Penguin Truffles

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Penguin Truffles photo
(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Chill out with these Penguin Truffles! Rich chocolate truffles are formed into adorable penguin shapes to make these whimsical, delicious Penguin Truffles. Serve them at an animal-themed party, or save them for winter when they match the chilly weather outside.

Yield: 24 penguin truffles

Ingredients:

Preparation:

1. First, prepare the ganache. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl, and set aside. Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan over medium heat, and bring it to a simmer.

2. Once the cream is near boiling, pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for one minute to soften the chocolate. Gently whisk the cream and chocolate together until they're a smooth, homogenous mixture. Press a piece of cling wrap to the top of the ganache and when it is room temperature, refrigerate it until it is firm enough to pipe, about 90 minutes. It should be the texture of firm peanut butter.

3. Once the ganache is ready, cover a baking sheet with waxed paper or foil, and fit the piping bag with a 1/2-inch round tip or coupler. If you do not have a piping bag, you can try using a large Ziploc bag with a hole cut in the corner, but it will be less precise and probably more frustrating. You can also try chilling the ganache a bit more and forming the penguins by hand.

4. Fill the piping bag with ganache. Hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, with the tip about 1/2 inch from the sheet. Squeezing firmly, pipe out a round blob of ganache about 3/4-inch wide. Continue to squeeze as you lift the piping bag, forming a tapering cylinder of ganache. Stop when your cylinder is about an inch and a half high. This is the penguin body.

5. Now go back and pipe a round dot, about 1/2-inch round, on the top of each body segment to be the head. Stop squeezing as you lift the tip from the ganache, forming a peak that will be the penguin's beak. Repeat until all of your penguins are piped.

6. Take two almond slices and press them into opposite sides of a penguin's body at an angle to form the penguin's wings. Once all of the penguin shapes are formed, refrigerate the tray until they're firm enough to dip, about another 30 minutes.

7. Melt the chocolate candy coating in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheat. Stir until it is melted and smooth.

8. After the penguins are firm, balance one on a fork or dipping tool and dip it in the melted coating. Remove it from the coating, and let the excess drip back into the bowl. Scrape the bottom against the lip of the bowl, and replace it on the foil-covered baking sheet, using a toothpick or other thin device to help it slip off the fork without falling. Repeat until all of the penguins are dipped. Let them set at room temperature or harden in the refrigerator.

9. To finish your penguin truffles, melt the white candy coating in the microwave until it's melted and smooth. Hold a penguin in one hand, and dip a small spoon in the white coating with the other. Pour the coating down the front of the penguin, using the spoon to guide it so that it covers the whole belly. After the bellies are decorated, dip a toothpick in the white or dark candy coating, and give each penguin two eyes.

10. Refrigerate the Penguin Truffles to set the chocolate completely, for about 20 minutes. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. For best taste and texture, bring Penguin Truffles to room temperature before serving.

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