As an alternative to making the chocolate cups called for in the recipe, you can use pre-purchased chocolate cups sold in many liquor stores and specialty food stores. If you would like to make your own chocolate cups, I have a photo tutorial showing how to make chocolate cups.
Yield: 12 hot chocolate truffle cups
- 8 ounces good-quality milk chocolate
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cubed butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 egg yolks
- 6 ounces (1 cup) chocolate candy coating
- candy cup molds or paper candy cups
- 12 miniature marshmallows or 3 large marshmallows
1. Chop the milk chocolate into small pieces and place it in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until melted, stirring after every 45 seconds to prevent overheating. Stir until the chocolate is smooth and free of lumps.
2. Whisk the softened butter into the chocolate, then whisk in the egg yolks and vigorously stir until the mixture comes together. It might look grainy and lumpy at first, but continue to whisk until it becomes smooth and holds together in the bottom of the bowl. Press a layer of cling wrap onto the top of the ganache and allow it to cool at room temperature. Once no longer warm, refrigerate it until it is the texture of very thick frosting, about 30 minutes. (If you are making this in stages, it can be refrigerated for up to three days. It will be very hard after all that time chilling, so allow the ganache to come to room temperature before using.)
3. While the ganache is chilling, prepare the chocolate cups. Begin by melting the chocolate coating in the microwave, stirring after every 45 seconds to prevent overheating. If you want to substitute real chocolate instead of candy coating, I recommend tempering the chocolate so it will remain hard at room temperature and have a nice shine and “snap.”
4.There are two ways to make the cups: by using paper candy cups, or by using plastic or metal candy molds in the shape of cups (sometimes called “bonbon cups.”) If using the candy molds, fill the molds to the top with chocolate. Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 minutes, until they just begin to set. Remove and hold upside-down over a baking sheet covered with foil. The chocolate will flow out of the molds, leaving a thin layer clinging to the sides. Replace the molds in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens completely. Scrape up the chocolate from the foil and save for later use. Once the cups are hard, unmold and trim the tops with a paring knife. Now skip to step 6.
5. If using paper candy cups, you can refer to this chocolate cup tutorial for step-by-step photos. Take a small pastry brush (or clean paint brush) and brush the chocolate up the sides of the cups. Try to make your coating as even as possible, and swirl the cups upside down to help distribute the chocolate. Hold the cups up to the light to determine whether there are any translucent spots that did not get covered adequately. Place the chocolate cups face down on waxed paper or aluminum foil and let them harden completely. Once the chocolate hardens, carefully peel off the paper wrapper.
6. Once the cups are made, it’s time to assemble the cups. Using a small hand-held mixer, or a large mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the ganache until it becomes lighter in color and holds peaks when the whisk is lifted. It should the consistency of buttercream frosting. Fill a pastry bag (or large Ziploc plastic bag with the corner cut off) with the whipped ganache and pipe swirls of ganache into the chocolate cups.
7. Top each truffle cup with a miniature marshmallow, or large marshmallow cut into quarters. If you would like to toast the marshmallows, wet your hands with water and moisten each marshmallow briefly, then roll them in granulated sugar and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Use a small kitchen torch (like a crème brulee torch) to brown the marshmallows and caramelize the sugar. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, I have had moderate success using a long-handled lighter to torch the sugar, but this method takes longer and produces less even results.
8. Store Hot Chocolate Truffle Cups in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and allow to come to room temperature before serving. The marshmallows do not keep well, and are best added directly before serving.