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Okay, we have an easy one here for midweek. I apologize in advance for these photos, they were taken very late – after the school holiday concert. I’m using brandy here, but you could adjust the amount and type of flavoring to your taste.

Unless you have the time and inclination for tempering, you’ll want to look for couverture chocolate. I’m using Guittard, and of course, the highest quality you can find is generally what you want to use.

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Brandy Truffles, Makes about 40

One recipe basic ganache

One pound of chocolate couverture

Stir 2 T. of brandy into the warm ganache if you’re using it. Allow it to sit until firm (or you can speed things up by putting it in the fridge). Line a baking sheet with parchment (you can also used waxed paper). Scoop the ganache into balls about the size of a very large marble. Put them in the freezer for 10 minutes or so while you melt the couverture.

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Put half the discs in a bowl and microwave for one minute.

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Stir. The goal is to use the least heat possible to melt the chocolate, ideally you should have about 1/3 of the bowl be partially melted discs. Continue stirring until they are all smooth. Doing it this way will give you the shiniest finish. If you rush it, and just melt them all right away it will cloud (or bloom) more easily. It will still taste fine but not look as nice.

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Now pull your centers out of the freezer. Drop one into the bowl of coating and scoop it out from underneath with a fork. Bounce it lightly to get some of the extra coating off. Turn it upside down on the parchment and swirl the top to hide any marks left from the fork.

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Continue on until all your centers are coated. When you run low on melted coating just add the rest of the discs and melt as before. Since I work on marble I’ve found I need to put a pot holder under the bowl to help retain heat and keep it from setting up too fast.

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This method will work with many candy centers, but do try the truffle centers! They are delicious, and when you’re done you’ll have about 40 truffles for around $12.50 (coating – $9/lb; truffles centers – Ghiradelli 60% cacao $2.50/12 oz., $1 – whipping cream) – which you might expect to pay for four in a shop. Store then in a ziplock bag, box or tin until ready to gift.

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