A recipe from "A Year in Chocolate: four season of unforgettable desserts" by Alice Medrich, published by Warner Books
Bittersweet chocolate truffles
These are still my favorite chocolate truffles, but the original recipe, from Cocolat, included raw egg. Here the egg is adequately heated to prevent salmonella. The truffles are as good as ever. A dozen or so nestled into a gold foil bag tied with a pretty ribbon is a popular teach gift at Christmas. My daughter gets excellent grades.
Makes about 30 bite-size truffles
Ingredients 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
¼ cup boiling water
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
Equipment Instant-read thermometer
To make the truffles, place the chocolate and butter in a 4 to 6 cup heatproof bowl set in a wide skillet of barely simmering water over low heat. Stir frequently until the chocolate and butter are complete melted and smooth. Remove the bowl and set aside. Leave the skillet on low heat.
Place the egg yolk in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the boiling water. Place the bowl in the skillet and stir constantly until the yolk mixture thickens slightly to the consistency of light cream and registers between 160 degrees F and 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the skillet and scrape the yolk mixture immediately over the melted chocolate.
Stir gently, without whisking or beating, just until the egg is completely incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Pour through a fine strainer into a clean bowl. Cover and chill until firm, 2 hours or more.
To form the truffles, remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator and allow it to soften about 30 minutes if the mixture is very hard. Pour cocoa into a pie plate. Dip a melon baller or small spoon into a glass of hot water, wipe off the excess water, and scrape across the surface of the chilled truffle mixture to form a rough 1-inch ball. Pinch the truffle into shape with your fingers if necessary; it should not be perfectly round. Deposit the truffle into the cocoa. Repeat with the remaining trruffle mixture. Gently shake the pie plate to coat truffles with cocoa. Store truffles, tightly covered and refrigerated, up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 3months.
Bittersweet Mint Truffles: Add 1 teaspoon peppermint extract to the melted chocolate with the egg mixture.