If you’ve never made ganache chocolate truffles before, and you don’t know how simple they are, you may want to look away. Look away now.
Once you’ve tried these you will realize how ridiculously quick and simple it is to make smooth amazing truffles out of your favorite gourmet chocolate, and then there is just no turning back.
In fact, these are so simple that I often have little helpers in the kitchen pitching in every step of the way. Which makes it fun to make them as a surprise treat for grown up Easter baskets.
SIMPLE MICROWAVE GOURMET CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
8 oz of your favorite chocolate (sweetened, not unsweetened), chopped into small, even sized pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 oz more of chocolate for coating (optional)
1/4 cup powdered sugar + food coloring
or any other coating you prefer (cocoa powder, chopped nuts, coconut, chocolate curls, etc.)
Prep your coating. If you’re going to use colored powdered sugar, start by adding about 20 drops food coloring to 1/4 cup powdered sugar. (Feel free to mix and blend colors as you like, though straight blue and straight yellow turned out to be my favorites.) Use a spoon to mash the coloring and sugar against the side of the bowl occasionally as it dries for 2-3 minutes until the coloring is evenly distributed.
Start making your ganache. Place your chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. If you can make sure it is chopped fine into even pieces, you’ll have a much easier time with the whole process.
Pour the 1/2 cup heavy cream in a microwave safe cup and microwave until it is hot and steaming. It is alright if it boils for just a couple seconds, but don’t let it boil for much more than that.
Pour cream over chocolate. Let it rest for one minute.
Begin stirring in the center of the bowl with a spatula, working to make an emulsion in the center with the cream and chocolate. Once it is combined in the center, stir in the remainder of the chocolate and cream just until combined.
If chocolate pieces are not fully melting, put the chocolate cream mixture in the microwave and zap it at half power for up to 10 seconds, then stir again. You want to heat the chocolate as slowly as possible. Chocolate pieces should melt while stirring, not in the microwave. Repeat as necessary.
Pour the chocolate into a shallow pan to cool. A pie pan works great for this. Press plastic wrap against the surface and allow the ganache to set up in room temp for one hour.
Shape the truffles. If your ganache is too soft to shape, place it in the fridge for five minutes or so.
Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop a truffle-sized piece of ganache and plop it into your powdered sugar or cocoa powder. We like to coat before we roll and shape because little hands can shape truffles much better with a coating of sugar or cocoa powder over the top.
Roll and shape the truffles into the shape of a little robin egg.
Enrobe and re-coat the truffles (an optional step!) If you are going to eat the truffles within the next few hours and want to keep things simple, feel free to skip this step, you are done! I love a hard chocolate coating over my truffles to bite through before I get to the ganache center, though, so I often go the extra mile. Plus a chocolate coating keeps the truffles from drying out if you’ll be eating them after a day or two. (Truffles can last a few days longer, but usually you’ll want to make them just a day or two in advance. Around my house, getting rid of truffles has never been a problem.)
If the truffles are too soft to work with, pop them back in the fridge for five minutes or more.
Melt the chocolate you’ll use to enrobe. Chop it evenly and fine, and put it in a microwave-safe bowl. (Glass is actually not ideal, as it can heat up quickly, a microwave-safe plastic bowl is the ideal option for this.) Microwave on half power for up to 15 seconds, then stir. Repeat until chocolate begins to soften and become clay like, stirring and combining it thoroughly. Lower your time and microwave on half power for up to 8 seconds, stirring between. Melting on very low heat in short increments, while stirring often between, allows the chocolate to stay in temper as you melt it. Chocolate pieces should visibly melt while you stir, not while you heat. If you can keep chocolate below 89 F while you melt (87 F for milk or white chocolate), it will stay pretty and in temper.
Roll the truffles in the chocolate coating, then drop them again in your powdered sugar or cocoa powder. Roll one final time to coat, and set them to cool.
Now sit back and admire your delicious little creations.
Okay, or bite into a truffle as soon as you can.
Then store these in an airtight container until you are ready to serve, and bring them to room temp before enjoying them, if you can manage to wait that long.