There’s no easier confection than chocolate truffles: Heat dark chocolate with cream to make a ganache (a fancy French word for melted chocolate with cream), add a little flavoring, roll in something tasty and decorative, and you’re done. In this version, rum flavors the ganache, and the balls are rolled in toasted sweetened coconut for a textural contrast and Caribbean flavor.
Store the truffles in the refrigerator, but let them warm up for a half-hour before serving for the ultimate creamy bite and fullest flavor. And don’t forget the golden rule: The better the chocolate, the better the truffles. Go all out, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune: Trader Joe’s 72 percent Pound Plus Bar makes a fine, fine truffle.
Rum truffles with toasted coconut
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 lb high-quality dark chocolate (at least 66 percent cocoa solids)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp rum (any kind)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Stir the coconut around with a spatula every 2 minutes until it is light brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Pour the toasted coconut into a shallow bowl or plate and let cool.
Break up the chocolate and put in a microwave-safe glass bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate pieces and microwave 2 minutes on high. Stir with a rubber spatula and return to the microwave for 1 minute more. Stir again; the chocolate should melt with the heat of the cream. If there are still hard pieces of unmelted chocolate, microwave again for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Add the rum and stir again until smooth. (This mixture is called ganache.) Refrigerate the ganache for about an hour, until it is firmer but not set all the way.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With a small spring-loaded ice cream disher, scoop balls of the ganache onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. If you don’t have a disher, use two spoons to form rough balls – if they’re not perfectly round, that’s absolutely fine. The coconut will hide all imperfections. Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator and let the balls harden, at least an hour and up to 1 day.
Once the balls have hardened, it’s time to coat them in the coconut. Roll a ball in your palms; the heat from your hands will melt the outside layer enough to allow the coconut to stick. Roll the ball in the coconut and place it back on the tray, either on the parchment or in a little paper candy cup as in the photo above. Do the same with the rest of the truffles. Once they have hardened, transfer the truffles to an airtight container. May be stored up to 2 weeks.