(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Fresh Mint Truffles are rich, smooth chocolate truffles infused with the refreshing taste of fresh mint leaves. I like to top mine with candied mint leaves (made using the same method in this candied flowers recipe) but if you are going to eat them within a day, you can omit the candying step, or you can top them with any other decorations you'd like.
Yield: 48 small (1-inch) truffles
1 cup + 1 tbsp heavy cream
1/3 cup packed fresh mint leaves (about .3 oz or 10 grams)
8 oz chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbsp butter at room temperature
1 lb chocolate candy coating
Additional small mint leaves, for decoration (optional)
1. Coarsely chop the 1/3 cup of mint leaves. Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan, and bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Once it's simmering, remove the cream from the heat and add the chopped mint leaves, then cover the pot with a lid. Allow the mint to steep in the cream for 15 minutes. Watch the time carefully, as you don't want the mint flavor to be too overpowering. p>
2. While you are waiting for the cream to infuse, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl with the room temperature butter.
3. After 15 minutes, remove the lid from the pan and heat the cream again until it is just under the boiling point. Pour the hot cream through a strainer into the chopped chocolate. Discard the strained mint leaves.
4. Whisk together the hot cream, chocolate, and butter until the chocolate is melted and you're left with a smooth, shiny mixture. This is your ganache. Press a layer of cling wrap on top of the chocolate and refrigerate it until it is firm enough to scoop, 2-4 hours.
5. Once the ganache is firm, dust your palms lightly with cocoa powder and use a small candy scoop or a teaspoon to roll the ganache into small balls. Re-apply the cocoa powder as needed to keep the truffles from sticking to your hands.
6. Melt the chocolate coating in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Use a fork or dipping tools to dip a truffle in the chocolate, tapping it against the lip of the bowl to remove excess chocolate before setting it on a foil-covered baking sheet.
7. While the chocolate is still wet, press a small mint leaf into the top of each truffle. If you would like the truffles to keep for several days, you should either candy the mint leaves in advance (using the method in this candied flowers recipe) or use another type of decoration, since untreated mint leaves will wilt after about a day.
8. After all the truffles have been dipped, refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate, for about 20 minutes. Fresh Mint Truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. For best taste and texture, bring them to room temperature before serving.