White chocolate mint truffles

Yield: 45 Servings

Measure Ingredient
½ pounds White chocolate; cut into small pieces
½ cup Packed, fresh mint leaves (green or white)
¼ cup Heavy cream
2 tablespoons Creme de menthe
6 tablespoons Unsalted butter; cut into small pieces

To make the truffles: Melt the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over gently simmering water. When chocolate is almost melted, turn off the heat and let stand until completely melted, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, steep mint leaves in cream and creme de menthe until liquid is very flavorful (amount of time depends upon the strength of the mint leaves). Then bring just to a simmer, strain, pressing down on the mint leaves to give as much flavor as possible, and whisk into the melted chocolate. Place the pieces of butter around the warm mixture and let the butter melt. When melted, stir to mix well. Pour mixture into a shallow pan, giving you a 1-inch-thick layer of chocolate. Cool completely and then refrigerate or freeze until very firm.

To form the truffles: Have a small bowl of very hot water ready and replace the water as it cools down. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Remove truffle base from the refrigerator or freezer. Before scooping out a ball of chocolate, dip the melon baller into the hot water, shaking to remove any excess water. Scoop out a truffle, tapping the melon baller on a firm surface to release the truffle.

Quickly roll between the palms of your hands and place on the prepared baking tray. You will have to wash your hands in cold water often to prevent the chocolate from sticking to your hands. Repeat this procedure until all the balls have been scooped and rolled. If the truffle base begins to soften too much, refrigerate or freeze until firm and then continue to scoop out the truffles. Refrigerate or freeze until needed. Makes 45 to 50 small truffles.

from "Spago Desserts" by Mary Bergin and Judy Gethers reprinted in The Times-Picayune, December 22, 1994

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