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Cardamom-infused dark-chocolate truffles

Chocolate truffles (Photo by Beatrice Peltre)
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December 5, 2007

Makes about 30

In this recipe, crushed cardamom pods are infused in heavy cream, which goes into the bittersweet chocolate ganache. Cardamom (penzeys.com) is an ancient aromatic spice.

5 green cardamom pods
1 cup heavy cream
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (61 percent cocoa), finely chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cocoa), finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
About 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (for dusting)

1. In a mortar and pestle, crush the cardamom pods. Or work them in a food processor in on-off motions until crushed.

2. In a saucepan, combine the cardamom and heavy cream. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes. Strain the cream, discard the cardamom, and return the cream to the saucepan; set aside.

3. Meanwhile, in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (making sure that the bowl does not touch the water), melt the chocolate.

4. Return the cream to a gentle boil. Remove it from the heat and transfer to an electric mixer. Wipe the bottom of the chocolate pan or bowl. Add the chocolate to the cream. Beat gently to mix them.

5. Add the butter, one piece at a time, and continue to beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until firm.

6. Cover a large plate with wax paper. Add a thin layer of cocoa powder.

7. With a spoon, scoop 1 tablespoon of the chilled chocolate ganache. Dust the palms of your hands with cocoa powder, and roll the ganache between your palms to shape a small round (it's OK if it's not perfectly round). Drop each truffle in the cocoa powder; use the paper to coat all sides. Continue shaping truffles until all the ganache is used.

8. Serve the truffles at room temperature or store in a tightly sealed container, layered with waxed paper, in a cool room for up to 2 weeks. - Béatrice Peltre

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