It is not unusual for me to have extra ganache in the refrigerator, and it was that treasure trove that led to this invention. When my twins were young and wanted hot chocolate, one day I just scooped some ganache into a mug, topped with milk and microwaved until hot, stirred until blended and voila, truly delicious hot chocolate prepared in record time. I continued to do this for years before realizing I should standardize the approach. These are essentially truffles, sized so that you use two of these chocolate “bombs” per 6 ounces of liquid per serving. Half-and-half will give you a rich drink, milk will make a more typical hot chocolate and water will make a thinner but very chocolatey drink. By not adding extra dairy, the chocolate flavors shine through when you use water; try it. The choice of chocolate is very important, so make sure to use one that you really like to eat out of hand.
Image: Peter Muka
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 19 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, such as Valrhona Equitoriale (55%) or Sharffen Berger (62%), finely chopped
- ½ cup sifted Dutch-processed cocoa
- Place cream in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and immediately sprinkle chocolate into cream. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. The heat of the cream should melt the chocolate. Gently stir the ganache until smooth. If the chocolate is not melting, place over a very low heat, stirring often, until melted, taking care not to scorch chocolate. Scrape into airtight container and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. May be refrigerated up to 1 week in an airtight container or frozen up to 1 month.
- Place cocoa in a shallow dish, such as a pie plate. Have a clean shallow dish on the side. Use a 1-inch ice cream scoop (such as a Zeroll #100), or cereal teaspoon, and make about 4 “bombs” at a time with the ganache and deposit them on top of the cocoa. You are aiming to make bombs that are about 1 ¼-inches across and as round as possible. Coat palms with cocoa and roll the bombs into round balls. Place them in the clean plate and repeat with remaining ganache. You should end up with about 72 truffle bombs. Refrigerate in airtight container up to 1 month, or freeze up to 2 months.
- To make hot chocolate, use 2 or 3 truffle bombs and 6 ounces of cream, milk or water per serving. Heat in saucepan on stovetop or in microwave, stir until smooth and serve immediately.
- This recipe makes many “bombs” but they can be frozen for up to 2 months and make great winter gifts. Package in a decorative clear glass container with an instruction card included for hot chocolate preparation.