White Chocolate-Lemon Truffles
Tips: For those times when you want something a bit more
summery, or as a gift for white chocolate fans, here is a white
chocolate truffle with a strong lemon presence (it will probably
be more appreciated by adults than children). Please use the best
white chocolate you can find to make these (cocoa butter should
be one of the first ingredients listed), and chop it very finely
to make melting quicker and easier.
Although I usually roll these truffles in pecans, you could substitute
walnuts or almonds, similarly finely chopped, toasted, and cooled.
I chop the nuts for the coating by hand, as the food processor invariably
produces ground nuts, even when Im very careful. (Ground nuts
are great for some recipes, but they provide no textural contrast
here.) You could also use white chocolate sprinkles to coat these.
I like to place them in 1 inch candy cups. Store the truffles in
the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to a week, or freeze for
longer storage. Think about some of these on a nice platter, interspersed
with some good-looking strawberries, for a Mothers Day dessert
or bridal shower.
- 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
- Grated zest of 1 lemon (no white pith, please)
- 9 ounces best-quality white chocolate, very finely chopped
- Few grains salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
- 2 tsp. freshly-squeezed, strained lemon juice
- About 1-1/3 cups very finely chopped pecans
Make the truffle base first, as it must be well-chilled before
using. In small, heavy, nonaluminum saucepan, combine heavy cream
and lemon zest. Over low heat, heat until cream comes to a simmer,
stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Cover tightly; allow to
stand 20 minutes at room temperature.
Shortly before cream standing period is up, combine white chocolate,
salt, and butter pats in medium heatproof bowl. When cream has stood
20 minutes, remove cover. Reheat cream mixture over low heat, stirring
occasionally, until it reaches a simmer again. Remove from heat.
Strain through fine-meshed strainer into white chocolate mixture.
Press down on the lemon zest left in the strainer to extract all
the liquid from it.
Place white chocolate mixture over warm water on low heat (water
should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir frequently just until almost
melted; remove from heat and hot water. Stir until melted and smooth.
(Note: White chocolate, even of excellent quality, can be stubborn
about melting. If there are small lumps of white chocolate in your
truffle base, transfer the truffle base to a food processor fitted
with a steel blade; process at high speed just until smooth.) Stir
in lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time.
Transfer truffle base to small bowl. Chill at least 4 hours (overnight
is fine, too), covering tightly when cold. While base chills, prepare
For Coating: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place finely chopped
pecans in single layer in shallow, foil-lined pan. Toast in preheated
oven for 8 to 11 minutes, stirring often, until very fragrant and
a light golden color. Watch carefully! Nuts can burn quickly. Cool
completely before using.
To make truffles: If desired, have ready 1 inch candy cups for
finished truffles. Using a small cookie scoop or a teaspoon (not
a measuring teaspoon), form balls of about 1 inch diameter from
the cold truffle base. Drop into the cooled pecans (or scrape off
from the one teaspoon with another). Roll in pecans until well-coated,
then place in optional candy cups or storage container. Continue
until all base is used.
Store truffles airtight in refrigerator for up to one week; freeze
for longer storage. To serve, remove from refrigerator 15 to 20
minutes prior to serving time. Let stand at room temperature, covered,
until serving time.
About 36 truffles, 1 inch in diameter
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