Alice Medrich is widely credited with introducing the chocolate truffle to the United States, over 40 years ago, when she began selling them at her influential dessert shop, Cocolat. The world of chocolate has evolved since then, and this new version reflects those changes and other culinary developments.
The equipment you'll need includes: an 8-inch square metal baking pan, lined with foil; a food processor with a steel blade or an immersion blender; an instant read thermometer;and a fine strainer.
Recipe by Alice Medrich. Photo credit: Sang An, from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2012.
Put egg yolks in a small (2-cup) stainless steel bowl and put the bowl in a larger container of hot tap water. Set aside (to let yolks become lukewarm) until needed.
Meanwhile, melt chocolate and butter with the salt in a stainless-steel bowl set directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is almost entirely melted. Remove the bowl and stir to finish melting the chocolate. Scrape the mixture into the food processor (or beaker for the immersion blender.) Set the strainer over the processor bowl or beaker.
Bring 1⁄2 cup water to a boil in a microwave or a very small saucepan. (Or, measure 1⁄2 cup of boiling water) in a glass measure that has first been preheated with boiling water. Immediately pour the hot water steadily into the egg yolks, while stirring constantly with a spatula. When the yolks and water are blended, the temperature should be at least 160 degrees. Strain the mixture into the food processor or beaker. Rap the strainer to encourage all of the liquid to flow through and discard any bits of cooked egg that may be caught in the strainer.
Pulse (or stir) the mixture a couple of times to mix in the eggs. Scrape the sides of bowl and then let the mixture cool to 105F-108F degrees. Process or blend until the mixture is emulsified—thickened and satiny smooth like pudding. Scrape into the lined pan and spread evenly. Let cool. Cover pan and refrigerate several hours until firm.
To finish truffles: Remove the truffle pan from the refrigerator and sprinkle the sheet with a little of the cocoa. Flip the sheet onto a cutting board. Peel off the foil and sprinkle with additional cocoa. Use a knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry to cut 3/4 to 1-inch squares. Toss in a bowl with additional cocoa powder. Store truffles tightly covered for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or freeze for up to 3 months. Remove truffles from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving. Toss with extra cocoa as necessary.