At the River Inn at Harbor Town, guests enjoy these sweet sensations created by Executive Chef David Schrier of the hotel's fine dining restaurant, Currents. Now the recipe is yours, just in time for Valentine's Day
9 oz. dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa solids), finely chopped
7 oz. milk chocolate (40 percent cocoa
solids), finely chopped
3 1/2 fl. oz. heavy cream
2 1/4 oz. unsalted butter
3 1/2 fl. oz. pink champagne
4 t. brandy
1 lb., 2 oz. icing sugar
1 lb., 10 oz. tempered dark chocolate
Optional: 1/4 lb. dried cherries
Place the chopped dark and milk chocolate in a bowl. Put the cream and butter in a pan, bring to a boil, and pour the mixture over the chocolate. Leave for 30 seconds, then add the champagne and brandy. Mix gently with a fine whisk, whisking only enough to combine the ingredients into a smooth paste.
Pour the mixture on to a plastic tray or into a large, wide bowl. Using a large surface area, leave the ganache to cool quickly and evenly at room temperature until it is firm enough to pipe through a pastry/piping bag. Fit the bag with a 1/2-inch plain nozzle. Pipe drops 1 inch in diameter onto a tray lined with baking parchment paper. Place tray in the fridge until truffles are firm.
Remove the truffles from the fridge and, with your hands dipped in icing sugar, roll them into even balls. (Optional: Place one dried cherry in the center of each truffle for a dried fruit filling. Then reshape them into even balls.) Return truffles to the fridge to firm up again.
To temper the chocolate, melt it down in a completely dry metal mixing bowl placed over a pot of steaming water over low heat to act as a double boiler, stirring the chocolate with a nonstick spatula. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat, discard water. As the chocolate cools, continue to work the chocolate in the bowl or on a marble slab to reach the shiny coating desired for the truffles.
Sift the remaining icing sugar onto a tray. Put the tempered chocolate in a bowl. With a fork, dip the truffles in the chocolate and roll them in the icing sugar mixture. Leave them in the tray of icing sugar until they are set; this will help them retain a good shape. Store in a sealed container in the fridge. Makes approximately two dozen.