The best resource I found for chocolate creations is "Couture Chocolate". Mr. Curley gives very clear instructions. The satisfaction of following his recipes is charging and the results are always nice (considering the amateur skills of mine).
I chose to make these dark chocolate truffles - very useful present for St. Valentine.
Check the post I wrote for Moms & Munchkins, where I made half of this recipe into heart shaped truffles and only coated them in dark chocolate.
for the truffles:
220 ml heavy cream
30 g sugar
250 g dark chocolate
35 g unsalted butter, cubed
250 g tempered chocolate for coating (73% cocoa)
cocoa powder for coating
mixture of ground almonds and caramel crumbles for coating
prepare the ganache:
Chop the chocolate in small pieces in a heat proof bowl. Bring the cream and sugar to boil. Pour over the chocolate and let it stay for 10 min. Stir with a flexible spatula. Add the butter and stir until the butter is melted completely and the mixture is well homogenized. Let cool a little bit at room temperature.
Spoon the ganache in a piping bag with 15 mm round nozzle and pipe uniformed rows onto the silicon lined tray. Leave it cool overnight, or chill for at least 4 hours.
Using a warm knife, cut 3-4 cm cylinders from the rows.
Have the coating chocolate tempered:
Prepare a bowl with cold water, big enough to accommodate the pan with the tempered chocolate.
Chop the chocolate in small pieces and place in a heatproof pan over a pot with simmering water. Stirring gently, melt the chocolate, until it reaches 45-50 C. Immediately place the pan with the chocolate in the cold water bowl, making sure that the water barely touches the bottom of the chocolate and no water is in contact with the chocolate. Stir gently and cool until 28-29C. Place the chocolate again over the simmering water for seconds, until the temperature rises to 31-32C.
With a fork, dip the truffles one by one in the tempered chocolate, coating them evenly. Place on a clean silicon mat. Before the chocolate hardens completely, coat in a cocoa powder (or ground nuts, or ground caramel crumbles...). Leave to cool overnight in a cool place.
Store in a airtight box, in a cool place. Serve at room temperature.