Dark Chocolate Lime Truffles

Just before my birthday, a PR company sent me a package that included a bar of dark chocolate from Chocolat Moderne studded with bits of lime-infused toffee. I'm not usually a fan of dark chocolate bars (yes--I prefer milk chocolate. How plebeian of me.), but the combination sounded incredible, and so I saved it for after dinner, when I broke off a small piece to taste.

I was surprised. It was wonderful!

Deep, slightly fruity chocolate with tiny bursts of bright, tropical lime throughout. In a rare bout of restraint, I savored the bar for weeks, indulging in just one tiny square each night before bed.

Once I was down to my last bite, I decided I needed to recreate these flavors at home. I figured a truffle would be the easiest way, and so I began by infusing heavy cream with fresh lime peel.

I then stirred this into bittersweet chocolate chips until they melted into a thick, luscious ganache.

I wanted more even lime flavor and so I shaved in a couple more tablespoons of fresh zest, stopping to admire the gorgeous contrast of bright green on the dark silky brown.

Once cool, I scooped the ganache into balls that I rolled in various toppings--shredded toasted coconut, cocoa powder, and dark chocolate with a tiny sprinkle of ginger-infused salt.

The truffles were delicious as is, but I found that my favorite way to eat them was as hot chocolate. I'd drop one or two into my hot chocolate pot along with some steamed almond or coconut milk, and mix until frothy and thick. Topped with a few tiny marshmallows, I sipped it nightly for most of this frigid month.



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Dark Chocolate Lime Truffles
Makes about 45 truffles

Ingredients
2 cups Heavy Cream
Peel from 2 limes, cut into strips
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate between 60 and 70 percent cacao (or chips), chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lime zest
Unsweetened cocoa powder, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, etc. for toppings

Directions
Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl and set aside.

In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, lime peels (not the grated zest), and salt until it just starts to steam and bubble slightly on the edges. (Do not let it boil). Remove from the heat immediately and let steep for one hour.


Remove the peel then reheat cream just until it starts to bubble again.

Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the chocolate is incorporated into the cream into a thick mixture. Stir in the grated lime zest.

Let the ganache cool to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours until it is completely cold and firm.

Use a melon baller or small ice cream scoop to scoop 1 tablespoon sized balls of ganache. Use your hands (dusted with cocoa powder first) to quickly shape them. Don't worry if they aren't perfect; they're supposed to look a little rustic. Set these on a lined baking sheet until you use up all the ganache. If it starts to soften a bit, just pop it into the fridge for 5 minutes before continuing.

Roll each truffle in cocoa powder (chopped nuts, shredded coconut, and confectioner's sugar also work!). 
Serve immediately or store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.








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