10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (we bought ours from Trader Joes)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (we used salted)
1/2 cup heavy cream (the carton normally says heavy whipping cream)
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 cup brandy (I would suggest omitting this)
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts, and/or toasted coconut, for coating truffles (We only used Ghiradelli cocoa powder)
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (we used the same chocolate as above)
1. Place the 10 ounces of chocolate and the butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for 30 seconds. Remove, stir, and heat for 30 more seconds. Set aside.
2. Heat heavy cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering (simmering means a low boil). Remove from heat and pour the mixture over the melted chocolate mixture; let stand for 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir gently, starting in the middle of the bowl and working in concentric circles until all chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and creamy. Gently stir in the brandy. Pour the mixture into an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish (really you just want a shallow layer of chocolate) and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
3. Using a melon baller (or two teaspoons like us), scoop chocolate onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes (a little longer might be better as ours were too soft).
4. Place the cocoa powder, nuts, and/or toasted coconut each in its own pie pan and set aside.
5. Place the 8 ounces of chocolate into a medium mixing bowl which is sitting on top of a heating pad lined bowl, with the heating pad set to medium. Depending on the heating pad, you may need to adjust the heat up or down. Stirring the chocolate occasionally, test the temperature of the chocolate and continue heating until it reaches 90 to 92 degrees F; do not allow the chocolate to go above 94 degrees F (ours definitely got hotter). If you do, the coating will not have a nice snap to it when you bite into the chocolate. Once you have reached the optimal temperature, adjust the heat to maintain it.
6. Remove the truffles from the refrigerator and shape into balls by rolling between the palms of your hands.
7. Dip an ice cream scoop into the chocolate (we failed at this and just threw the truffles into the melted chocolate) and turn upside down to remove excess chocolate. Place truffles 1 at time into the scoop and roll around until coated. Then place the truffle into the dish with either the cocoa powder, nuts or coconut. Move the truffle around to coat; leave truffle in the coating for 10 to 15 seconds before removing. In the meantime, continue placing the chocolate-coated truffles in the cocoa or other secondary coating. After 10 to 15 seconds, remove the truffle to a parchment lined sheet pan. Repeat until all truffles are coated.
8. Allow to set in a cool dry place for at least 1 hour; or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Truffles are best when served at room temperature.