3 tablespoons heavy cream or whipping cream
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
8 ounces top-quality white chocolate, chopped into small pieces*
2 tablespoons white or green creme de menthe liqueur
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
8 ounces 60% bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces*
* Use a good-quality bittersweet chocolate. The taste and quality of the truffle is primarily dependent on the quality of chocolate you start with.
Bittersweet Chocolate: Still dark, but a little sweeter than unsweetened. It is unsweetened chocolate to which sugar, more cocoa butter, lecithin, and vanilla has been added. It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate but the two are interchangeable in baking. Bittersweet has become the sophisticated choice of chefs. It contains a high percentage (up to 75%) of cocoa solids, and little (or no) added sugar.
In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream and mint leaves just to a slight boil. Remove from heat and let the cream and mint leaves infuse to flavor the cream for approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Strain mint leaves out of the cream; discard mint leaves.
Add the white chocolate pieces, creme de menthe, and butter to the hot cream; allow to stand for 5 minutes.
Stir mixture in a slow, circular motion. The molten chocolate and cream will blend slowly, and then become smooth and glossy (this glossiness is a good sign that the suspension is stable). If not all the chocolate has melted, you can heat the ganache gently over a hot pot of water. Stir until the chocolate melts and is smooth. This is now called a "ganache."
When the ganache is first made, it is still too warm and soft for easy handling. Pour the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the film onto the surface of the chocolate to prevent a thin skin from forming. Place the ganache in the freezer until firm (about the consistency of modeling clay) but not frozen, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Line a sheet pan or cookie sheet with waxed paper or parchment. Using a cold metal teaspoon, melon baller, or a mini ice cream scoop and your hands, roll the ganache into small balls about 3/4-inch diameter and arrange them on the sheet pan. If the mixture gets too soft to mold easily, put it back in the freezer for a few minutes. Place the cookie sheet of while chocolate balls in the freezer until firm.
In the top of a double boiler over hot water, melt the bittersweet chocolate until smooth. Dip the frozen white chocolate balls in the melted chocolate. Try to coats the balls evenly and try to minimize the amount that drips off the balls onto the wax paper. Place dipped truffles on another cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Place the finished truffles in the refrigerator until they are set. Once the chocolate coating has hardened, they should be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature when ready to serve.
Makes 3 dozen truffles.