Since I'll be making the truffles for my brother Adam's wedding in December, my mom loaned me her truffle molds to practice. I've made truffles without molds, by rolling ganache filling into balls and then dipping them in melted chocolate. That way works fine, but the truffles don't always turn out that pretty unless you're a real pro. Once I got the hang of using the molds, it was faster and they are beautiful and professional-looking.
The recipe is so simple: for the filling, just heat 1/2 cup of cream until very hot, then stir in 2 cups chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate for this batch) until melted. The ganache should be smooth and shiny. (I added about a tsp of orange extract to my ganache--so good!) Allow to cool for a few minutes, then put into a pastry bag (it must be a sturdy plastic one--flimsy ones won't cut it!).
For the shells, ideally you'll want properly tempered chocolate. There is a lot of info on the web on how to do this, but it basically involves heating the chocolate in a double-boiler until melted, then cooling it to its "tempering temperature."
Tempering Temperatures for different types of chocolate: Dark: 88-90*; Milk: 86-88*; White: 80-82*
If you've made chocolate candy before and wondered why sometimes it turns out beautifully hard and shiny (correctly tempered) and sometimes soft and dull after it hardens, this is why. (Of course, I should have done the research BEFORE making the truffles, but now I know for future reference!) I just melted my chocolate in the microwave, and some of my truffles came out hard and shiny, and some not so much. But they were all delicious!
Spoon the tempered chocolate into the mold wells--no need to be perfect; you'll scrape off excess later. Lift the mold up a couple feet and drop it onto the counter a few times or until you no longer see any air bubbles clinging to the bottom of the mold. Then turn the mold over onto a plate/bowl large enough to catch the dripping. Tap the mold a little until only a thin layer of chocolate remains in the wells. Turn the mold back over and scrape off the excess chocolate with a knife or spatula. Allow the chocolate to cool (I put my molds in the freezer to speed it up). Pipe ganache filling into shells, leaving a little space for the rest of the shell. Spoon tempered chocolate into molds, filling in around ganache. Tap the mold tray a few times to help chocolate fill in all the spaces. Scrape off excess chocolate, and allow chocolates to cool completely before popping them out of the molds.
I'm going to try some with dark chocolate and mint, and some with toasted almonds and white chocolate. This really was easy--I did it while simultaneously watching my kids and my friend Amy's two kids. The only part that seems daunting is the tempering, which I didn't bother with this time. So give it a try! The possibilities are as endless as they are delicious!