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Chocolate-Coconut Truffles

2 pounds good quality semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 tablespoons softened unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 cup Shredded coconut, toasted in an oven for 2 to 3 minutes

Melt 1 pound of chocolate, slowly stirring, in a double boiler.
Warm the cream in a large saucepan but do not scorch. Remove the
chocolate from the heat, cool slightly, then combine with the heavy
cream. Stir the butter into the chocolate-cream mixture and
refrigerate until firm but still pliable, about 20 minutes. Transfer
the chocolate to a pastry bag fitted with a large straight tip and
pipe into teaspoon-size mounds onto a waxed paper covered cookie
sheet, or use a spoon to dole out teaspoon-size mounds. Refrigerate
the entire pan until the chocolate is hard to the touch.

When the chocolate is sufficiently firm (this can be done a day or
2 ahead) remove the chocolate from the refrigerator and, working
quickly to prevent melting, roll the chocolate mounds into balls,
then chill the balls again until firm. In a food processor fitted
with a metal blade, pulse the coconut briefly to make it a little
finer so that it will adhere better to the truffles. When firm,
roll each truffle in the coconut, pressing firmly to make sure the
coconut sticks. At this point you can refrigerate the truffles
for as much as a day, until you are ready to dip them.

Melt the remaining chocolate in the double boiler. Remove the
double boiler from the heat and using a wire dipping spoon, or a
regular teaspoon and your hands in latex gloves, dip each coconut
covered truffle briefly into the melted chocolate. Place on a cake
rack set over a cookie sheet until dry, and refrigerate until firm.
You may scrape up any chocolate that has dripped on the cookie
sheet and return it to the dipping pot for more dipping. The
truffles will keep for several weeks if refrigerated in a covered
container. This recipe yields 70 to 75 truffles.


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