Spicy Mayan Chocolate Truffles

Makes about 5 dozen 1-inch truffles
Total Prep and Time: 1 hour (plus chilling ganache overnight)

2-pounds finely chopped, bittersweet chocolate (I love Scharfenberger)
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Red sugar for decoration

Remove 12-ounces of the chocolate and place it in a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, scald the cream with the vanilla.  Tiny bubbles will appear on the edges of the pan, and it should be very hot, but not boiling.

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 4 minutes.  Use a spoon to stir to blend and set aside.  This mixture is called ganache.  Gently stir in the cayenne and cinnamon.  Let it come to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until it becomes completely firm, at least 6 hours.

Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper and, in a double boiler, melt the remaining 20-ounces of chocolate.

Remove the firm ganache from the refrigerator and use a 1-inch ice-cream scoop to scoop out about 5 dozen truffles, placing them on one of the parchment-covered baking sheets.  Now place the shaped truffles in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Using a fork, carefully dip each truffle into the melted chocolate to coat it evenly and place them on the other parchment covered baking sheet.  You can use a small knife to help you remove the covered truffle from the fork.  The truffles will set at room temperature.  If desired, sprinkle them with red sugar when they are about halfway set.

Once set, you can put each truffle into a cute paper cup!

Time line
Up to 4 days and at least 6 hours ahead: make the ganache
Up to 8 hours ahead: melt the chocolate and dip the truffles


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