Truffle Hot Chocolate Balls
*Makes about 9-10 hot chocolate balls
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar (optional - I liked the richness of the chocolate without but in another batch, my kids and husband liked the extra sweetness)
1/8 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Microwave for one minute intervals, stirring often, until the mixture is combined and very smooth and silky. When you first start stirring, after the first minute or so, you'll wonder if this mixture will ever come together. It will look grainy and messy but after it heats thoroughly and is whisked to combine, it will magically become beautifully smooth. Be careful not to overheat as the chocolate can seize. The trick is to stir often since the mixture will blend together even when it looks like the chocolate chips haven't melted completely.
Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes at room temperature. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until the ganache mixture is firm and scoopable, about 2-3 hours. Scoop out about 1/4-cup spoonfuls of the mixture and place them on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. My cookie scoop is about 1 1/2 tablespoons. I mounded two of the heaping cookie scoops full of ganache on top of each other to form one ball. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator and let the mounds harden slightly, about 15-20 minutes. Roll the chilled mounds into balls and place on squares of plastic wrap (about 4 inches by 4 inches). Pull the sides of the plastic wrap over to cover the ball and place the balls in the freezer until ready to use.
To make the hot chocolate: pour 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups (depending on how rich you like your cocoa) milk into a microwave-safe mug. Carefully drop one unwrapped truffle hot chocolate ball in the milk. Microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir well until the chocolate is combined with the milk. Serve warm!