This recipe is simple and makes a terrific gift for the holidays. Place them in decorative boxes or glass jars, add colorful ribbons or raffia and a sprig of evergreen, and you have delicious homemade gifts.

  • 16 oz good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature

  • 5 egg yolks

  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

  • 5 tablespoons crème fraiche

  • 5 tablespoons brandy

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted

Place chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. Place bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Gently stirring occasionally, melt the chocolate until smooth. Off heat, beat the butter into the chocolate until thoroughly mixed.

In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Beat vigorously for at least 1 minute, until the mixture forms “the ribbon.” Add the chocolate mixture to the egg and sugar mixture and stir until smooth. Add the crème fraiche and brandy and stir until smooth. Allow to cool until firm.

Sift cocoa into a bowl. Using a measuring spoon, scoop up 1 teaspoon of the chocolate mixture and quickly roll into a ball about ¾ -inch across. Drop into cocoa; roll each truffle in cocoa to coat. Chill until firm. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 30