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equal parts rustic & elegant

January 27 2010 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Uncategorized » 22 comments

Chocolate Truffles

You could say that my first truffle-making experience unfolded under duress.  It was December 23, 2008 and our flights to Minnesota had been scratched, a blizzard socking in the midwest.  Our chances of flying out the next day—the day (Christmas Eve) of my family’s traditional Christmas celebration—were fading fast and the prospect of driving several hundred miles along a snowy interstate sounded both exhausting and terrifying.   Kevin, valiant hero of mine that he is, assured me he could manage the drive, that we would leave the next morning at dawn, that we’d make it to Minnesota just fine—and in plenty of time to partake in the celebrations.


I had my doubts.  And my tears.  And my hyperventilation.  I was a mess.  In short: not my proudest moment.


The only thing to assuage my despair was baking.  So, I spent the evening in the kitchen, ripping through bags of sugar and and sticks of butter, a bit breathlessly, tearfully.  I remember the results of my baking frenzy—several small pots of lemon curd, a chocolate pudding pie, and the truffles—but I am at a loss for recalling the actual making of any of these things, the memories, apparently, blocked out, wiped away by the fact that we did wake at dawn, that we did survive the white-knuckled drive, and that we did make it in time for the celebrations.

Chocolate Truffles

My spotty memory of that evening explains why I had completely forgotten how easy truffles—those decadent, luxe treats that look so fancy and, when purchased in pretty boxes from fancy candy shops, cost a pretty penny—are to make.  Basically, you make a simple ganache.  Then, you allow the glossy puddle of ganache to thicken slightly before you chill it until it is firm enough to roll into little globes, slightly smaller (and way tastier) than ping-pong balls.  Last, but not least, roll the orbs through cocoa powder creating a confection that’s equal parts rustic and elegant.

Chocolate TrufflesChocolate Truffles

And that’s it.  I’m telling you, you can do this tonight if you, like any right-minded human, have chocolate bars and heavy cream  (okay, fine, any right-minded non-vegan person) and cocoa powder on hand.  A splash of liqueur is lovely, too, but not necessary.  I used Cointreau because I’m drawn inexorably to all things citrus this time of year.  And I also happen to love the alchemy of chocolate and orange: culinary star-crossed lovers, they are.


Speaking of star-crossed lovers, this recipe (to review: easy, fun (when not under duress, of course) and delicious)  would make the perfect do-it-yourself Valentine’s Day gift.

Chocolate Truffles
Martha Stewart

To get the multi-colored look of my truffles, I used different brands of cocoa powder.  (I happened to have three on hand, which, yes, I realize is a problem.)  You can certainly use just one cocoa powder, though, if that’s all you have on hand or if you’re looking for a uniform appearance.

Yield: 16 to 20 truffles (in other words, double it; you’ll thank me later)

8 ounces best-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon liqueur, such as triple sec or framboise (optional)
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for rolling

Put chocolate into a large heatproof bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; pour over chocolate in bowl. Stir in liqueur, if desired. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand 10 minutes. Stir until smooth. Let stand until thick, about 15 minutes.

Pour chocolate mixture into a shallow 8-inch dish or pie plate. Cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until mixture is very cold and set but still pliable, about 30 minutes.

Using a teaspoon or a 1/2-inch melon baller, scoop balls of chocolate mixture, transferring them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper as you work. Refrigerate truffles 10 minutes.

Using hands dusted with cocoa powder, dip each truffle in cocoa powder to coat, then quickly shape truffle into a rough round. Refrigerate truffles in an airtight container until ready to serve, up to 2 weeks; before serving, reshape into rounds, and roll each truffle in cocoa powder, if desired.

22 comments so far. »
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  1. Half Assed Kitchen says on January 27 2010 at 8:00 pm:

    You’re a cooking marvel. These look amazing.

  2. Jessica says on January 27 2010 at 8:19 pm:

    Chocolate, heavy cream and booze – I’m in!

  3. maggie says on January 27 2010 at 8:29 pm:

    Aha! I was wondering about the multicolored coating. Lovely. Of COURSE I have several brands of cocoa sitting around…

  4. Katie Ann says on January 27 2010 at 8:30 pm:

    The closest thing I’ve made to truffles are chocolate-covered Oreo-cream cheese balls. Yours look outstanding.

    The first truffles I ever had were the delicious Lindor ones with the melty center, so I’ve always had a bit of an issue with mentally lumping the firmer ganache-y ones into the same category, but they certainly are tasty.

  5. Jennifer says on January 27 2010 at 9:20 pm:

    NOW your talking my kind of truffle!! Beautiful!

  6. Natasha says on January 27 2010 at 9:33 pm:

    Mmmm – those look very yummy. Will have to try this recipe soon.

  7. Not Just Apples says on January 28 2010 at 3:22 am:

    I love truffles! I made my first batch at the end of last year, and it was a lot of fun. I think it’s about time for another batch ♥

  8. carolyn says on January 28 2010 at 6:09 am:

    I made these over the holidays using a splash of espresso infused vodka. They were, in a word, insane. LOVE the different shades of cocoa.

  9. Mary Katherine says on January 28 2010 at 9:30 am:

    YUM. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks!

  10. my spatula says on January 28 2010 at 10:24 am:

    i remember far too many unwelcomed white knuckled road trips during chicago winters. glad you made it for the festivals safe and sound! i’m about all things citrus now and these truffles make for a perfect excuse to eat up even more.

  11. Andrea [bella eats] says on January 28 2010 at 11:01 am:

    Kristin, I love this! The idea of making little twine-wrapped packages of truffles for loved ones is a very compelling one. I had no idea they were so easy, and thank you for sharing the recipe.

  12. Barbara says on January 28 2010 at 12:53 pm:

    Oh yes, I remember some of those hair-raising drives. So glad you got some baking in-it took your mind off the entire thing AND you took some yummy treats for everyone.

    The recipe looks easy and divine. I don’t have any scary weather but hopefully mine will turn out as good as yours did.

  13. Tracey says on January 28 2010 at 6:14 pm:

    Gorgeous Kristin! You always seem to have the most perfect lighting for your shots. I love the different shades of cocoa you used – simple but elegant!

  14. Kelly says on January 29 2010 at 6:54 am:

    Hi Kristin — I recall the Dec 2008 storm and felt for you. We too used to drive (from NC to MN) to see family every Christmas. We always hit some sort of bad weather going or coming…. so finally my husband said no more – we are flying. We have not yet had problems flying, but I am sure our day will come. I really admired you and your husband’s tenacity to drive to MN in spite of the storm.

    Thanks for reminding me of this wonderful truffle recipe. I think it might be the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert! I wonder – other than liqueur (which we don’t have), are there any other add in’s we could try? Maybe orange zest?

    Thanks for sharing – I always enjoy reading your blog. And here’s wishing spring will come quickly for me and you both!

  15. Rebecca says on January 30 2010 at 2:55 pm:

    Last Christmas I went on a truffle baking frenzy….experimenting with all kinds of flavors like chai, coconut, rum, etc. This article reminded me of how fun it was and now I am inspired to make some more….though it’s past Christmas, Valentine’s Day isn’t too far around the corner! Thanks for inspiring me!

  16. yoko says on January 30 2010 at 7:39 pm:

    What a coincidence! I saw the photo of the Cointreau-at the moment I am studying abroad in a city which specialises in Cointreau.

  17. Vanessa says on January 31 2010 at 9:41 am:

    What spice would you add if you wanted to give a kick to the chocolate? Cayenne? Smoked paprika? I love spicy and sweet.

  18. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on February 01 2010 at 4:52 am:

    Thanks, everyone!

    Kelly: How about an extract or fresh-squeezed juice? I’d be worried about the textural effect of zest. If you try it, let us know how it goes!

    Vanessa: Both of those sound great. I’m a fan of chipotle chili powder too, for a smoky, subtle heat.

  19. Cookin' Canuck says on February 01 2010 at 12:21 pm:

    What beautiful truffles! Sorry to hear pre-Christmas was stressful, but glad that everything turned out in the end.

  20. Monika says on February 09 2010 at 10:22 pm:

    I love everything chocolate and these look amazing but truffle-making seems a little intimidating.

  21. Jillian says on February 11 2010 at 2:28 pm:

    I just made these and used Kahlua and Grand Marnier. I loved them and found they were a lot easier than I expected. The only changed I made is I about tripled the amount of booze because I couldn’t really taste it over the chocolate. Thanks for posting this! All of my Valentines will be very happy!

  22. [...] Truffles are one of those classic recipes that will make any chocolate lover swoon. They’re relatively [...]

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