These Truffles are Made with What???

Intriguing ingredients and recipes for homemade truffles.

When you bite into chocolate truffles these days, you can be greeted with some of the most intriguing and unexpected tastes infused with the chocolate, including curry, cayenne, pumpkin and even goat cheese!

For example, Serendipity Chocolates has come up with a way to provide fire along with your chocolate, in the form of its popular Hades Chocolate Truffles, which are made with fresh, dried and smoked peppers that are sure to send you searching for a glass of water to put out the fire. The Hades truffles come with a price though: $28 for a box of 12-14 truffles.

There are plenty of good recipes out there for unusual truffles, and here are just a few:

Thai Curry Chocolate Truffles

For ganache:
1 lb. of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp. Thai Curry Paste (see recipe below), or to taste
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Cocoa powder for dusting (optional)

Place the chopped chocolate in a food processor and pulse until chocolate is pea size. Bring the heavy cream to boiling and mix in the curry paste. Stir to combine. Remove mixture from heat, cover and infuse for up to 3 hours. Strain through a fine sieve and reheat to boiling.

Pour the chocolate mixture through the tube of a running food processor and process until mixture is smooth. Transfer into a clean bowl and let it set overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.

Pipe or spoon truffle shapes onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze overnight. Dust truffles with cocoa powder.

Thai Curry Paste Recipe

Makes 1/2 cup

1 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced (use only the bottom 6” of the stalk)
1 tsp. lime zest
1 or 2 dried Thai bird chiles, seeds removed
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cardamom pods, husked
1 1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. ginger root, minced
1 tbsp. coconut milk (optional)

Toast cumin, coriander, cardamom and cinnamon in a skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Shake the pan often to prevent burning. Remove from heat and cool.

Use a blender or food processor to blend everything into a smooth paste. Transfer to a small container and keep refrigerated or frozen.

Chocolate Cayenne Truffles

9 oz. semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup butter
4 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 tbsp. cream
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
For powder coating:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon

For Truffles: Melt chocolate, butter and cayenne in a double boiler, or in a bowl in the microwave. Stir well.

Remove from heat, and then mix in cream and powdered sugar. Stir well. The sugar will stick together in small lumps if you don’t stir vigorously. Cover and chill overnight.

For Powder Coating: Scoop out the chocolate, one tablespoon at a time. Mold it into balls and roll the balls in the powder mixture to coat them. Return truffles to the refrigerator until serving time.

Chocolate Goat Cheese Truffles

4 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate chips
5 oz. fresh goat cheese
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
unsweetened cocoa powder for coating truffles

Melt the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, stirring until it is smooth and completely melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Lightly whip the goat cheese and vanilla until fluffy and light. And the chocolate and continue mixing until well combined. Chill the mixture, covered, for 1 hour or until firm.

Form heaping teaspoons of the chilled mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter. If the texture is too crumbly, allow it to warm at room temperature for a few minutes until it is workable. Chill balls and roll in cocoa powder to finish.

So enjoy these unusual chocolate truffles recipes -- and let us know if you have any others you'd like to share!