Chocolate Espresso Truffles & Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

Preparation time: 4 hours
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 4 hours 15 minutes

The last two days in NYC have been pretty dull & gloomy, but there is no better way to brighten up the mood with a good dose of chocolate! Keeping with Italian cuisine month I decided to make a batch of chocolate espresso truffles and chocolate hazelnut truffles. Made quite a few Think I’ll give them out to the kids on Halloween!!! 

I bought some pure 100% cocoa and 70% cocoa from Chelsea Market and decided to put it to good use. You would think that truffles are a hard recipe, but it actually is relatively simple just a little time consuming as you need to let the ganache set first before you roll them up in ball sized pieces of goodness. So don’t let the total time in this recipe turn you off. Most of that time is spent letting your chocolate mixture cool and harden. You can store the finished truffles in the fridge. But remember to get them back to room temperature before serving so they have that soft gooey center!

Ingredients:

For the chocolate espresso truffles: (Makes approx. 50 truffles)

  • ½ pound 100% chocolate
  • ½ pound 70% chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of coffee liqueur (Kahlua) (Optional)

For the chocolate hazelnut truffles: (Makes approx. 50 truffles)

  • ½ pound 100% chocolate
  • ½ pound 70% chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup hazelnuts roasted and chopped
  • 1 vanilla bean

For the garnish/finish:

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 bar white chocolate
  • 1 cup hazelnuts roasted and chopped

Method:

For the Ganache: (Follow same method for both types of truffles)

In a cooking vessel heat the heavy cream on low to medium flame with espresso powder, sugar & coffee liqueur (or honey & scraped vanilla from vanilla bean for the hazelnut truffles). Slowly bring to a boil.

Mix the 2 types of chocolates in a bowl (For the hazelnut truffles include the chopped hazelnuts) and add in the hot heavy cream mix. The chocolate will begin to melt. Slowly whisk until smooth. The ganache should be thick and shiny. Pour the ganache into a baking pan lines with parchment paper and spread evenly. Place in the freezer until set (about 30 minutes) or refrigerate for about 3 hours. I personally prefer the refrigeration option as the ganache sets better that way.

Using a small spoon, scoop out the chocolate and form small chocolate spheres using your hands. This needs to be done really quickly as the chocolate will begin to melt from the heat from your palms. Place the formed truffles back on parchment paper and refrigerate for about 15-20 minutes.

For the finish:

You can get really creative at this stage. I’m providing you with some options that I used.

Option 1: Dust or roll the truffles in unsweetened cocoa powder. A great finishing touch can be to garnish with edible gold leaves (I ran out of mine so didn’t use this but they look really elegant).

Option 2: Roll the truffles in chopped hazelnuts.

Option 3: Coat with white chocolate – While the truffles are in the fridge, place the white chocolate in a bowl and heat in a water bath to melt. Cool slightly to thicken, until the chocolate starts to set at the edges. Using thin tongs or maybe a skewer quickly dip the truffle in the white chocolate to evenly coat and place aside in fridge to set.

Serve all these truffles together to impress or package as a pretty box for a gift!!

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