The trouble with Truffles…uh. Right. There aren’t any!

Desserts / October 20, 2016
Beautiful, silky, shiny, chocolate ganache. We have all seen it, tasted it, and wished it was considered an appropriate breakfast. But when it is cooled and covered in cocoa, or powdered sugar, or nuts, it is elevated to that most stylish of chocolate desserts: Truffles.

Part of their mystery is that they are named after something decidedly unlike the sweet, rich chocolate that makes them so amazing. If you Google “truffle,” this is probably what you’ll find:

  1. a strong-smelling underground fungus that resembles an irregular, rough-skinned potato, growing chiefly in broadleaved woodland on calcareous soils. It is considered a culinary delicacy and found, especially in France, with the aid of trained dogs or pigs.
  2. a soft candy made of a chocolate mixture, typically flavored with rum and covered with cocoa.

YES. You read correctly. A “strong smelling underground fungus…found…with the aid of pigs.” And the chocolate version is listed second? And wait, what is calcareous soil, anyway? Oh, my!

Whew, let’s get back to the yummy chocolate. Look at it below, all piled and waiting for hot cream to make it come to life…

So then why the moniker?

Well, if you’ve ever tried to roll chocolate ganache in your hands and then roll it in cocoa and endeavor to maintain a round shape, it is pretty much impossible. And so, when you’re trying to roll ganache it just comes out rough, ruddy, uneven and…yes… looking like a Truffle.


On the left, the beautiful, misshapen, chocolately truffle. On the right…you guessed it.

Now there is a time and a place to expound on the virtues of the earthen truffles. They have an absolute amazing flavor that is quite delicate and certainly transforming. But we’re just gonna keep making fun of it in this blog.

And I will bet that serving a fungus with Amaretto soaked Blackberries has yet to be done. But never say never.

Lest we drift away from our original intent, below you will find the recipe. No need to bring pigs or dogs to find it. In the meantime, I will continue to eat and test these in my continuing effort to find trouble with truffles.

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Truffles Rolled in Chili Cocoa Powder With Amaretto Blackberries

Makes 12


8 ounces or 1/2 lb semi-sweet baking chocolate cut into very small, fine pieces
1/2 C heavy cream
1 t vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 t strong brewed coffee
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 t cayenne powder
1/4 t cinnamon
1 pint blackberries
​1/4 C good Amaretto liquor


  • Place the rinsed berries in a bowl and add the Amaretto. Set aside for at least 4 hours.
  • Shave the chocolate until it is in very small, fine pieces. Place in a large glass bowl. Bring the cream to steaming and when you see a bubble or two, just a smidgen past scalded, pour the cream into the chocolate and quickly add the coffee, vanilla and salt. Begin to stir and blend with a spatula, making sure all the pieces have melted into the chocolate. If your chocolate is too coarse, or your milk not boiling, you will have lumps. You do NOT want to have to microwave this to melt the rest of the pieces. It will ruin the chocolate. Now, some recipes say leave on the counter to set up. I found it very valuable to put in the fridge until set. When it is the consistency of stiff fudge sauce, use a small melon baller and scoop out the ganache, forming a ball with your hands. (Here’s where the whole “truffle” thing comes in. Don’t worry about making them perfect. They’re not supposed to be.) Drop them into the cocoa powder mixed with the cayenne and cinnamon and cover. Place on a clean dish and refrigerate until served or serve right away, like it did, next to a small bowl of the blackberries!
  • They will keep for a couple of days covered in the fridge.
  • You can roll some of the in powdered sugar, or finely chopped walnuts. You can replace the coffee with a liquor.

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