Chocolate Truffle Recipes & Tips

Truffle Recipes: How to Make Chocolate Truffles for Gift Giving & General Indulgence

Easy chocolate truffles coated in a variety of toppings...

Mmmmm... truffles. These soft balls of chocolaty ganache make wonderful gifts for friends and family. Cook em up, roll em out, and roll em in the topping of your choice. And of course, eat with friends!

Truffles make great homemade gifts all year long... especially for Valentine's Day, Hostess Gifts, thank you gifts, wedding favors, Christmas baskets... and really just about any holiday or occasion that you would like to give a small but sweet gift!

Intimidated? Don't be. They're easy. Just start with excellent quality chocolate and follow the truffle recipes below.

Simple Dark Chocolate Truffle Recipe and Tips

Simple ingredients for incredibly smooth and rich chocolate truffles...Things to remember... use high quality chocolate and "heavy" whipping cream for best results. Follow the recipe precisely... at least until you've had some practice and you're ready to experiment with your own custom truffle recipes.

Make truffles in a dry environment if at all possible and take extra care to keep ganache far from steam and water. Have fun!

The following truffle recipe makes soft chocolaty balls of rich and glossy ganache that you can roll in the topping of your choice. These are smoother than many we've had and while very rich and dark, they are a tad sweeter/less bitter than some truffle recipes...

Note: There is no limit to the many ways you can alter the flavor of this chocolate truffle recipe. For example, you can add flavor extracts or the liqueur of your choice... but start small (it's better to have a subtle flavor than an overpowering flavor that can't be eaten). There's more on adding flavors below.

Extra Smooth and Creamy
Dark Chocolate Truffle Recipe

Easy cocoa and powdered sugar covered truffles...

  • 8 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • optional: 2 teaspoons light corn syrup (adds extra shiny smoothness)
  • cocoa powder... or other topping such as: cocoa powder/powdered sugar mix, powdered sugar, toasted shredded coconut, finely chopped nuts or shaved chocolate or candy

Note: Semi-sweet chocolate is usually a touch sweeter than bittersweet chocolate but what's most important, is the quality and taste of the chocolate you use in your truffle recipe. With any chocolate, taste it first to determine if it is actually a chocolate you want to use in your truffle recipes. If it tastes bad or low quality, you may want to find another brand of chocolate.

You'll also need... Serrated Knife for chopping chocolate (or use chocolate chips). Medium saucepan. Heat Safe Glass Bowl. Rubber spatula. Measuring Cups and Spoon. Parchment or wax paper. Shallow dish for rolling truffles in chosen topping. Optionally, a sieve can be used to shake off extra powder after coating truffles in cocoa or powdered sugar.

To Make Easy Homemade Truffles:
  1. Chop chocolate with a serrated knife or use chocolate chips.
  2. Place chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set aside.
  3. Pour cream and light corn syrup into a medium saucepan.
  4. Bring cream and syrup to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Pour boiling cream directly over chopped chocolate.
  6. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir gently but persistently with rubber spatula until lumps are gone and all chocolate is smooth and even.
  8. Tip: The stirring process starts with a lumpy looking mess but with gentle yet persistent stirring, it will turn incredibly smooth and glossy.
    It looks a little lumpy at first...With gentle but persistent stirring, it will eventually get smooth and shiny like this...
  9. Tip: If chocolate chunks remain after a couple minutes of stirring, you can place your microwave safe bowl (one reason to use a glass pyrex bowl rather than stainless steel) in the microwave for a few seconds, remove and stir again. Repeat as needed. This is usually not necessary but handy to know.
  10. Pour ganache into a shallow dish and allow to sit out for about 10 minutes (it cools more evenly this way).
  11. Place in refrigerator until firm, could be a few hours or overnight.
  12. Once firm, scoop a bit of ganache with a teaspoon and roll into a ball.
  13. Place the ball in coco powder (or other topping) and roll until well coated.
  14. Tip: Keep your hands clean and as cold as possible.
  15. Repeat this until all the ganache is rolled in balls and well coated in the topping of your choice.
  16. Roll powder covered truffles in a sieve to remove excess powder...Tip: When using a powdered coating such as cocoa powder, it can be helpful to put each truffle in a sieve and roll it around to remove excess powder.
  17. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
  18. Many people prefer to allow their homemade truffles to come to room temperature before eating (we like them either way).
  19. Makes about 1 1/2 cups ganache or around 24 (1/2 ounce) truffles.

Go to Printer-Friendly Recipe

Truffle Recipe Troubleshooting Tips:

Chocolate Burns Easily: If your ganache smells or tastes burnt, it probably is. Chocolate burns easily if heated too quickly or to too high of a temperature... dark chocolate can burn at temperatures above 120°F/50°C while milk and white chocolate can scorch or burn above 110°F/45°C.

Keep Water Away From Chocolate: If your ganache suddenly gets lumps, it may mean that it has seized. This can happen if water or steam gets into the mix. This can also be a result of scorching or burning the chocolate during the heating process.

Be aware of temperatures: Do not mix cold flavorings into warm ganache. This will cause your ganache to clump or seize. Flavorings such as extracts, oils, liqueurs, fruit purees and butters should be room temperature when added to slightly warm ganache.

Truffle Recipe Flavor Variations...

Add to cold cream: Infuse cream with flavor by soaking crushed herbs and tea leaves, spices, citrus rinds or coffee beans in cold cream overnight. Strain well before using in recipe.

Add to hot cream: Instant coffee, herbs and spices can be added to the cream as it is heated. Herbs and whole spices should be strained out before pouring over chocolate.

Add to warm ganache: Below is a list of other ingredients that can be added to slightly warm ganache (provided they are at room temperature) to flavor your chocolate truffles. When adding liquid flavoring, it's a good idea to reduce the cream by the same amount as the liquid you're adding since additional water content can ruin your truffle recipe...

  • liqueurs
  • liquor
  • flavor extracts
  • flavor oils
  • plain butter or flavored butters
  • nut butters
  • fruit purees
  • crushed candies such as toffee (will add crunchy texture)

Truffle Recipe Topping Ideas...

It's a lot of fun to experiment with different toppings for any truffle recipe. Here's a few topping ideas to get you started:

  • Easy homemade truffles coated in different toppings for more easy truffle recipe ideas...shaved or grated chocolate
  • ground or crushed toffee or candy
  • cocoa powder
  • powdered sugar
  • cocoa powder mixed with powdered sugar
  • cocoa powder with a touch of cinnamon and/or cayenne
  • cinnamon and sugar
  • espresso powder
  • toasted shredded coconut
  • ground or chopped nuts such as almonds, walnuts or peanuts
  • candy sprinkles

Pairings: By the way, champaign and truffles make a very classy gift. Dark chocolate and red wine can also be very complimentary. The trick to choosing great pairings is to find flavors that compliment each other due to either their similarity or because they are opposites... for example, a bitter taste and a bold but fruity taste often bring out the best in each other. It's fun to experiment and picking out fantastic pairings is a great excuse to sample your own work!

Chocolate Dipped Truffles...

This homemade truffle is coated with shaved chocolate for an easy truffle recipe idea...These truffles also taste great when dipped in chocolate but it's highly recommended you temper your chocolate first. This will give you a well set chocolate shell that is glossy and stable.

Easy chocolate coating... A neat and very easy way to add real chocolate coating is to coat truffles in shaved chocolate as seen to the right. You can even use shaved white chocolate to add contrasting color to your dark chocolate truffles.

Keep in mind that the topping you choose will add texture to your truffles. You can also experiment with shaving flavored chocolate bars (such as mint chocolate, cherry chocolate or dark chocolate espresso) for even more flavor possibilities.

Presentation Matters

Homemade gift box for giving truffles and other food gifts...How will you give away your truffles?

How about a homemade origami gift box for your truffle gifts... a single truffle makes a great gift when given inside a small box... or you can make a larger box to fit four or even eight truffles (details below).

Different sized homemade gift boxes for homemade truffle gifts...If you've never made an origami gift box, try our easy origami box instructions.

Size Overview

A 2" x 2" box is the perfect size for a single truffle (see right). The truffle should be placed inside a mini cupcake liner if possible to keep everything clean and to prevent oil from the truffle from staining the gift box.

A 4" x 4" Masu origami gift box with 4 homemade truffles...You can also make a 4" x 4" box to hold between four and eight homemade truffles. Make it sturdier by inserting a 4" x 4" piece of card stock or paperboard inside the bottom of the box. If you don't have paperboard, simply cut some from a cereal box facing the plain gray side up.

You can either lay shred underneath four truffles as seen to the left or use another piece of 4" x 4" card stock or paperboard to add a second layer of truffles, creating a box of eight homemade truffles.

Wrap the box with ribbon and add gift tags and embellishments if desired. Make them festive for the occasion at hand by using seasonal ribbon and creative decorations for Valentine's Day gifts, small but sweet Homemade Christmas Gifts, adorable and original wedding favors, thank you gifts, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Birthday gifts, the list goes on... we're not sure there's a bad time to give chocolate.

Have you put together a homemade truffle gift or other homemade food gifts? Post your photos here!

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