There aren’t many desserts that are both incredibly elegant and super easy to make, but chocolate truffles check both boxes. And if you’ve got a whiskey lover in your life (it’s okay if that person is you), why not pour in a bit to make whiskey truffles? And don’t worry, it’s more of a hint of whiskey in each creamy bite of chocolate, not a heavy shot.
Chocolate truffles are one of my favorite post-dinner treats. We’ve got young ones at home, so dinner is on the early side, and come 8pm, I’m in need of a tiny sweet treat. Just one or two of these is enough to satisfy my desire for both an after dinner drink and dessert. Plus, it’s really nice to open the fridge and peer in to find a tray of perfect chocolate treats just for you.
How to Make Chocolate Truffles
Combine chopped chocolate and hot cream and you’ve got a truffle. Well, you’ve got ganache actually, but this is the base that we roll into a ball, or mold into a shape, powder coat and otherwise gussy up into the confectionary we call a truffle.
Truffles should be small in size, no more than a bite or two, and contain chocolate, but from there the variations are endless.
What is the Best Chocolate for Making Truffles?
You can use either chocolate baking bars or chocolate chips to make truffles. I like a blend of bittersweet (70% cacao) and semisweet (46% cacao) chocolate to give me my ideal chocolatey level, but you can use whatever pleases your own palate.
Bars will need to be chopped finely to evenly melt once the hot cream is poured over the truffles.
Baking chips can also be used and are convenient. If chips are not chopped further, you may find that not all of the chips have melted once stirred with the cream.
If there are stubborn bits of chips that have not melted after stirring, microwave for 15 to 20 seconds, and then stir again. This should help melt any chocolate chip bits still left in the bowl.
What is the Best Whiskey for Truffles?
I’m a big fan of Irish whiskey and if you’re making this for St. Patrick’s Day Irish Whiskey is an obvious choice. Irish Whiskey has a lighter, fruitier sweetness than, say, a bourbon or a rye, and it complements the chocolate in a more subtle way, with caramel notes that pair well with rich, dark chocolate. If you want bolder flavor, then go for a bourbon, it will still taste wonderful, but I’d stay away from the sharpness of rye.
Not a Whiskey Fan? Try These Instead
If whiskey isn’t your go-to alcohol of choice, don’t worry. You can find any number of adult beverages that pair well with chocolate. Pretty much, if there’s a chocolate flavor combo you love, there’s a liqueur that fits the profile.
- Amaro is a fantastic addition to truffles, and Angostura amaro is my favorite.
- Grand Marnier will give you that classic orange and chocolate flavor combination.
- Irish Cream with, well, and Irish Cream liqueur like Kerrygold or Baileys
- You could also try amaretto, Frangelico or Kahlua
Tips and Tricks for Shaping and Coating Truffles
If you can form a ball with Play-Doh, you can make a truffle. But here are a few tips and tricks to help you along the way.
- To make perfectly bite-sized truffles, use a small spring-loaded scoop called a disher. The #100 disher is equivalent in size to 2 teaspoons or 3/8 ounce. That might seem small but truffles are rich!
- Use a deep bowl when it comes time to coat the truffle in cocoa powder to contain the powder and making rolling easier.
- Use a fork, not your fingers, to coat the truffle in the powder.
- If you don’t have a scoop, try filling a piping bag fitted with a plain #9 tip with the ganache. Pipe a long line of ganache, then cut it with a knife and roll each segment into a ball. Coat in cocoa powder.
Ways to Coat Chocolate Truffles
Unsweetened cocoa powder is the standard coating for chocolate truffles. The bitter cocoa provides a contrast to the sweetness of the ganache. However, you don’t have to stop at the standard. Try these ideas for coating chocolate truffles.
- Matcha powder
- Freeze dried fruit
- Pulverized toasted nuts – walnuts, pecans, pistachios or almonds are all great choices.
- Sprinkles—anything that is small in size but also compliments your truffle flavors is on the table here.
- Dip in tempered chocolate
How to Store Truffles
To store chocolate truffles: Truffles can last up to two weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. Overtime, they might need a second coating of cocoa powder. They can sit on the counter for an afternoon or even a day, but they will hold up best in the refrigerator. Let them sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before eating.
To freeze chocolate truffles: After shaping and coating in cocoa powder layer between sheets of parchment, and freeze in an air tight container for up to six months.
To defrost chocolate truffles: Transfer them from the freezer to the refrigerator and let them slowly defrost overnight first before bringing them to room temperature. Then they’re ready to eat!
More Sweet Treats for Whiskey Lovers
- Brown Sugar Irish Coffee
- Chocolate Bourbon Cake
- Bread Pudding
- Mint Julep Ice Cream
- Coffee Bourbon Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Whiskey Chocolate Truffles
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup Irish whiskey
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
Heat the cream and prepare the chocolate:
In a small saucepan set over medium low heat warm the cream until simmering, around 180°F. Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl large enough to hold the chopped chocolate and the cream.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate to make ganache:
When the cream is hot, pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let the mixture sit for five minutes.
Stir the mixture and add whiskey:
Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth and glossy. Pour in the whiskey and stir until fully combined.
Place the bowl in the refrigerator for a minimum of one hour until firm.
Prepare the coating and a baking sheet:
Fill a small, deep mixing bowl with the cocoa powder. Set aside. Then place a piece of parchment on a half size sheet pan. Set that aside as well.
Scoop and shape ganache into balls:
Remove the bowl from the refrigerator. Using a small spoon or a #100 disher portion scoop out the truffles onto the parchment paper.
Using the palms of your hands, quickly roll each truffle into balls. No need to make them perfect, you just want a round shape. If you find that they’re starting to look too soft, roll in small batches, moving them to the fridge between batches.
Coat each ball in cocoa powder:
After you’ve rolled them into balls, place each one into the cocoa powder. Use a fork to quickly roll them around in the cocoa powder to coat.
The fork can be used to lift the truffle, and when gently wiggled, any excess cocoa powder should fall back off into the bowl. Place the truffle on the parchment paper and repeat until all the truffles have been coated. Again, if your kitchen is on the warm side, try coating in smaller batches, with those waiting to be rolled, and those already rolled, hanging out in the fridge until you’re done.
Place truffles between parchment paper in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.