Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dark Chocolate Truffles with Sea Salt

You can't go wrong with a classic chocolate truffle. But every once in a while, it's good to change things up a bit. It keeps things interesting.

I present to you these miniature-melt-in-your-mouth sweet and spicy confections. They're spiked with a wee bit of chili pepper, smoked paprika and a teeny bit of sea salt. The salt enhances the richness of the dark chocolate. The chili pepper and smoked paprika sneak up on you, hitting your taste buds when you least expect it, sending some heat and smokiness to your palate. 

Dark chocolate is an antioxidant powerhouse filled with trace minerals. I rarely go a day without eating a piece...or two...or three....just love it! We all have our guilty pleasures.

Chili and Sea Salt Infused Dark Chocolate Truffles Recipe

 Adapted from Donna Hay's Recipe for Chocolate Truffles

Makes about 35-40 Mini Truffles

Some Notes: 

Some of my taste testers said they like even more heat in the the spice infused truffles. You be the judge. Tweak the amount of chili to your preference. Just a tiny sprinkle of sea salt is needed. Don't over do it with the salt.

I used two 3.5 ounce bars of Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate Infused With Spicy Red Chili and one 3.5 ounce bar of Green and Blacks 85% Organic Cocoa Dark Chocolate in this recipe. I used lite cream in the recipe, but you're free to use regular cream.                                                                                                 

There are a couple of ways to finish them. You can roll them in cocoa powder which is always a classic or some grated coconut or a combo of cocoa powder and a bit of Penzeys Vietnamese Cinnamon. The Vietnamese cinnamon will give them a delicious Mexican chocolate taste. Penzeys rich Dutch cocoa powder is divine too.

See below for a gluten-free chocolate source, included with the espresso hot chocolate recipe.


1/2 cup of light cream or regular cream.
2  3.5 ounce bars of Lindt Chili Dark Chocolate Bars  chopped.
3.0 ounces good quality dark chocolate, chopped. I used most of a 3.5 ounce bar of Green and Black's Dark Chocolate.
1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 small dash of ground red chili powder
a sprinkling of sea salt
Good quality cocoa powder, shredded coconut, cinnamon for dusting


Place 1/2 cup of the lite cream in a small pot and heat over medium heat. Add the chopped dark chocolate, spices and salt. Stir to combine and melt the chocolate. Remove from heat and stir until thoroughly combined. Pour into a lightly greased 8 by 8 inch baking pan lined with nonstick baking paper. Refrigerate until hardened, about one to two hours. Scoop out the chocolate by rounded teaspoons. Roll the chocolate in your hands to form balls the size of small marbles. Then roll the small chocolate balls in the cocoa powder, coconut and or cocoa powder/cinnamon. Serve. Makes about 35-40 mini truffles.

Espresso Hot Chocolate Recipe  

adapted this recipe from Michael Turback's recipe for Cioccolato Caldo found in his book Hot Chocolate.

Some Notes

A cornstarch and water mixture  is used to thicken the hot chocolate a bit making taste like a warm liquid chocolate truffle. The recipe calls for SILK coconut milk beverage or regular whole milk. The hot chocolate is served with whipped cream made from full fat coconut milk. I've made it with regular milk and regular whipped cream too. If you don't like espresso, then use a regular, good quality dark chocolate bar. The choice is yours. Enjoy!

If you don't finish it, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. Reheat it in the microwave for a quick morning treat.

Vegans, use your favorite dark chocolate bar and follow the recipe as directed. I like Endangered Species Vegan, Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Espresso Bars


1 3.5 ounce bar of  Green & Blacks Dark Chocolate Espresso Bar, chopped into small pieces (see notes for a vegan and gluten-free chocolate bar source)
3/4 cup of coconut milk beverage or regular whole milk. I use SILK All Natural Original Coconut Milk Beverage. 
1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon of water. (See notes)
1 teaspoon of sugar.  How much sugar you add is a matter of personal preference. 


Put the chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until chocolate melts. Be careful not to burn it. Stop and stir it a few times as you melt it in the microwave. Put the coconut milk and the sugar in a pot. Heat it on medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer. Add some of the milk to the melted chocolate and whisk to combine. Add the chocolate to the pot with the rest of the milk along with the cornstarch and water solution. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, whisking the whole time. The more you cook it the thicker and creamier it will be. Sip and Enjoy or Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream (recipe below). 

Coconut Milk is also rich in vitamins, omega 3′s and minerals. It has manganese with helps regulate blood sugar and promote healthy skin. It contains copper, vitamin C, zinc, potassium and magnesium. It’s high in fiber. Cocoa contains powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals.

Coconut Milk Whipped Cream Recipe


1 can of full fat coconut milk
Powdered sugar or agave nectar to taste.
1/2 teaspoon of coconut or vanilla extract (optional)

Put the can of coconut milk in the coldest part of the refrigerator overnight.  The coconut cream must be very cold to whip up properly. (I’ve had good luck with Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk and Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream.) Coconut Cream contains almost no coconut water. It’s decadent, rich and foolproof in this recipe.
The next day, take the can out of the fridge and gently open it. Do not shake the can. You will see all the white, thick coconut cream at the top.  The liquid coconut water will be underneath the coconut cream at the bottom of the can. Do not  use the coconut water in this recipe.  Gently lift the coconut cream out of the can, being careful to leave the coconut water behind. Put only the thick coconut cream in a large bowl.  Beat the cream with an electric mixer until it becomes light, whipped and creamy, adding the extract and a little powdered sugar or agave nectar. The agave will make the whipped cream a little glossy. The agave will also thin it out a bit so don’t use too much.

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