I will admit that occasionally I pursue a recipe idea just for the fun of it, or because it sounds good.  But not this one.  This is not just a conversation piece.  The combination of hot chilies and dark chocolate is amazing.

I know this is a terrible tease.  All you can see are little balls of chocolate.  They could taste like anything, really.

How would you know that when you bite into these silky truffles you not only get the deep dusky taste of dark dark chocolate, but a pleasant hit of hot spice at the back of your throat.  It’s a lovely, multi-layered experience.

And like so many interesting flavor combinations, this one is anything but new.  Chocolate has been consumed by humans for thousands of years, and it was originally eaten, or drunk, unsweetened, and often paired with chili peppers.  The word chocolate comes from the Aztec word for ‘bitter’, and the dark or bittersweet chocolate in these truffles plays off the hot chili in the most wonderful way.

I’d say this would be a perfect thing to make for your Valentine, or, better yet, with your Valentine.  The process of making truffles is easy and pretty sensuous, actually.

Cayenne Hot Chili Pepper Truffles

Yield: makes 18 truffles

What You Will Need

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 hot cayenne chili peppers (or about 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or 1/2 tsp cayenne chili pepper --- more if you dare!)
  • 8 oz good quality dark or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (for rolling)


  1. Put the cream in a small saucepan. Crush the red peppers into the cream. Heat the cream until it comes to a simmer, and then turn off the heat. Let it steep for about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, chop up your chocolate into small pieces. You can do this with a knife, or put the rough chopped chocolate into your food processor and process until finely chopped. Cover the top loosely with a kitchen towel or you'll have fine chocolate dust everywhere. Put the chocolate pieces into a bowl.
  3. Heat the cream back up to a simmer, and immediately strain the cream into the the chocolate. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, and then stir until the mixture is smooth and glossy. If the chocolate isn't completely melted you can heat it for about 15 seconds in a microwave and stir again.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and set the bowl in the refrigerator to cool for about 30 minutes, or until the ganache is of a scoopable texture.
  5. Using a small 1" sized scoop, a melon baller, or a teaspoon, scoop up small amounts of chocolate and set them on a plate. Work with about 10 truffles at a time.
  6. Roll each truffle around in your palms until it is a smooth ball.
  7. Roll each truffle in the cocoa powder until they are completely coated.
  8. Repeat the process with the rest of the truffles, cleaning your hands in between batches.
  9. You can store the truffles in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before serving.


  • Feel free to adjust the amount of chili to suit your needs, if you don’t like super spicy things you can get a hint of heat with less.

I have several other great truffle recipes on the blog if hot chili peppers aren’t your thing, here, here, and here.



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12 Responses to Cayenne Hot Chili Pepper Truffles

  1. marina matthews says:

    Hi there, thanks for the recipe! I just made a batch and they are good but soooo spicy… I put in a teaspoon of cayenne powder, like you said, but I don’t think I can manage another one! I wonder if I tried to make a second batch, melt everything again and mix it together with the first batch, it would halve the amount of cayenne and I might be able to hack them then!

  2. These truffles need to happen in my kitchen! Thank you for this recipe!

  3. sue, you make some dreamy truffles: this i know for sure. You’re so good at it! I love heat and chocolate together; always a interesting (and delicious) combo. this will be bookmarked right alongside the “here, here, and here!” other truffle recipes of yours i NEED TO TRY. :)

  4. Mary Younkin says:

    I love the chili/chocolate combination. I’m betting these truffles would be exactly my thing. Now, whether my man would agree with making truffles as a fun activity for our next date night, that might be up for debate. Have a great day, Sue!

  5. The Café Sucré Farine says:

    I think chili peppers add a delightful touch to all sorts of things. I made chili oil today and love to use it here, there and everywhere. Your truffles look wonderful and very addictive!

  6. Oh boy! I know I would love these – Danger ahead :)

  7. I just had a chili pepper truffle at a chocolate tasting and it was awesome. I’ve made chocolate chili cookies and they are great after a Mexican meal. Well, really anytime. In any case, these sound great!

  8. grace says:

    these sound great! your pictures are just so lovely, and the concept is a winner too–chocolate and chiles is a combination i really enjoy.

  9. I have yet to try an intensely flavored and spicy chocolate truffle..I need to! Ive had some that were mellow but nothing with intensity!

  10. Siobhan says:

    Must save one for me! They sound heavenly.

  11. Tricia says:

    You are such an artist! I am a chicken but love these outside the box ideas. I enjoy spicy so these may be for me :) My valentine is not a chocolate fan however, but I am!

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