Hot Chili Pepper Truffles

These Hot Chili Pepper Truffles are made with a dark chocolate ganache spiced up with cayenne pepper for a unique homemade candy with a kick!


VINTAGE VIEW ~ these Hot Chili Pepper Truffles are from TVFGI archives, first published in 2013.  As part of a series on the blog I’m reviving some of the best recipes that you may have missed over the years ~ I’ve updated my notes and taken new photos.  I’ve always been drawn to the combination of chocolate and spice, and these truffles don’t disappoint.


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

How would you know that when you bite into one of these silky truffles you not only get the rich flavor of extra dark chocolate, but a pleasant hit of spice at the back of your throat as you swish the silky ganache across your palate?

It’s a lovely experience, but not a visual experience.  You need to pop one of these hot chili truffles into your own mouth to really get it.  If you’ve made my SMOLDERING HEART COOKIES ~ dark chocolate shortbread kicked up with cayenne ~  you’ve got the idea.

It’s all accomplished with such a simple cast of ingredients ~

  • heavy cream
  • extra dark chocolate
  • cayenne chili pepper

But like so many interesting flavor combinations, this one is anything but new.  Chocolate has been enjoyed by humans for thousands of years, and it was originally consumed unsweetened, 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 spicy chili in the most alluring way.

If this interests you, you can read more in depth about the relationship between chocolate and chili on Serious Eats.

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.

I have several other great truffle recipes on the blog if hot chili peppers aren’t your thing.  My COFFEE AND CARDAMOM TRUFFLES, for instance, or my HOMEMADE FERRERO ROCHER TRUFFLES.   And if you’re truly obsessed with truffles check out my epic collection of 20+ best chocolate truffle recipes.

 Ingredient spotlight: Cayenne pepper

Cayenne peppers are long tapered red peppers, and as hot peppers go, they’re only moderately hot.  That makes them a good choice for drying and grinding into a powder for cooking, and you’ll want to use it when you need a reliably moderate kick of spice in your recipes.  I like it because it adds heat without a strong flavor.  Start with 1/4 teaspoon and adjust to your taste.

I use cayenne pepper in everything from CARROT or CHICKEN SOUP to PINEAPPLE CHILI SORBET and MOLTEN LAVA CAKE!

Hot Chili Pepper Truffles

Yield: makes 18 truffles

Hot Chili Pepper Truffles

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne chili pepper (more if you dare!)
  • 8 oz good quality dark or bittersweet chocolate, or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (for rolling)

Instructions

  1. Heat the cream until it just comes to a simmer. You can do this in a small saucepan on the stove, or in a bowl in the microwave.
  2. Meanwhile, if you are using bar chocolate, chop it into small pieces.
  3. Add the chocolate and chili powder directly to the hot cream. 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 the microwave and stir again.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and set the bowl in the refrigerator to cool for about 2 hours, or until the ganache has hardened enough to be scoopable.
  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, and you can serve them chilled or at room temperature.

Make it your own ~

  • Feel free to adjust the amount of chili to suit your needs, if you’re feeling adventurous, add more cayenne.  
  • You might try using other hot spices in place of the cayenne ~ try chipotle chili powder, or even hot smoked  paprika.
  • You can use milk chocolate as well.

 Don’t forget to pin these Hot Chili Pepper Truffles!

These Hot Chili Pepper Truffles are made with a dark chocolate ganache spiced up with cayenne pepper for a unique homemade candy with a kick! #chocolate #darkchocolate #homemadetruffles #chocolatetrufflerecipe #easytruffles #cayenne #chocolateandchili #spicychocolate #Valentinedday #romantic #dessert #homemadecandy #candy #ganache

 

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    Justin
    February 28, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    This recipe was very easy and tasty!

    I didn’t have a melon baller, so I used a 1/2 teaspoon to scoop out the chocolate. Sadly, my truffles just turned out to be clumpy eyesores. Not sure why I couldn’t get them to form beautiful balls like those pictured.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 28, 2018 at 1:21 pm

      I used a little scoop like an ice cream scoop and it makes them perfectly round, for sure. But remember Justin, truffles are named after misshapen little fungi ~ they’re supposed to look rustic! If your ganache is very cold it can be hard to get them round, try it a little less chilled next time.

  • Reply
    Alina | Cooking Journey
    February 3, 2018 at 5:56 am

    I love to spice the food with cayenne, too :) never tried it with chocolate, it’s a great idea! I think it should taste perfect together – dark chocolate with spicy hot aftertaste, yum!

  • Reply
    Natalie
    February 3, 2018 at 12:47 am

    These truffles look so good! I love chocolate and chili together – so delicious ? Perfect for Valentine’s day too!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    February 2, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    There’s nothing better than chocolate truffles… these look dreamy!

  • Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    February 2, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Sue, I think this would be fabulous. I’m not a candy eater myself, but I’m sure I’d score points with my husband and friends by whipping up a batch or two of these!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 2, 2018 at 11:20 am

      Those points would be ‘truffle points’ instead of ‘brownie points’ ;)

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    February 2, 2018 at 9:40 am

    I love my cayenne too. And my chocolate so I’m quite certain by just looking, that these would be a hit! Great photos too!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 2, 2018 at 11:21 am

      Thanks Chris!

  • Reply
    Beth
    February 2, 2018 at 9:32 am

    I love chocolate and spice together! It is such a surprise when you bite into them! Beautiful photos!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 2, 2018 at 11:22 am

      The heat is so interesting, too, Beth, because it doesn’t ‘hit’ you right away.

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