Hot Chili Pepper Truffles

hands holding a glass bowl with cocoa powder and a chocolate truffle

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!

chili pepper truffle in a glass bowl

hot chili pepper truffles are flavor bombs!

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.

Making chili pepper truffles in a glass bowl

it’s all done with 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.

making chili pepper truffles

hot chili pepper truffles are positively romantic!

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.

rolling chili pepper truffles

craving more truffles?

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.

chili pepper truffles in a glass bowl

 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!

hands holding a glass bowl with cocoa powder and a chocolate truffle
3.6 from 52 votes

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!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Yield 18 truffles
Author Sue Moran


  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 to 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


  • 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.
  • Meanwhile, if you are using bar chocolate, chop it into small pieces.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Roll each truffle around in your palms until it is a smooth ball.
  • Roll each truffle in the cocoa powder until they are completely coated.
  • Repeat the process with the rest of the truffles, cleaning your hands in between batches.
  • You can store the truffles in the refrigerator, and you can serve them chilled or at room temperature.

Cook’s notes

  • 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.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Sophia Del Gigante
    February 24, 2013 at 1:25 am

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

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    February 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    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. 🙂

  • Reply
    Mary Younkin
    February 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    February 7, 2013 at 3:37 am

    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!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    February 7, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Oh boy! I know I would love these – Danger ahead 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected] is How I Cook
    February 7, 2013 at 1:00 am

    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!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    February 6, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Must save one for me! They sound heavenly.

  • Reply
    February 6, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    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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