Dark chocolate, peppermint, smooth, silky, simple chocolate goodness!
Hope you’re all enjoying the long Thanksgiving weekend. Back to the grind tomorrow. What have you been up to all weekend?! Did you see my Thanksgiving feast? I’m still recovering from the potatoes and pie overload.
I have lots of recipes coming up. We’re talking almost every single day for the next two weeks. Like a complete weirdo, I’ve been working on my Christmas season recipe list for over 6 months. And got to testing, baking, and shooting them the past few weeks. I hope you enjoy the total holiday dessert madness!
We’re kicking things off this Sunday morning with some suuuuuuper rich chocolate truffles. Some of you actually got to taste these at my Pittsburgh book signing a couple weeks ago. They’re dark chocolate and peppermint flavored, impeccably creamy, and silky smooth. Not a single one left! A few readers said they needed a little more peppermint flavor to really shine through underneath all the dark chocolate. I agreed! So I tested the recipe again using a little more extract. Perfection. Holiday perfection. You’re going to flip for ’em!
The recipe starts like my basic chocolate truffle recipe, which I published in Sally’s Candy Addiction. The smooth ganache filling is pure semi-sweet chocolate and heavy cream. While writing Sally’s Candy Addiction, it took me some time to find the perfect ganache filling that was both manageable by hand (to roll) AND still be smooth and creamy. It’s harder than it sounds! But I cracked the code. Warning: your hands will get a little chocolate-y while rolling. That’s ok. The finished creamy truffle is soooo worth it.
The combination of cream and chocolate, what makes up this truffle recipe, is an emulsion. Do you know what an emulsion is? It’s a mixture of two incompatible liquids: oil and water. Oil from the cocoa butter; water from the cream. Mixing these two ingredients together requires tenderness and care! Make sure you stir the ganache with gentle force, so as not to agitate the emulsion– which may introduce air bubbles to the otherwise smooth finished ganache. You don’t want that.
To make an authentic chocolate truffle, you have to use quality ingredients.
Use Quality Ingredients
With so little ingredients, make sure you are using the real stuff. Do not use milk or half-and-half. Use cream. Do not use chocolate chips. Use real chocolate. I prefer either Baker’s, Ghirardelli, or Lindt “Excellence” chocolates. You can use milk chocolate or white chocolate, but I would steer clear of bittersweet for this particular recipe. I tried it and it was awful– they were, you guessed it, much too bitter. Especially when paired with peppermint. Don’t do it!
Make sure you use peppermint extract; not mint extract. I find that mint extract tastes like spearmint toothpaste. So, toothpaste flavored truffles. Let’s just… not.
I like adding a little butter to my chocolate truffles. I do this to really smooth out the texture and, of course, for a little buttery flavor. Not much; only 2 Tablespoons in the entire chocolate truffle recipe. It really adds something special to the texture.
The chocolate flavor is intense, so roll the truffles small. You won’t need more than 1 or 2 because of the concentrated flavor. And this way you also get more out of the batch. Great for gift-giving or adding to your holiday cookie trays. Or a cookie exchange! I love how fancy truffles look– but they’re so simple to make.
You can coat the truffles in melted or tempered chocolate, but I find it much easier to simply roll in cocoa powder. Especially during the holidays when you have a million other things going on!
Don’t be overwhelmed. I’m extremely thorough in my instructions!
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles
Dark chocolate, peppermint, smooth, silky, simple chocolate goodness!
- 14 ounces (397g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped1
- 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream, heavy whipping cream, or double cream (not milk or half-and-half)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (65g) natural unsweetened or Dutch-process cocoa powder
- Place semi-sweet chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Microwave in four fifteen second increments, stirring after each, for a total of 60 seconds. Stir until almost completely melted. Set aside. Why are you doing this? I like to briefly warm the chocolate before it is mixed with the cream to help initiate the melting and mixing process.
- Pour cream into a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisking occasionally, heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from the heat, then whisk in the vanilla and peppermint extracts. Pour over the chocolate. Gently begin stirring with a wooden spoon in one directions. Do not forcefully stir, always be gentle! Once the chocolate and cream are smooth, stir in the butter until combined and melted. Cover with plastic wrap pressed on the top of the mixture then allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, place in the refrigerator until it reaches "scoopable" consistency, about 5 hours.
- Line a lage baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Remove mixture from the refrigerator. Measure 1 teaspoon, roll mixture in your hands into a ball as best as you can, then place on the baking sheet. The mixture might be a little sticky. Coat your palms with a little cocoa powder, which I find helps you handle the mixture. Repeat rolling the rest of the mixture. (A rolling tip: If you can't roll into perfect balls, do the best you can and place on the baking sheet. The air will help "dry out" the truffles. After 15 minutes, you'll be able to roll them into neater balls.)
- Roll each ball into cocoa powder to coat. Serve immediately or cover at room temperature for up to 1 week to serve at a later time. You can refrigerate the truffles, but I prefer serving and eating them at room temperature. So, allow to come to room temperature before serving if you prefer.
- Make ahead tip: Layer truffles in a tupperware between parchment paper and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Freeze for up to 2 months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- For the chocolate, I prefer either Baker's, Ghirardelli, or Lindt "Excellence" chocolates. They are found in the baking aisle, usually sold in 4 ounce bars. You can use milk chocolate or white chocolate, but I would steer clear of bittersweet chocolate for this particular recipe. Much too bitter when paired with peppermint extract.
Adapted from Simply Chocolate Truffles in Sally's Candy Addiction cookbook
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Tis the season for candy-making! Here are 6 more candy recipes on my blog– and I have 75 more in my latest cookbook. If you check back this week and next, I’ll be giving away plenty of signed copies on my blog!