Made with only 6 ingredients, these creamy dark chocolate peppermint truffles are the definition of easy decadence. This recipe makes a ton, so they’re a wonderful option dessert trays or homemade gifts!
Kicking off the Christmas season 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!
How to Make Dark Chocolate Truffles
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. Warning: your hands will get a little chocolate-y while rolling. That’s ok. The finished creamy truffle is soooo worth it.
It’s a Delicious Science: The combination of cream and chocolate, what makes up this truffle recipe, is chocolate ganache. This is also called 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.
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.
I add a little butter to the truffle mixture– not much, only 2 Tablespoons. Butter creates the smoothest, creamiest homemade chocolate truffle you’ll ever taste.
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!
Here’s how to make smooth and creamy holiday dark chocolate peppermint truffles. This recipe makes a ton; great for homemade gift-giving!
- 14 ounces (397g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped*
- 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. 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 “scoop-able” consistency, about 5 hours.
- Line a large 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 makes the mixture easier to handle. 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. You can refrigerate the truffles, but I prefer serving and eating them at room temperature. Bring to room temperature before serving if you prefer.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Layer truffles in a storage container between sheets of 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.
- Chocolate: 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.
- Adapted from Simply Chocolate Truffles in Sally’s Candy Addiction cookbook.
Keywords: dark chocolate peppermint truffles, christmas truffles