Homemade Naturally Sweetened Chocolate Truffles

Homemade Chocolate Truffle

A Homemade Chocolate Truffle Recipe!

What says romance better than a box of chocolates? I don’t know about you, but I like mine dark. And while a simple bar is nice, a special occasion calls for something special – like truffles!

If you go to any fancy chocolate shop, you’ll most likely see a display of beautiful, round nuggets of chocolaty goodness. Can I let you in on a secret? You can make these fancy treats at home, using all your favorite natural ingredients.

Truffles 101

Chocolate Truffles are made up of a chocolate ganache center that is coated in cocoa powder or some other coating, like chopped nuts, toasted coconut, or a layer of firm chocolate. The ganache base is incredibly easy to make using a high quality chocolate bar and warm, heavy cream, but we’re taking things a bit further today so you have complete control over all the ingredients that go into your truffles.

Once the ganache is allowed to solidify, you will be portioning it out and shaping it into little spheres. As you shape your truffles, don’t worry if they aren’t perfectly round. The original French truffles were a bit lumpy too. That’s actually how they got their name. It was thought that the little lumpy spheres coated in cocoa powder looked similar to little, dark and knobbly, black truffle mushrooms.

Health Benefits of Chocolate

We all know a little chocolate can go a long way to brighten our day. But, did you know that dark chocolate has some other health benefits too?

  • Good for your heart: Small amounts of dark chocolate may be able to help lower blood pressure by improving blood flow and circulation.
  • Good for your brain: Dark chocolate can also increase blood flow to the brain, helping to improve mental functioning.
  • Full of antioxidants: Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidant compounds like polyphenols and flavanols. Antioxidants help fight free radicals which can damage cells.
  • High in vitamins and minerals: Dark chocolate is packed with minerals like potassium, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and iron.

Custom Truffle Flavors

The great thing about making your own truffles is that you can flavor them how ever you like. I like to divide my batch of ganache into four bowls and stir in four different flavorings. (Just be sure to label which bowl is which flavor!) Feel free to get creative with your own! Below are just some of my favorites:

  • Orange – Get your chocolate orange fix from orange zest, orange oil, orange liqueur, or chopped candied orange peel.
  • Ginger – Chopped candied ginger works well. (Find an organic candied ginger here.)
  • Liquor and Liqueurs – amaretto, brandy, rum, etc.
  • Peppermint – Get a mint chocolate flavor with peppermint extract (learn to make your own extract), oil, or mint liqueur.
  • Heat – Add some heat with chili oil or chili powder.
  • Coffee flavors – Give the chocolate a kick with espresso powder or coffee liqueur.
  • Extracts – Use any pure extracts, like vanilla.

When adding the flavoring, taste the ganache to be sure you have reached a level of flavoring you like. Keep in mind that the flavor of zest and candied fruit (like citrus peel and ginger) will become more pronounced as the truffles set and the flavor has time to infuse the chocolate.

Important Notes Before Beginning

Instead of using heavy cream and a chopped chocolate bar for our ganache, we’re making the chocolate and the ganache at the same time. The butter, honey, and cocoa powder create your dark chocolate base, and the heavy cream turns that chocolate into ganache. Off of the heat, we add in our flavoring, and then the whole mixture gets a good chill down so that it will be easily shaped into little truffle balls.

If your ganache breaks (or starts to look curdled) don’t fret! This is due to the fat and liquid separating. There is an easy fix. Just heat a few tablespoons of cream and stir it slowly into the broken ganache until it comes together again.

Homemade (Naturally Sweetened) Truffles

Yield: 16-18 (1 inch) truffles

Ingredients

  • 8 Tbsp butter 
  • ¼ cup heavy cream 
  • ¼ cup raw honey (find it here)
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder (find organic cocoa here or organic cacao here)
  • 2-3 tsp flavoring (zest, pure extract, liqueur, etc.) to taste
  • Coating as desired (cocoa powder, flaked coconut, crushed nuts)

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the heavy cream and honey. Mix until the honey is dissolved.
  2. Add the cocoa/cacao powder and mix until smooth and shiny.
  3. Remove pan from the heat and mix in flavorings, if using. (Alternatively, divide your ganache mixture into separate bowls and flavor each individually. Just be sure to adjust the amount of flavoring necessary!)
  4. Pour the chocolate ganache mixture into a bowl. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and refrigerate until the chocolate has set, about 1 hour.
  5. Once the chocolate has set, scoop the ganache into 1 tablespoon balls, using a melon-baller or tablespoon measure. (If the chocolate gets too soft to work with easily, put it back into the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up.) Use your hands or a piece of wax paper to smooth each truffle into a round ball. 
  6. Place your coating in a small bowl or on a small plate. Roll the finished balls in the coating. Place the coated truffles in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until you are ready to eat.
  7. Truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Have you ever attempted homemade truffles? What are your favorite flavors? Share below!

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Comments

  1. Nice recipe!
    I’m sure my kids are gonna love it, looks even yummy for older kids. Can we use maple syrup as an alternate for honey?

    thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Hi Hannah. Maple syrup would be a great alternate for honey. Maple syrup may give the chocolates a bit of a deeper flavor though, which I don’t think is a bad thing! The amount of sweetener needed might vary slightly as well, so I would recommend tasting your ganache after you add the cocoa powder, just to be sure it is at a sweetness you like.

    • While I haven’t tried it myself, I have heard that whole milk can take the place of heavy cream when making ganache for truffles. Whole milk truffles might soften more quickly at room temperature though, so just be careful to keep them cool during the shaping process and before serving.

      If you try it, be sure to come back and let us know how it turned out for you!

  2. Hello, have you tried replacing the butter with another grease, such as coconut oil? Did it work?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Armelle. We have not tried substituting coconut oil for the butter, but it should work. The coconut oil will change the flavor slightly: it will be a bit lighter in flavor. If you try it, be sure to come back and let us know how they turned out for you!

  3. OMG thank you for the Vday idea! Gonna make these for my Husband & kids. Ur awesome ? ….. I too was wondering about s honey substitute; we don’t care for honey.

    • Thanks Rene! You should be able to substitute your favorite sweetener for the honey. Just make sure it is dissolved and smooth before adding the cocoa. You may have to adjust the amount of sweetener depending on its sweetness and your taste preference. We hope your family loves them!

  4. Can I use coconut creme instead to make it dairy free and it calls for butter what can I use that is also corn free, gluten free, milk free for the butter?

    • Hi Olinda, I am not familiar enough working with coconut creme to know if it would be a good substitute. Instead, I would try coconut milk as a substitute for the cream and see how that works. Coconut oil would work as a substitute for the butter.

      If you give them a try, be sure to come back and let us know how they turned out with your substitutions!