These 4 ingredient dark chocolate truffles will melt in your mouth and are incredibly easy to make. Try the hazelnut and coconut versions for the perfect twist.
Here’s a fun fact about dark chocolate truffles. They were the first thing I ever made independently around aged 8.
Dark chocolate has always been my vice, hence the lack of milk chocolate or white chocolate recipes on this site. I love the richness and pronounced cocoa flavour in these truffles without the excessive hit of sweetness that you may find with milk or white chocolates.
These truffles are dark through and throughout but I’ll cover the variations you can do further on in the blogpost.
If you’re looking for an easy dessert recipe that’s perfect for nibbling on or elegant enough to gift, then you’re on the right page.
Dark Chocolate Truffles
Dark chocolate truffles are a popular type of confectionary that consist of a chocolate ganache centre with an outer coating most commonly consisting of cocoa powder.
The truffles are creamy with the slightest firm bite which finishes with a melt-in-the-mouth sensation. It’s a whirlwind sensation and it makes these truffles incredibly addictive.
You’ll find yourself constantly reaching for another, especially if you’ve made an assortment of flavours. Trust me. I’ve been there.
There are a few variations within the chocolate truffle world as there are different ways of making a ganache. These different methods can provide changes in flavour and texture, e.g. Spanish chocolate truffles commonly include rum for an extra boozy hit.
It’s a great way of adding depth. For this recipe it will be based more on the French chocolate truffle which consists of a cream based ganache.
These dark chocolate truffles calls for very few ingredients and they’re pretty quick to assemble. It’s also a great project for any kids to participate in as it requires minimal skills. Making these dark chocolate truffles is a rather fun but messy activity.
Only 4 ingredients needed for these Chocolate Truffles
That’s right, only 4 ingredients:
- Dark chocolate – try to use a good quality one. It makes a world of a difference as it’s the main flavour. I love using a 70% dark chocolate here as it’s got a good balance between sweetness, richness and bitterness. However for those of you not too keen on strong dark chocolate, you may also use a bar between 40-50% in strength or go for milk chocolate
- Double cream – this needs to have around 50% fat content (i.e. 50g/100ml). A vegan alternative would be to use a full fat coconut milk, but it must have around 55-60% of coconut. The vegan method will be covered further on in this blogpost
- Butter – a little goes a long way, but it helps to enhance the smooth and creamy mouth-feel of the truffles. I’ve always added a small amount of butter to my ganache and it’s definitely worth it. It even adds a lovely shine
- Cocoa powder – this is purely to coat the truffles at the end. Use a pure cocoa powder and not a hot chocolate mix
And that’s it. That’s honestly all you need.
Other truffle flavours to try
You can really let your mind wander and express your creativity through your truffle flavours. I’ll list a few personal favourites that I highly recommend below.
These are my go-to flavours and make for a great assortment:
- Chocolate orange – add in plenty of orange zest to your ganache and roll the final truffles in a mixture of cocoa powder and orange powder (ground dehydrated orange peel)
- Salted chocolate – add in a pinch of sea salt to the ganache and sprinkle extra on top. The small touch of salt really helps to balance the sweetness and richness
- Coconut truffles – coat the truffles in desiccated coconut. For even more depth feel free to toast the coconut until a deep golden brown. This will add an immense nuttiness and the perfect crunch
- Hazelnut chocolate – add in roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts to your ganache. Or place a whole toasted hazelnut inside the the centre of the truffle, then coat in finely chopped hazelnuts. The combination is pure brilliance
- Mocha truffles – add a touch of espresso powder or instant coffee to the cream as it comes up to the simmer. Ensure it has fully dissolved before pouring over the dark chocolate. This intensifies the cocoa flavour whilst also adds a ton of depth
Or you could even go as simple as:
- Vanilla truffles – a small addition of vanilla paste to the cream will infuse it with a beautiful flavour and aroma. This will carry through the ganache and add a great background note. However if like me, you enjoy the flavour of your dark chocolate bar as it is, then the vanilla is not necessary. A lot of single origin chocolate bars will have their own unique flavours and I love allowing that original favour to shine.
What’s the secret to a good dark chocolate truffle?
The secret to a good dark chocolate truffle is all in the ganache. It needs to carry a good chocolate flavour as well as being completely smooth. The ganache also needs to contain enough cream so that it is firm but not too firm.
If there is an insufficient amount of cream the final truffles will be far too solid. They’ll have a bite to them which is not too dissimilar to a bite of a chocolate bar. This is not how a truffle should be texturally.
We want a smooth melt in the mouth result.
Rest assured this is easily achievable and it honestly requires minimal skill. There’s only really 1 thing that could go wrong.
A split ganache.
A split ganache – how to avoid it and how to fix it
This refers to a failure of the cream and the chocolate to emulsify, and hence the fat separates and forms pools of oil. This always causes a bit of a panic but it can be avoided and fixed.
- Ensure that the cream does not boil. It only needs to be brought up to a simmer before being poured over the chocolate. If the cream comes to a boil it becomes far too hot, which causes the fat to separate from the chocolate and split the ganache.
- Heat the cream in a saucepan rather than in the microwave because it’s much easier to control the temperature. 5 to 10 seconds over in the microwave can split a ganache and hence I’d recommend avoiding this method, as tempting as it may be.
- Start by placing the ganache over a bain marie. This is done by simply heating up a saucepan with around 1 inch of water. Allow the water the come to a simmer and then place the bowl of ganache on top of the saucepan ensuring that it is not in direct contact with the water
- Whilst the ganache is melting, heat up a separate saucepan with some milk. This only needs to be warm to the touch and does not need to be at a simmer or a boil
- Add a tbsp of milk at a time to the ganache whilst constantly whisking and it will very quickly come back together
- As the liquid ratio has now increased with the addition of milk, I do tend to add more chocolate to the ganache. A good rough figure would be to add an additional 5g of chocolate per 100g of chocolate in the ganache along with the milk if fixing a split ganache
E.g. if you had 300g of chocolate in your ganache that has now split, follow the steps above and gradually add the milk 1tbsp at a time and around 15g of more chocolate. Whisk until shiny and smooth.
This method has always worked wonders for me and it’s a very easy fix. Therefore the morale of the story is don’t throw away split ganache.
How to make these dark chocolate truffles
Let’s start by making the ganache:
1) Start by roughly chopping your dark chocolate, you can go even finer than I have if you wish
2) Place the double cream in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer, do not boil
3) You’ll know when the double cream is up to temperature when there’s gentle bubbling on the outer rim of the cream
4) At this point pour the double cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 1 minute. You can give it a gentle stir to ensure all the chocolate is submerged
5) After 1 minute add in the softened butter
6) Immediately start to whisk to incorporate the chocolate and the cream
7) Switch between a whisk and a spatula to ensure everything has been mixed completely. If your ganache has split at this point and become grainy, head on to the section above to see how to fix it. This likely happened because your cream was too hot.
Place your ganache in to the fridge for 30 minutes. It should be completely set but still soft enough to scoop with a spoon before moving on to the next step.
If the ganache is still too soft, leave it in the refrigerator for a further 10 minutes.
If you’ve left it for too long and it’s become completely solid, you’ll need to microwave it in 10s increments until it’s just soft enough to scoop.
Now let’s roll the dark chocolate truffles:
1+2) Take a heaped tbsp of the set ganache and roll between your hands into a smooth ball. This should be relatively quick to do. Try to work quickly as the dark chocolate truffles will begin to melt from your body heat
If you find the truffles are melting after rolling, then place them on a plate or tray lined with baking paper. Pop them back in the fridge for 5 minutes
Wash your hands with cold water between every 3-4 truffles as they tend to get covered in chocolate. Clean hands will mean neater truffles and the cold water will briefly reduce the temperature of your hands.
Therefore less melting.
3) For a classic truffle, immediately roll in a bowl of cocoa powder (not hot chocolate mix!)
4) Then for an optional step, shake in a sieve or tea strainer. This will shake off any excess cocoa powder for a clean finish
5) For a little riff on the original, feel free to sneak in a toasted hazelnut inside the ganache. Then roll to secure it into a truffle shape
6) Dunk the truffle in some ground toasted hazelnuts. These were simply blitzed in a food processor and it’s so good. Honestly so good.
7) For another variation, dunk the truffles in some desiccated coconut. You can either use the coconut as is, or toast until golden brown for extra nuttiness and texture
- Use a good quality bar of chocolate or couverture for the best flavour and texture
- Cold hands when rolling the truffles in order to minimise melting. Wash your hands with cold water between every 3-4 truffles to wash off the chocolate residue and briefly reduce the temperature of your hands
- Don’t forget about your ganache in the fridge or it will become too firm to roll. Then you’ll have to go through the process of microwaving in 10s increments until just softened
- If your ganache split then follow my steps earlier in the blogpost to fix – don’t throw it away
- These work really well as a decoration for my Mocha Sponge Cupcakes
- It’s totally acceptable to eat the truffles as you roll them
Vegan dark chocolate truffles
It can be done, substitute the double cream for full fat coconut milk. But it must have around 55-60% of coconut and usually comes in a tin.
For coconut milk I’d recommend a 1:1 ratio with dark chocolate. I.e. for the 250g of dark chocolate in this recipe, use 250ml coconut milk. It will also need longer in the fridge so check it after 1 hour.
Dark chocolate vs Milk chocolate vs White chocolate truffles
The ratios of chocolate to cream are as follows:
250g dark chocolate : 150ml double cream
or 250g milk chocolate : 100ml double cream
or 250g white chocolate : 75ml double cream
White chocolate and milk chocolate both contain more milk solids than dark chocolate. Hence less cream is required in order for them to set at the desired firmness.
Dark Chocolate Truffles
For the truffles:
- 250 g dark chocolate see blogpost for milk chocolate and white chocolate measurements
- 150 ml double cream
- 10 g softened unsalted butter
- Pinch salt
- Cocoa powder
- Desiccated coconut
- First roughly chop the dark chocolate and place into a heat resistant bowl
- Place the double cream in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Do not boil. Bring it just till the point where the cream around the edge of the pan is bubbling
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and give a gentle mix just to ensure all the chocolate has been submerged
- Allow to sit for 1 minute, and then add the butter
- Whisk the mixture until it forms a smooth ganache and switch to a spatula at the end to ensure it has all been incorporated. If the ganache has become grainy and pools of oil are visible, this means the cream was too hot and it has split the ganache. It’s easily fixable, see the blogpost for the steps
- Place the bowl of ganache into the refrigerator for 30 minutes. It should be soft enough to scoop but firm enough to roll by hand. If it is still too soft, leave it for a further 10-15 minutes. If it has firmed up too much then microwave in 10s increments to slightly soften
- To prepare the hazelnuts, lightly toast them in a pan on low heat for 5-6 minutes. Then pulse them through a food processor till coarsely ground. Leave a few whole hazelnuts aside for placing in the centre of the truffle
- Take a heaped tbsp of the set ganache and roll by hand into a smooth ball. Dunk into cocoa powder and shake off any excess and leave aside
- For coconut truffles, coat in desiccated coconut. You can also toast the coconut till golden for extra nuttiness if you wish
- For hazelnut truffles, take the tbsp of ganache and flatten, place 1 hazelnut in the centre then pinch the sides together. Roll into a ball and coat with the coarsely ground hazelnuts
- Place all the truffles into the fridge for 1-2 minutes, and then enjoy