Enchiladas or chocolate truffles, enchiladas or chocolate truffles…? This was my train of thought leading up to today’s post. Since I’ll be spending the week in Dallas starting Monday (not ready!), I decided to save the enchilada post for a day when I’ll likely be consuming enchiladas. Such as every single day in Texas. This will be my first time in Dallas, and I’m not taking my eating plans lightly. I mean, margaritas and Mexican are serious contenders on my last meal list, so I plan on eating seriously sooooo much delicious Tex-Mex that I come back never wanting to look at it again. The only minor setback is that I haven’t started my research yet, so if you have suggestions hit me up (in the comments area, below, or here).
As part of my menu planning to cook dinner in NYC for my baby sis, I required a spicy chocolate truffle recipe, because one old boring kind of truffle is not how I do things. Easy, right? Just Google it and bam, I should be presented with the perfect semi-easy, spicy chocolate truffle recipe. Not so. I’m not really liking my first page recipe search results lately–I just feel like I have to dig into pages 2, 3, 4 or, heaven forbid, beyond, to get anywhere productive. That’s not all bad, and being a food blogger myself, I like to give random blog links a chance, even if they don’t show up with a picture or on page one. You never know when you might stumble upon a great site.
Wait, is this post about the magical powers of Google? Uh, no, sorry. #nerdstuff
So back to the story. I just wanted simplicity, not 8 ingredients for a chocolate truffle (please do not count my ingredients now). Sweetened condensed milk is the answer to that request. Instead of including milk, cream, butter, and sugar, it answers the call for both fat and sugar in one ingredient, then all you need is your chocolate! And spice, of course, but I kind of nailed that one on my first effort (not to brag?). I found a few recipes with the SCM (“sweetened condensed milk”) formula, including the Pioneer Woman. The trifecta of cooking sources I trust: Joy of Cooking, America’s Test Kitchen, and, you guessed it, the PW.
Watching people try these for the first time is pretty funny. At least if you tell them the truffles are supposed to be spicy but you’re not sure it worked (aka, lie, because you know it worked). The initial reaction is, “oh, yeah, they’re not too bad, just a hint of spice,” followed by a surprised look 30 seconds later as the taste finishes. My tolerance of spice and heat is moderate–I can’t handle anything super spicy, and I don’t find these at all offensive. If you’re worried, though, start with half the cayenne, taste the truffle “batter”, then add more as desired.
Oh yeah, and in case you’re keeping track, this is not the promised dessert surprise post. I blame the stupid head cold for interfering and telling me to slow down and rest! I’m the worst at being sick, which is probably why I contaminated all these truffles with my sick germs to get a photo shoot–it’s just a secret attempt to keep Steve from eating any. Because we can’t afford two sickies in the same house.
- 8 oz. (1/2 lb.) bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli)
- ½ 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (see note below)
- ¼ t cayenne pepper
- ½ t + ¼ t cinnamon
- ⅛ t sea salt
- ½ C cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- Fill a medium saucepan about halfway with water. Set a medium heatproof (I used glass) bowl over it and make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Turn on heat to medium and make sure the bowl and your hands are very dry. Any drops of water will cause melted chocolate to instantly firm up (i.e., seize), which is very difficult to remedy. I usually give my bowl a quick wipe down with a paper towel, just to make sure.
- Add chocolate to the bowl. As the water comes to a simmer, the chocolate will begin to melt. Stir often with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides of the bowl (you may need to hold the bowl with a potholder as it heats). If the water starts to boil, reduce the heat.
- Once chocolate is roughly half melted, add the sweetened condensed milk and mix thoroughly. Continue to stir until all the chocolate is melted and the "milk" is fully incorporated, forming a uniform mixture.
- Turn off heat and carefully (without getting any water in it) transfer bowl onto a towel or potholder. Stir in cayenne, ½ t cinnamon, and sea salt.
- To make the truffles right away, let the "dough" cool about 15 minutes, or until you can handle it without burning yourself. You can also chill the dough overnight (or for a full 24 hours), then allow it to come to room temperature for 2 hours before making the truffles, which is what I did.
- While you wait, mix the cocoa and ¼ t cinnamon together in a shallow dish.
- Scoop a heaping teaspoon of the dough into your clean hands and roll into a ball. I made my truffles about ¾" in diameter, but you can also adjust the size to your liking. Roll the truffle in cocoa to coat, then place finished truffles in a shallow storage container, in individual mini cupcake holders if you like. Store covered in the refrigerator, for up to a week (they may keep longer and you can also freeze them).
- To serve, I recommend bringing to room temperature for 30 minutes for a softer consistency. Keep napkins nearby, as they can be messy!