Mmmmm….savoury truffles. Actually I had no idea whether or not this would be a good idea, but I’ve had it on my list of things/ combinations that I’ve been wanting to give a go for quite some time, and recently decided that the time is now. Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today and all that jazz? Clearly I watch way too much “Chopped” where weird combinations in the dessert round are my favourite order of the day. I always pause it once the mystery basket of ingredients is revealed and try to come up with what I would do with these crazy combos. Then I proceed to get inordinately snooty and self-righteous as I yell at the contestants on-screen deriding them for what I think are terrible ideas. “Pssshhhht….Stop whining about that chili powder, you should obviously be combining it with chocolate in some way. Truffles. Ice cream. Brownies. Sure I paused forever and took my time thinking about what I would do. And sure I was under no pressure whatsoever, but, you know, you’re a professional, I shouldn’t have to tell you how to do your job.” 😉
Anywho, the more I thought about this, the more I thought that it at least had the potential to be a good idea. I mean salted desserts are already a thing right? And I’ve made chocolate desserts with cracked black pepper in them before. I admit that I was at least mildly concerned however that the double dose of savoury might be a little too much (or possibly a lot too much? I didn’t want to see Kevin making a valiant attempt to not make a vomit face, so I wanted to make sure these would have the best chance at life possible). What to do? I said to myself. Well, I know pepper and strawberry is a good combo. Can I incorporate that somehow? In the words of Obama, yes we can. I decided to roll these little chocolatey blobs of goodness in a powdered red fruit blend to add a little more “desserty-ness” to these. Not only will it make them look much prettier, but it’ll add that extra oomph of flavour that I’m hoping for (also, the “Super Reds Powder” that I used is choc full of antioxidant goodness, so, you know, healthy?). Was it a success though? You be the judge (and then feel free to award me the $10,000 prize for awesome use of disparate ingredients. I promise I won’t complain 😉 ).
I’m lying, I really can’t let you be the judge here. I absolutely loved these. LOVED!!!! I thought they’d just be ok, but even looking at these photos again is making me want one right now. If you’re the kind of person who likes spicy (read: cayenne pepper) infused chocolatey things and you like salty-sweet combos, then I very strongly suspect you will like these too. If you don’t love spicy infused things, you might still like them because these are actually quite a bit milder in the spice department (also, I opted to use pink peppercorns which I find to be a bit milder in flavour, so I promise that the pepper is not insane. You always have the option to halve the pepper used, or even omit it entirely if you’re too much of a wuss to go all in 😉 ).
Yield: 18-24 Truffles
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon ground pink peppercorns (or regular black pepper would be fine too)
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (I used pink Himalayan sea salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon super reds powder (I got this at the bulk store. It’s basically a punch of powdered fruits and vegetables)
- Place the chocolate chips in a bowl.
- Either on the stove in a small saucepan, or in the microwave in a small bowl, heat the canned coconut milk until just boiling.
- Pour coconut milk over chocolate chips and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
- Add pepper and both salts to your chocolate ganache and stir.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Remove ganache from the fridge and using a spoon or a melon baller, scoop out small balls (don’t worry about actually rolling them into balls at this point, weirdly shaped blobs are perfectly fine) and place on baking sheet. Refrigerate for another hour.
- Place 3/4 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave and heat for about a minute. Stir until completely melted, then heat for an additional 20-30 seconds. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes (or you could just add a little bit of coconut oil, or nothing and then just heat for one minute, then dip your truffles in as is. I was attempting the lazy man’s version of tempering chocolate. It actually worked reasonably well)
- In a small bowl mix together your brown sugar, cane sugar and super reds powder (the brown sugar is a bit “wetter”, so you may have to smoosh with the back of a spoon to get everything fully mixed together.
- Remove truffles from the fridge and working quickly, roll your blobs into nicer looking balls.
- Dip truffles in chocolate (or do as Alton Brown does…and as I did this time, and wearing powder free latex gloves, dip truffle in chocolate and roll slightly between your palms. For me, this had the benefit of not overly coating the truffles with chocolate which is what I wanted).
- Drop still wet truffle in bowl of sugars and roll until coated. Leave in the bowl while you do the next truffle to give the chocolate a minute to setup. Repeat with the next truffle. One your second truffle is coated, remove the first one from the bowl and place back on your wax paper lined sheet. Continue this process until all truffles are done.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.