Bittersweet chocolate and strong espresso come together in a creamy dark chocolate ganache to create these rich Chocolate Espresso Truffles. Chocolate truffles are easier to make than you’d probably expect. They start with a simple ganache and for these truffles, I add in espresso powder and espresso liqueur for a punch of intense coffee flavor and then finish them off with a coating of cocoa powder. They are rich, smooth, and creamy all rolled up into one bite.
What is a Chocolate Truffle?
Chocolate truffles are simply chocolate ganache, which is made up of chocolate and heavy cream, that’s rolled into balls and coated with a chocolate shell, cocoa powder, or a variety of other ingredients. When rolled in cocoa powder, they resemble a savory truffle, which is where these decadent chocolates got their name.
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
- Heat the cream. Start by heating the heavy cream over low heat, bringing it to a simmer. This can also be done in the microwave. Be sure to keep an eye on the cream with either method because it can boil over quickly.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate. Once the cream is just starting to bubble, remove it from the heat and stir in the espresso powder. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Stir together the ganache. Gently stir the ganache together being careful not to incorporate too much air into the mixture. Once combined, stir in the espresso liqueur then strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a shallow dish.
- Chill the ganache. You could stop at this point and top your favorite dessert with a drizzle of the warm ganache! For these truffles, we’re going to let the ganache chill in the fridge until firm before portioning, rolling, and finishing them.
Chocolate Espresso Truffles FAQs
What is the best chocolate to use?
For any ganache, I strongly recommend using a bar of high-quality chocolate. Skip the chocolate chips for this recipe. Chocolate chips have added ingredients to help them keep their shape which won’t create a silky smooth ganache. Make sure to use bittersweet chocolate that has around 70% cacao. It will say this right on the packaging. Some of my favorites are Ghiradelli, Guittard, or even a high-quality callet like these will work well.
Can I make milk chocolate or white chocolate truffles instead?
I don’t recommend using milk or white chocolate in place of dark chocolate with this recipe. White, milk, and dark chocolates will each require a different ratio of cream to chocolate because they all have different consistencies which will affect the firmness of your ganache. Stick to bittersweet chocolate for this one.
Can these espresso truffles be made non-alcoholic?
Yes, the espresso liqueur is totally optional. If you want to make these without any alcohol, just swap out the amount of liqueur in the recipe for additional heavy cream so the liquid-to-chocolate ratio isn’t affected.
What size should I make my truffles?
My preferred-sized truffle is a little over ½ Tablespoon. I always use a tiny cookie scoop to portion the ganache so that each one is uniform in size. You can make them smaller or bigger, depending on your preference but I find that this size works well and fits nicely into paper candy cups.
What if my ganache is too soft to handle?
If the ganache at any point is too soft, simply pop it back in the fridge to firm up. The ganache will initially need to set up for a couple of hours then again after portioning. Be sure to let allow it to chill both times. If your hands run warm, you may even need to pop them into the fridge throughout the rolling and coating process. The truffles are meant to be on the soft side at room temperature.
How do I get the cocoa or other coatings to stick to the truffles?
As you roll the portioned ganache into balls, the exterior will get slightly soft and sticky which is perfect for getting the coatings to stick to the exterior. If the ganache starts to dry out, just give the ball a quick roll again until the outside gets a little sticky again then immediately roll it through your coating.
What other ingredients can I coat my truffles in?
I like to use ingredients that showcase the flavor of the truffle. I make peppermint truffles and roll them in crushed candy canes or for raspberry truffles, I roll them in freeze-dried raspberry powder. Cocoa powder is the most classic coating but you can get creative with other ingredients like chocolate jimmies, fine coconut, coarse sugar, or even cookie crumbs.
Tips for the Best Chocolate Espresso Truffles
- Don’t walk away from the cream. The cream can boil over on the stove very easily and you end up with a big mess. Trust me, I’ve done it far too many times myself! Keep an eye on the cream while it’s heating up because it can go from a simmer to boiling quickly. The cream should be lightly bubbling but not fully boiling when you remove it from the heat.
- Make sure your chocolate ganache is smooth. To avoid grainy ganache, you first want to make sure your chocolate is completely melted. If the hot cream doesn’t fully melt the chocolate, heat the mixture in the microwave in 10-15 second increments until the ganache is smooth. Strain the ganache through a fine mesh sieve to ensure it’s silky smooth before chilling.
- Let the ganache chill. These truffles are meant to be soft when they are at room temperature so they tend to get a little messy to work with when portioning, rolling, and coating. Chilling the ganache will allow you to handle the truffles better. The ganache will initially need to set up in the fridge for about 2 hours, or until firm. I also chill the truffles a second time after portioning the ganache, which makes the rolling and coating process a lot less messy.
- Use a rice ball mold. My new favorite way to mold truffles! This rice ball mold isn’t necessary for making truffles but it makes the process of rolling and coating the truffles a bit easier. I just pop the portioned ganache into each of the cavities with a small spoonful of cocoa powder, then close the top and shake to make a perfectly round, cocoa-coated truffle. If you don’t want to purchase the rice ball mold, you can use latex or vinyl gloves to roll the truffles into a ball and dip them in cocoa powder to keep the ganache from sticking to the gloves.
Lastly, if you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment below and tag @sweetkitchencravings on Instagram or TikTok. Or if Pinterest is more your style, you can save my recipes to your collection there. Happy truffle-making!
Chocolate Espresso Truffles
- ¾ cup (180g) heavy cream
- 8 oz (227g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons (9g) instant espresso powder
- 2 Tablespoons (40g) espresso liqueur
- Cocoa powder, for rolling the truffles
- Bring the heavy cream to a simmer over low heat, just until it starts bubbling. Stir in the espresso powder until dissolved. Pour the cream mixture over the chopped chocolate, making sure the chocolate is completely submerged. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
- Stir the mixture together until it’s completely smooth to create the ganache. If the chocolate isn’t fully melted, warm it up in the microwave for 10-15 seconds increments until smooth. Stir in the espresso liqueur.
- Strain the warm ganache through a fine mesh sieve into a shallow dish. I just use an 8”x8” glass pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until firm, about 2 hours.
- Once firm, use a small cookie scoop to portion the ganache onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Chill again in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Roll each truffle between your hands to form a ball then immediately roll them in cocoa powder until coated. Dust off any excess. Enjoy the truffles chilled or at room temperature!
- Chocolate: A dark bittersweet chocolate bar is going to work best in this recipe. Look for one that is around 70% cacao. I do not recommend using chocolate chips.
- Rolling/Portioning: See the post above for helpful tricks and tips!
- Storing: Store the truffles at room temperature for up to a week or in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. The truffles may need to be coated in cocoa again after sitting.