November 20, 2008

Spiced Chocolate Truffles

Here is chef Greg Atkinson's recipe for Spiced Chocolate Truffles with Cocoa Nibs from the Seattle Times --

Makes 36 bite-sized candies

(Cocoa "nibs," which are roasted and crushed but otherwise unprocessed cocoa beans, are slightly bitter. For hard-core chocolate lovers, they represent the ultimate chocolate experience. Spices and cocoa nibs combine to make these chocolate truffles an adults-only treat.)

For the coating:
¼ cup cocoa nibs
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the filling:
½ cup whipping cream
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1. Line a sheet pan with baker's parchment or wax paper. Prepare the coating mixture by combining the cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper in a small food processor or coffee mill; pulse the motor on and off to break up the nibs and combine the ingredients, but don't pulverize the nibs entirely; they should keep some of their crunchy texture.

2. To make the filling, heat the whipping cream in a small saucepan until it is steaming hot. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl with the vanilla, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper. Incorporate a little of the hot cream into the egg yolks to temper them, then stir the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring gently with a heat-proof silicone spatula until the cream is slightly thickened, about two minutes. Do not let the mixture boil.

3. Take the pan off the heat and stir the chopped chocolate into the cream mixture until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Continue stirring until the mixture has begun to cool. Move it to a pastry bag or a 1-gallon, freezer-strength, ziplock bag and pipe it onto the sheet pan in 1-inch dollops.

4. Let the dollops of filling cool to room temperature, then roll them into balls. Roll the balls in the cocoa nib mixture. Keep the finished truffles cold for up to a week; warm them to room temperature just before serving.

Greg Atkinson, 2008

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company


  1. These truffles sound great and my husband and even my kids would love them. But, where would I buy cocoa nibs? I don't believe I've ever seen them in the store.

  2. Karen, I buy chocolate nibs from Theo Chocolate ( They sell Theo Organic Fair Trade Certified Cacao Nibs - 6oz.: $6.00 or 1 lb.: $16.00,
    100% pure cacao. You can order through their web site (click on Shop Theo) or click on Store locator to find a store near you. I have added the nibs to all kind of baked goods also.

    Of course, I also made these truffles without the nibs and they were just as yummy!