Spicy Mayan Chocolate Truffles

by valentina on October 10, 2011

The Mexican food fest was a big success!  I’ve listed our final and delicious menu below but the best part was celebrating my husband with his fantastic friends.  It was absolutely lovely!

These Spicy Mayan Chocolate Truffles were one of the desserts.  They have a fiery bite!  I’m no history buff, but I do know that the timeless Mayan combination of chiles, spices, and chocolate has seduced food lovers for thousands of years.

I was going to decorate the truffles with white chocolate, but the red sugar in the pantry caught my eye.  I though it would add perfectly to the “red-hot” flavor!

P.S. You’ll notice I’ve included a timeline below.  I’m going to start including them more and more for you — it will make planning your weekend cooking easier.  :-)

Spicy Mayan Chocolate Truffles

Prep Time: 1 hour

Yield: Makes about 5 dozen 1-inch truffles


2-pounds finely chopped, bittersweet chocolate (I love Sharffen Berger)

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Red sugar for decoration

  1. Remove 12-ounces of the chocolate and place it in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, scald the cream with the vanilla. Tiny bubbles will appear on the edges of the pan, and it should be very hot, but not boiling.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the 12-ounces of chocolate and let stand for 4 minutes. Use a spoon to stir to blend and set aside. This mixture is called ganache. Gently stir in the cayenne and cinnamon. Let it come to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until it becomes completely firm, at least 6 hours.
  4. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper and, in a double boiler, melt the remaining 20-ounces of chocolate.
  5. Remove the firm ganache from the refrigerator and use a 1-inch ice-cream scoop to scoop out about 5 dozen truffles, placing them on one of the parchment-covered baking sheets. Now place the shaped truffles in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Using a fork, carefully dip each truffle into the melted chocolate to coat it evenly and place them on the other parchment covered baking sheet. You can use a small knife to help you remove the covered truffle from the fork. The truffles will set at room temperature. If desired, sprinkle them with red sugar when they are about halfway set.
  7. Once set, you can put each truffle into a cute paper cup!


Please not that the Prep Time does not include chilling the ganache overnight.

If you want to forgo the spice and have a pure chocolate truffle, use my ganache recipe instead.


Up to 4 days and at least 6 hours ahead: make the ganache.
Up to 8 hours ahead: melt the chocolate and dip the truffles.

Our Mexican Food Fest Menu
An (Almost) Classic Bloody Mary (and other cocktails) — By the way, the applewood smoked bacon was a huge hit!
Guacamole and Roasted Tomato Poblano Salsa served with warm, salted tortilla chips
Mexican Chopped Salad with Honey-Chipotle Lime Dressing
Smoky Chipotle Breakfast Nachos

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

sippitysup October 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Chocolate truffles that bite you back. GREG


Anonymous October 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Really can’t wait to try these next week! They have to be soooo good.


Jason DeMartino October 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Looks like you use a 2-to-1 ratio, chocolate to cream. Does that make a really stiff ganache? Do you let it soften a bit before you scoop the truffles?


valentina October 10, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Hi Jason! Actually it’s just about 1:1 — 12 oz chocolate and 3/4 cup cream. the remaining (20 oz) chocolate gets melted for dipping the truffles. I do let the ganache get completely firm in the fridge, though. So that when the bowl is turned upside down, nothing moves! I scoop them that way so they have a nice shape. As always, thanks for exploring my recipes! :-)


Anna October 12, 2011 at 1:39 am

This truffles have an attitude on their own! What I love about truffles is that it is chocolatey without the messy part, I bite, and it is all gone…I am including this dish for Thanksgiving, I am already thinking of red and green ribbons ;)


amee October 12, 2011 at 3:25 am

i like the timelines!!! these are perfect for fun packaging. Better Homes and Gardens always published great creative packaging tips and ideas!


Stephanie January 22, 2012 at 5:46 am

Hey thank you so much for this recipe! I’m thinking of making these for Valentine’s Day and I’m wondering if I just omit the spices it would still make a nice truffle right? Thank you again :)


valentina January 22, 2012 at 6:03 am

Exactly, Stephanie. Simply omit the spices, and you’ll have a classic chocolate truffle. Enjoy and happy early Valentine’s Day! ;-)


Stephanie January 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Hey err I accidentally used cooking cream instead of whipping cream for the ganache will it still turn out okay? >.<


valentina January 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Stephanie, I’m not exactly sure what “cooking cream” is, but I suspect it’s quite thick? It’s likely the same as whipping or heavy cream — so it’ll be fine. :-)


Stephanie January 24, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Oh okay thank goodness :)


shelly February 16, 2012 at 2:41 am

How do you store them? And how long are they good for?


valentina February 16, 2012 at 3:17 am

Shelly, these should be stored in a cool, dark place. They can also be refrigerated, but the filling will then become solidified. The will be good for at least a week or two — though they will taste better closer to the time they’re made. :-) Enjoy!


shelly February 17, 2012 at 3:43 am

I would like to mail them to a friend. any suggestions?


valentina February 17, 2012 at 8:11 am

Once they’re totally set up, I’d pack them in an airtight container surround by tissue paper, lightly crumbled — to keep them in place. Should be fine. :-)


Rachel February 27, 2013 at 4:48 am

Hello, I can’t seem to get a good, simple recipe for truffles. Can you help me please? I tried one recipe and my truffles softened as soon as I removed them from the fridge. I can’t seem to get it right. Please help me!


valentina February 27, 2013 at 5:57 am

Hi Rachel, Yes, I can help — you can follow this recipe exactly if you omit the cayenne, cinnamon and red sprinkles. If you do this, you will have a classic chocolate truffle! Promise! :-)


Rachel February 27, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Thank you, When I go to serve them will they start to melt or will they turn out like the ones you would buy from a store? I’m sorry, I’m new to the whole candy making thing and really want to impress my friends and family. I just need the right person to help me! I also enjoy making cakes and cupcakes and I may need some help with that as well..
Any help or advice is appreciated verrrry much! Thank you Valentina…


valentina February 27, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Hi Rachel, here are a few of truffle making tips:
1) Make sure the ganache (chocolate-cream mixture) is totally solidified before you shape the truffles — to be sure, refrigerate it for several hours.
2) I often freeze the scooped ganache for about 10 minutes or so before dipping them in the melted chocolate. This will help it hold its shape.
3) You want the melted chocolate to be warm enough that it easily coats the truffle, but NOT hot — or it will melt the ganache.
4) If at any point you feel the ganache is getting too soft while you’re shaping the truffles, put it back in the fridge to firm up again.
5) And to get to your question . . . if you’re worried about them melting when you want to serve them, keep them refrigerated for about 10 minutes before hand — though they should be okay at room temp.
* Truffles can be tricky the first few times you make them — I promise you it took me at least a few times when I was learning.
Feel free to email me directly if you want — I’m happy to answer your questions. Valentina [at] cookingontheweekends [dot] com :-)


Rachel March 2, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Well hey there again girlie! Could I do 1 cup melted chocolate to 1 cup heavy cream for the ratio? It sounds easier since I would need to cut this recipe in half… I may be the only one eating them if they turn out bad. Lol. Also, are these truffles sweet still? Or are they super hot? Or both? The cayenne doesn’t take away from the yummy goodness of the truffles does it?
Another question to you… Am I able to join your website or any groups you may be in as far as cooking or baking? I’d love to become socially involved with other lovers of food and cooking like myself….?


valentina March 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Hi Rachel! These truffles are sweet and hot. ;-) And if you enjoy the bit of heat, it doesn’t take away from the chocolatey goodness at all! You can subscribe to my site (in the right hand side bar — I’d love it), to get recipe updates — but, if you’re looking for more interaction (especially in the baking world), you should definitely join http://www.bakespace.com — I think you will love it. You can chat with others about recipes, food, and anything related. :-) Valentina


Rachel March 4, 2013 at 3:46 am

Thank you, is there anyway I could look to you for advice and such?! You seem very nice and you actually responded to my first message and I never expected that. Usually I never hear from folks. I’m only 20, turning 21 in April. I tried making coffee flavored truffles tonight and the ganache part never really set, it’s almost like a fudge consistency, it’s gooey but firm… It’s just weird. It’s not firm enough to roll into balls, way too sticky. What the hell did I do? Ugghhh…. I soose I should be e-mailing you directly now hey!? Sorry for bugging you, but you seem great at what you do.
Oh! I almost forgot, I got some Biscoff spread and want to make you’re truffle recips, but am too afraid I will ruin that as well…..

valentina March 4, 2013 at 5:28 am

What did you use to flavor the truffles? Espresso powder? Coffee grounds? I will help you — I know you’ll have success! :-)


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