I have a friend who is opening a cool new store in March, and she’s been very gracious about allowing me to try out all kinds of treats on her to see if she thinks they’d be fun to sell at the shop. The winner seems to be my new favorite chocolate confection—a ghost pepper truffle. Chocolate and spice, a little heat in the back of your throat. A dusting of cocoa and cinnamon. What’s not to love about these pretty little morsels?! My wife and kid think my love of hot stuff is crazy, but they indulge me anyway. In fact, they purchased these ghost pepper flakes for me for Christmas. And I’ve been putting them in EVERYTHING! Yum.
There are a billion recipes for truffle-making online. I like Alton Brown’s the best, so far. Mostly because I can mess with it and still get awesome results. Like, I never chop chocolate. I buy the best chocolate chips I can find at the store--usually ghirardelli dark. (If you are way serious about chocolate, go with valrhona.) I skip the butter in Alton's recipe because chocolate chips have so much cocoa butter in them, you don't need the extra fat. Because I don't ever have it in the house, I also skip the brandy. I add about 1/4 tsp of ghost pepper flakes to the cream and strain them out before I put the cream in the chocolate. I almost always flavor the cream with something--sometimes cayenne or wasabi, and I've tried basil and pomegranate balsamic, as well. All pretty yummy. We did the wasabi with white chocolate and a dried cherry in the center. It was good but needed a little more kick. So, anyway, also listed in Alton's recipe is light corn syrup. I'm not a fan, but I've done the recipe both ways. The light corn syrup makes the chocolate smoother and shinier. But it's not at all necessary.
Here's the finished product, rolled in cocoa, cinnamon, and a pinch of cayenne:
This is a cayenne and cinnamon truffle, dipped in tempered chocolate for a little crunch on the outside.
Also, if you love these plates as much as I do, they are a little set of limoges pretties called Le Femme du Siecle from 1977, I think. Thrift for them. They're out there.