Happy Valentine’s Day, lovelies! I wanted to celebrate with the Valentines-iest dessert of them all: chocolate truffles.
Homemade truffles are my #1 recommendation whenever anyone asks what kind of candy is best for beginners. Truffles are very easy to make, don’t require many ingredients, and are almost impossible to screw up. Because even an imperfect truffle still tastes really, really good. They’re made from chocolate and cream! What’s not to love?
But because they’re so easy, there are a million and one recipe for chocolate truffles out there already. I wanted to share a fresh and modern take on a classic candy, and so this variation, made with fresh rosemary and raspberries, was born.
Flavoring truffles is also a really simple process. My favorite method is infusion, where flavoring agents like herbs, spices, or citrus zest are left to sit in hot cream for a period of time before they’re strained out. It gives a really strong, pure flavor to the truffles without interfering with the finished texture. To make these rosemary raspberry truffles, I combined chopped fresh rosemary and raspberry powder (made from freeze-dried raspberries) with the cream and infused it for 30 minutes.
Letting the cream soak up those flavors for a half-hour seems like a small thing, but it delivers BIG flavor. The rosemary picks up the woodsy notes of the dark chocolate, and the raspberry adds some fruitiness that keeps the truffles from tasting like a forest floor. It’s a unique combination, but still pretty subtle—friends might ask what’s different about these truffles, but I’ll bet hardly anyone is going to be able to pull out the distinct flavors without being told. If you’re not keen on either component, you can reduce or even eliminate them from the recipe and you’ll still end up with a wonderful dark chocolate truffle.
Since these truffles taste special, I wanted to give them an appearance to match. Taking a cue from the earthy rosemary flavor, I used a textured chocolate sheet to give the tops of the truffles an embossed wood grain pattern. (You can buy them here!) These sheets are amazing and I bought several other patterns as well, so I’m excited to play around with them and featured them in upcoming recipes!
Textured chocolate sheets are exactly what they sound like—a large piece of sturdy plastic with a raised design on top. When wet chocolates are placed on the sheet, the chocolate is imprinted with the design, and the finished chocolates have a gorgeous embossed texture. I promise you, as good as they look in the pictures, they look even better in real life.
You don’t have to limit their use to truffles, either. This technique would also work well with chocolate-dipped caramels, toffees, cookies…basically any flat surface that can be covered in wet chocolate!
I really wanted the wood grain pattern to be noticeable, so I brushed the tops of the truffles lightly with luster dust. In addition to just giving the truffles a little more all-over sparkle, it really helped to delineate the patterns when a bunch of truffles were packaged together on plates and in boxes.
Speaking of packaging, if ever there was a truffle begging to be made into an edible gift, it is these babies! They’re so beautiful on their own, all you have to do is add a sprig of rosemary and some twine to a candy box, and the truffles will do the rest. A little gift tag with a groan-worthy pun never hurt anything, either.
Finally, while we’re on the subject of candy, I have to let you know that my candy class that I filmed with Craftsy is now available! I’ve mentioned it on social media and in the newsletter a few times, but I’ve never talked about it in a blog post (terrible self promoter, party of 1.) The class is called Homemade Chocolate Candy and it covers how to make SO MANY different types of candy–everything from chocolate to caramels to fudge to candy bars and so much more.
If you’ve never seen a Craftsy class, they’re long-form video courses that really emphasize getting into the nitty-gritty, the how’s and why’s of how things are done. These are not 3 minute videos that fast-forward over all the good stuff! You’ll learn what tempering is, you’ll watch me make marshmallows from start to finish, and you’ll be amazed at how sweaty I get (glamorously sweaty, of course) while beating homemade fudge! I have a whole page on the blog with more information, including pictures and a video trailer about the class—read all about it here.
Here’s the best part: as an instructor, I’m able to offer a special discount to people who sign up through my link. It’s my way of saying “THANK YOU” for being such awesomely supportive readers over the years. If you CLICK HERE to sign up for my class, you will get 50% off the regular price! I also get a larger percentage of sales if you click through my link, so you are helping to support me and this website as well. Thank you for reading, and for being my BFF on social media, and for leaving sweet comment and emails. Sappy love-fest over and out!
- ½ cup (.3 oz) freeze-dried raspberries
- One 5" sprig fresh rosemary
- 8 oz heavy cream
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- Pinch salt
- 10 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 lb chocolate candy coating (can substitute regular chocolate for dipping if preferred)
- Wood grain chocolate texture sheet (optional)
- Gold or copper luster dust (optional)
- Place the freeze-dried raspberries in a food processor and process until you have raspberry dust. Coarsely chop the rosemary sprig.
- Combine the chopped rosemary, powdered raspberries, and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and stir to mix everything. Place the pan over medium heat and bring the cream to a simmer, so that bubbles appear all along the sides of the pan. Once it comes to a simmer, take the pan off the heat, cover it with a lid, and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to infuse the cream with flavor.
- After 30 minutes, take off the lid and whisk the corn syrup and a pinch of salt into the cream. Return the pan to the heat and bring the cream to a simmer again.
- While the cream is heating, place the 10 oz chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Once the cream simmers, pour the hot cream through a fine mesh strainer over the chopped chocolate, to strain out the rosemary and any stray raspberry chunks. Let the bowl sit for 1 minute so the hot cream can soften the chocolate, then gently whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth. The ganache should be thick and shiny, like pudding.
- Spray an 8" square pan with a light coating of nonstick spray, and line the inside with plastic wrap, pressing as many wrinkles out as possible, and extending the plastic wrap up the sides of the pan. Pour the ganache into the prepared pan and use a small spatula or knife to smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate the pan for at least 2 hours to firm up the ganache.
- Once the ganache is set, remove it from the pan using the cling wrap as handles, and peel the cling wrap off the back. Use a large sharp knife to cut it into small 1-inch squares. If the cuts start looking sloppy, wash the knife in hot water and dry it off between cuts.
- If you have the time, set the squares on a baking sheet covered with parchment and let them sit at cool room temperature overnight to develop a slight "skin." This will make it easy to dip them at room temperature. If you don't have the time, you can dip them right away, but dipping cold truffles sometimes causes the outside chocolate coating to crack, so it's preferable to form let the ganache set whenever possible.
- When you're ready to dip the truffles, place the chocolate candy coating in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Let the coating cool down until it is warm and fluid but not hot to the touch.
- Make sure the chocolate texture sheet is clean and dry, and place it face-up on a baking sheet. Using dipping tools or a fork, dip a truffle square into the melted candy coating, submerging it completely. Bring it up out of the chocolate and let the excess drip back into the bowl, then gently scrape the bottom of the truffle against the lip of the bowl to remove excess chocolate.
- Flip the truffle upside-down onto the texture sheet, so that the top of the truffle is on the bottom and the dipping tools are on the top. Pull the dipping tool away from the truffle and leave it on the texture sheet to set completely. Repeat until all of the truffles are dipped and placed on the sheet. (If they won't all fit, do them in batches.) Refrigerate the tray to set the coating completely, for about 20-30 minutes.
- Once the coating is very hard and shiny, peel the chocolates off the texture sheet. If desired, use a dry brush to lightly brush the tops with luster dust. For the best taste and texture, serve the truffles at room temperature.