We love truffles, and I thought of making our regular chocolate truffles as a dessert selection for our Housewarming Extravaganza, until I remembered this recipe. It was intriguing with its addition of chile powder to the chocolate, and I knew it would be just perfect for our party.
I had checked the book, Mexicocina: The Spirit and Style of the Mexican Kitchen, out from the library when we were working on our house. I discovered the recipes inside as I was on my way to town to return it, and snapped some digital photos of each recipe! Lucky me.
After a fruitless search for the right chile powder, I finally had to order Ground Ancho Chile Pepper from amazon, because I definitely did not want the spice to overpower the chocolate. I ended up actually buying the wrong chocolate for the truffles, unsweetened instead of bittersweet (who knew bittersweet would be so hard to find?), so I dumped in about 1/2 cup of sugar. I could have added more sugar, and next time I will use the right chocolate.
But our guests couldn't even tell the difference! They loved the truffles, and many of them had fun guessing the ingredients. Some initially thought cinnamon, then the cayenne pepper guess came later. The heat accumulates as you eat more of these truffles, and sneaks up on you too. Deliciously fun!
The original recipe microwaves the chocolate and cream right away, but I decided that reheating the cream a bit after adding the chile powder would cut down on the need for microwaving, and I was right. I guess I just have an issue with microwaves.
Chocolate Chile Truffles
Chocolate and chile have been eaten in Mexico since pre-Hispanic times. Montezuma was said to have imbibed copious amounts of a bitter spicy beverage each day. This wonderful recipe by Lisa Gahafer combines those two flavors again, this time in chocolate truffles with the unexpected flavor of ancho chile. At first bight the chocolate reigns, but slowly the heat from the chiles begins to open on your palate, and the combination of hot, sweet, and chocolate is divine.
The are best made at least a day ahead to give the flavors time to ripen. You can double or triple the recipe and store the truffles, coated in cocoa, in the freezer for up to one month.
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 to 4 tablespoons ancho chile powder
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
Bring cream and butter to simmer over medium heat. Stir in chile powder. Remove from heat, let steep several minutes.
Place chocolate in microwaveable bowl. Gently reheat cream mixture, pour over chocolate and let sit. Stir chocolate. If needed, microwave at 50% for 2 minutes, then stir until chocolate is all melted. If needed, continue to microwave at 50% for 30 second increments until melted and well-blended. Stir to combine, chill, covered, for 2 hours.