Chocolate truffles are an indulgence that I don’t just save for Valentine’s Day. They’re easy to make and homemade truffles are almost always more delicious than truffles that you can buy in a store – especially if you start out with great chocolate to begin with. These Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles are a variation on a classic chocolate truffle that includes a hint of toasted hazelnut, giving the truffles an extra layer of flavor in with all that silky smooth chocolate.
I used Hershey’s Chocolate With Hazelnut Spread to make these truffles, a new chocolate spread that is very similar to Nutella. The spread combines the flavor of creamy chocolate with toasted hazelnuts, a flavor combination that just begs to be used in candy – like this truffle recipe. The truffles themselves are very easy to make and use just a few ingredients. The spread infuses the truffles with a subtle hint of toasted nuts, which breaks up the intensity of the dark chocolate and makes them especially addictive. They’re firm and easy to work with, but the ganache is silky smooth and will melt on your tongue as soon as you pop one into your mouth. The recipe makes a generous amount of truffles – and you can always make them smaller or larger to suit your tastes – so you will have plenty to share and still keep a few for treating yourself.
I rolled my finished truffles in a blend of cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar. The confectioners’ sugar takes a bit of the bitterness away from the cocoa powder, but it is important that you sift the two ingredients together a few times so that they are well-combined and you don’t end up with big splotches of white on your truffles. If you’re a nut-lover, you could chop some toasted hazelnuts very, very finely and roll the truffles in them before serving. Adding the coating, whether it is cocoa powder or chopped nuts, is a traditional way to serve truffles because it makes them much easier to handle than the chocolate alone, which will very likely start to melt in your hand before you can take a bite.
Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles
2 cups (10-oz) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Hershey’s Chocolate with Hazelnut Spread
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Place chocolate in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan, combine Hershey’s Chocolate with Hazelnut Spread, heavy cream and vanilla. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the chocolate spread. When mixture boils, pour it over the chopped chocolate. Allow mixture to sit without stirring for 3-4 minutes, so that the heat of the cream begins to soften the chocolate. Stir gently with a spatula until chocolate completely melts and the mixture is smooth. If small pieces of chocolate remain, mixture can be microwaved in 5-10 second intervals then stirred to smooth out any last pieces.
Allow chocolate to cool in the bowl for about 2 hours, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally with a spatula. It will begin to thicken. (If ganache does not thicken, mixture may be refrigerated to chill it slightly, but it needs to be soft enough to scoop easily). When ganache is semi-firm, scoop into rough 3/4-inch balls and place on a baking sheet to separate them while you portion out the rest of the truffles.
In a small bowl, stir together cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar. Sift mixture into a shallow dish or plate.
Roll portioned truffles between the palms of your hands to smooth them into a roughly spherical shape (the warmth of your hands will help to smooth the truffles) and place in cocoa powder mixture. Turn to coat, then transfer to another plate to make room to coat the remaining truffles.
Makes about 3 dozen truffles.
Disclosure: I have been compensated by The Hershey Company to promote its Hershey’s Spread products, but any and all opinions expressed are my own.