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Cacao Bean Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

This recipe calls for Scharffen Berger's products, which are available by mail order or at Whole Foods. Other fine chocolate nibs and bars can be substituted.

By Dede Wilson

Cacao Bean Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

Dede Wilson | Truffles: 50 Deliciously Decadent Homemade Chocolate Treats | Harvard Common Press, 2006

"Cacao beans, from which we get all of our wonderful chocolate, are now available in raw form. Called cacao (or cocoa) nibs, they look like tiny brown nuggets similar in shape to kasha or buckwheat groats. Cacao nibs are not sweet, but they have intense chocolate flavour unlike any other product. In this recipe, they are steeped in cream to add flavor to the ganache and chopped for use as a topping." – Dede Wilson

Yield: 55


1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup plus 4 tsps. cacao nibs
10 oz. Scharffen Berger Nibby Bar chocolate (8 oz. finely chopped, 2 oz. in rough chunks)
Dutch processed cocoa powder
55 small fluted paper cups (optional)


Place cream in a 2-quart wide saucepan and add ¼ cup cacao nibs. Cook over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes; strain out nibs and discard. Reheat to a simmer, remove from heat, and immediately sprinkle 8 ounces finely chopped chocolate into cream. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes; the heat should melt the chocolate. Stir very gently until smooth.

Pour mixture into a shallow bowl. Cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, then allow to sit, preferably overnight, until firm enough to roll. (Or you may refrigerate ganache until firm, about 4 hours.)

Place remaining nibs and chocolate in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process by pulsing on and off until both are finely ground but not powdery; place in a small bowl. Coat our hands with cocoa powder and roll ganache into 3/4- to 1-inch balls.

Toss truffles in chocolate-nib coating. Place in fluted paper cups, if desired, and serve at room temperature.

Truffles © 2006 Dede Wilson. Photo © Harvard Common Press. All rights reserved.

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