Black Forest Chocolate Truffles are an elegant and indulgent treat that you can easily make at home. They’re made with just 4 ingredients – heavy cream, semi-sweet chocolate, cherry kirsch, and dried cherries. Decorate them with chocolate, nuts, or cocoa powder for a festive treat you’ll love gifting and adding to holiday cookie plates.
Who’s ready to learn how to make homemade chocolate truffles? It’s one of the easiest (and best!) candy recipes you can make at home – there’s no candy thermometer required, and only 4 simple ingredients make up the base of this recipe.
These treats are fun to include in a holiday cookie decorating party because the recipe is broken down into parts. Prep the chocolate mixture one day, and then roll and decorate the chilled truffles the next day with family. Bonus – this recipe is gluten-free, so even more people can enjoy it. Let’s make ’em together!
Make the Chocolate Truffle Base:
The base of this recipe is simple – simmering heavy cream and cherry kirsch are poured over chopped semi-sweet chocolate. If you need to omit the alcohol, just replace it with the same amount of heavy cream. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes.
Then, stir it until it completely smooths out. If any chocolate pieces that remain, it’s because you didn’t chop the chocolate finely enough. (It should be chopped more finely than the photo above but I lost the photo I took the day I made these – I’ll add a better one in soon!) To fix any lumps, microwave the chocolate ganache for just 15 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval, until the mixture smooths out.
Then, stir in your chopped cherries. Pour the chocolate mixture into a shallow dish (like a pie dish) to help it cool a bit faster. Cover this with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the top of the chocolate so it doesn’t dry out at all in the fridge. Let the mixture chill for at least 1.5 to 2 hours before moving on to the next step.
How to Form Chocolate Truffles:
Once the mixture has chilled, use a tablespoon to scoop scant tablespoon size balls and place them on a lined baking sheet. Roll these into balls, getting them as smooth as you can. Don’t fret if they’re not perfect – chocolate covers a multitude of sins! Heh.
My Chocolate is too Sticky to Roll!
This will happen because the chocolate will warm back up a bit as it sits out and as you work with it. Just pop the pan of chocolate lumps back in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to firm things back up enough for you to be able to roll balls. After the balls are formed, give the pan another 10 minutes or so in the fridge if things are warm again from being rolled.
Chocolate Truffle Decorating:
There are so many topping options for these truffles – and you can make some with each, ensuring there will be something to love for everyone you gift these to. Here are a few options!
- Cocoa powder – A classic and easy option!
- Nuts – Try walnuts or pecans – they go beautifully with the chocolate. Make sure to chop the nuts so they’ll be able to stick to the truffles.
- Chocolate – Another classic option! Use melting wafers to make this process super simple, then drizzle another color of chocolate on top for that really polished look. I added a drop of red food coloring to white chocolate to make a pink drizzle for my truffles.
- Sprinkles – While they aren’t my personal favorite option here, you can roll your truffles through sprinkles. Choose something fine like sanding sugar or jimmies, not a sprinkle mix with really big pieces.
How to Dip Truffles:
Set up a little station on your counter to keep this process easy. Have a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet ready. Melt your chocolate in a 1-cup glass measuring cup so you have enough depth so the truffles can be fully coated. Use a fork to lift a truffle into the chocolate and swirl it around to coat it. Then, use the fork to lift it out and slide it onto the lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining truffles. Make sure your chocolate isn’t warm, or it can cause the truffles to melt a bit. Let the chocolate set before adding an additional drizzle of chocolate on top. I just use a spoon to drizzle it on, but you can use a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the tip snipped off if you want more control. (I don’t feel it’s necessary.)
My chocolate is cracking when I dip the truffles:
This can happen if your chocolate is warm from the microwave, and if your truffles are coming straight from the fridge. Let the truffles and melted chocolate stand at room temp for about 10 minutes, so that you’re not creating such a drastic collision of hot and cold. And, if they do crack some – it’s fine! Just cover it with a drizzle of chocolate on top and no one will know.
Occasions to Make Black Forest Chocolate Truffles For:
These truffles are delicious, indulgent, and festive – and there are so many reasons to make them!
- Christmas Cookie Plates – Add these to your Christmas or holiday cookie plates to add something uniquely delicious!
- Holiday Gifts – Places a few truffles in a small box and tie it up with a colorful ribbon for a lovely homemade holiday gift.
- Valentine’s Day – These would be a fun and easy family project to make for Valentine’s Day!
- Thank Yous – Hand these out to thank anyone and everyone in your life, especially as many folks are working overtime this holiday season to keep all sorts of services running for us.
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
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Black Forest Chocolate Truffles
For the Truffles:
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate Use a good-quality baking bar here, like Ghirardelli or Baker's. Do not use chocolate chips.
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup cherry kirsch Replace with 1/4 cup heavy cream if you want to omit the alcohol.
- 1/3 cup sweetened dried cherries
- 6 ounces chocolate, for dipping You can use milk or semi-sweet here - I recommend something like Ghirardelli melting wafers.
- cocoa powder, for rolling
- chopped walnuts or pecans, for rolling
- Prep: Chop the chocolate finely and place it into a microwave-safe bowl. Chop the dried cherries and set aside.
- Make the Ganache Base: Heat the heavy cream and cherry kirsch in a small pot over medium heat until simmering. Pour over the chocolate and let sit 5 minutes. Then, stir the mixture until it’s completely combined and smooth, like a ganache. If you have any lumps of chocolate left, microwave the mixture for 15 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval, until no lumps remain. Stir in the chopped cherries. Pour the ganache into a shallow dish (like a glass pie plate) to help it cool faster. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap onto the surface of the chocolate so it doesn't dry out, and chill in the fridge for 1 and ½ to 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
- Form the Truffles: Once the mixture is chilled, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. To form the truffles, scoop the cooled chocolate out of the dish with a measuring spoon - each truffle should be about a scant tablespoon worth. Place these chocolate mounds on the prepared pans. Once you've scooped all the chocolate, go back and roll them each into smooth balls. They may be a bit soft and hard to roll, so you can pop the pan (covered with a kitchen towel) back in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to firm the chocolate back up. Let the rolled chocolate truffles chill again for 10-20 minutes before decorating.
- Decorate the Truffles: Dip the chilled truffles in melted chocolate, or roll them through cocoa powder or crushed nuts. I dipped mine in semi-sweet chocolate and then added a bit of red food coloring to white chocolate to make the pink chocolate drizzle on top. Make sure the chocolate from dipping is set before adding the drizzle. The cocoa powder will rub off on the chocolate-covered truffles if they touch, so if that will bother you I recommend storing the cocoa powder-rolled truffles in a separate container from the others.
- Serve + Store: Enjoy immediately! Keep truffles in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2 weeks. These make a wonderful addition to holiday cookie plates or a simple & elegant gift.
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