Hop Flavored Dark Chocolate Truffles
Originally Posted September 8, 2010. Updated 3/18/2021
If you've seen my Hop Flavoured Beer Lollipops Recipe, you have already had a preview of the kind of yummy, twisted thinking that an unfortunate fall ended up inspiring.
This is the second half of that epiphany: Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with Hop Flavored Dark Chocolate Truffles!
What is a Hopped Infused Chocolate Truffle?
Truffles consist of two main parts - the center (chocolate ganache), and the coating.
The ganache center is made from just a few very basic ingredients - chocolate, cream, flavoring - in this case, an infusion of hops - and butter.
The coating can be made from almost anything - your creativity is pretty much your only limit!
Typically, you’ll see store-bought truffles enrobed in chocolate. While that’s certainly a popular option, it does veer off into “intimidating” territory - tempering chocolate, etc.
Personally, I don’t bother - I find rolling truffles in various non-chocolate coatings is not only more fun and less work, I prefer the taste.
Tempering chocolate (required for chocolate enrobed truffles) is far too annoying to get into here, given the alternatives!
Making Hopped Chocolate Ganache
Chocolate ganache is quite easy to make, but there are a few basic principles to keep in mind:
1. Too much liquid will prevent your ganache from setting up enough to roll properly.
Fairly straightforward rule, right? If this happens, try adding extra chocolate... or use your runny
ganache as a chocolate fondue or sauce for ice cream!
2. Not all chocolate varieties are created equally.
While this applies to flavor, texture, and overall quality, I’m actually talking about behavior.
Dark chocolate requires more liquid than milk chocolate, which requires more liquid than white chocolate.
Sugar free chocolate requires a smaller amount of liquid than other varieties of chocolate... Please be sure to follow the basic instructions for the variety of chocolate you are using, without swapping the type.
3. Water is chocolate’s enemy.
Be very careful to use a dry bowl, dry utensils, and to not allow any water to fall into your chocolate.
Water causes melted chocolate to “seize”. Seizing is when melted chocolate comes in contact with even the tiniest amount of water, and becomes grainy, clumpy, and unpleasant.
For this reason, you should never use a lid when melting chocolate (condensation will occur, and drip in!), and you should always be careful when using a double boiler.
4. Fat amount is important.
The fat content in the chocolate ganache contributes to the smoothness, and the ganache’s ability to hold together.
Using milk instead of heavy cream really isn’t an option. Additionally, if a high percentage of the liquid is coming from a non-fatty source (liqueur, rather than cream), it’s a good idea to add extra butter.
5. Liquid added to chocolate must be warm.
Pretty basic rule - cold liquid added to melted chocolate will cause it to seize.
Warm liquid will not - this is why it’s important to heat up the cream mixture before adding it to the chocolate. Do not skip this step!
6. Chocolate chips are just fine to use.
Yes, I’m sure the purists just had a heart attack over that phrase... deal with it!
Chocolate chips are a highly unusual medium for truffle making, consistently being eschewed for bars of pure chocolate.
The thing is, however, that not only are chocolate chips are easy to find, they lack the sticker shock that comes with the more traditional chocolate options.
I find that this makes chocolate chips a far more accessible option for those who are new to making truffles.
Not only that, but they can make a great product, too - only the most avid chocolate connoisseur can really tell the difference between truffles made with a high end bar of chocolate, and those made with a good brand of chocolate chips.
For that reason, I believe chocolate chips are a great way to get in to making truffles. I developed a series of recipes using chocolate chips!
Anyone can make these truffles at home, with common ingredients, for only about $4.00/30 truffles. Far less scary of a commitment than the traditional approach!
Flavouring Ganache with Hops
Choice of Hop Varieties
The first time around, we used Centennial hops to flavour this recipe, but have moved to preferring Columbus hops for this.
That said, many/most, if not all hop varieties would work well as a truffle flavouring - it’s just a matter of what flavour profile you like!
Most home brew shops - online or in person - will have some sort of chart of the hop varieties they carry, and what flavours they bring to the table. Peruse the options available to you, and have some fun with it!
Choice of Hop Format
When I developed this recipe, it was using fresh whole hops, as that’s what we had on hand.
You can use whole fresh hops, as we did that first time: about 6-8 cones. Alternately, you can use a handful of dried hops, or a teaspoon or so of hop pellets.. (Highly precise, I know - taste as you go!).
Whichever way you go, this recipe doesn’t take much... so your next batch of homebrew won’t miss it!
A Note on Potency
Whether fresh or dried, know that hops can vary wildly in size and flavor.
Be sure to taste as you go – you may not want to use the whole 10 minute steeping time.
A Note on Absorption
When you’re using dried hop flowers or pellets, you’re going to lose some volume of the cream to the hops, when strained.
I like to start with a bit more heavy cream, when using a dried hop product - usually a cup or so - and remeasure before adding it to the chocolate.
“Stuff to Roll Them In”
Cocoa powder, coconut flakes, finely chopped nuts, and powdered sugar are all traditional options. I generally advocate going wild with this aspect of truffle making, buuut...
Most of the fun options will distract from the flavour of the hops, IMHO.
Cocoa powder has far and away been the best coating for these truffles.
If you’re interested in truffle coatings in general, be sure to check out my post for the full list of suggestions. The ones I’ve listed in this post are just the ones I recommend for this particular recipe!
How to Make Hop Infused Truffles
1. Place chocolate chips into a glass mixing bowl, and put aside.
2. On the stovetop, bring heavy whipping cream, hops, sugar, and butter to a light simmer. Remove from heat, allow to steep for 10 minutes. Once steeping time is complete, bring to just a simmer again.
3. Strain hot cream mixture into bowl of chocolate chips, discarding hop cones/leaves. Let sit for 3-5 minutes.
4. Starting in the middle of the bowl, slowly start stirring the chocolate and cream until all of the chocolate is
melted and the cream has disappeared into it – it should be smooth.
5. Cover with plastic wrap, preferably resting right on top of the surface – this prevents a skin from forming while it cools.
6. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour or two, until it’s pretty solid.
7. Once solid, scoop out small amounts (a teaspoon or two), and roll them into balls. Try to handle the chocolate as quickly as possible, or it will melt.
8. Once all of the ganache is rolled into balls: wash and dry hands, then roll ganache centers in whichever coating(s) you’d like.
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
More Hops Recipes!
Are you - or do you know - a die-hard hophead? Just interested in learning more about adding a punch of flavour to your culinary repertoire? Either way, I have some more recipes for you!
Homemade Hop Extracts
Homemade Hop Spa Bath Set
HopCorn - Hopped Popcorn!
Hop Flavoured Beer Lollipops - Lollihops!
Hop Marinated Chicken Skewers
Hopped Cheesecake with Citrus Glaze
Hoppy Citrus French Macaron Recipe
Hoppy Citrus IPA Glazed Wings
Hoppy IPA BBQ Sauce
Hoppy Dill Pickle Relish
Hoppy IPA Pickles Recipe
Fan of hops? You'll LOVE my cookbook, Hedonistic Hops: A Hop Head's Guide to Kitchen Badassery"!
Hops are prized for their ability to impart varied, complex flavours to beer… but did you know they can also be used culinarily? While hops may seem like a bizarre or exotic item to cook with, it’s the same as using other herbs and spices in your kitchen… you just have to know what to do with them. Appetizers, main dishes, beverages.. even desserts can be uplifted with hops! Even those who are not fans of beer will love the unique flavours that various types of hops can bring to their plate. Floral, earthy, peppery, citrusy… Cooking with hops is a great way to expand your seasoning arsenal!
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With all of that said... on to the Hop Flavoured Dark Chocolate Truffles recipe!
Hop Flavored Dark Chocolate Truffles
- 12 oz Hershey Special Dark chips
- ¾ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 6 Fresh Hop Cones Crushed (we used Centennial)*
- 2 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- 3 tablespoon Butter
- Cocoa – We used Hershey’s Special Dark
- Place chocolate chips into a glass mixing bowl, and set aside.
- On stovetop, bring heavy whipping cream, hop cones, sugar, and butter to a light simmer. Remove from heat, allow to steep for 10 minutes. Once steeping time is complete, bring to just a simmer again.
- Strain hot cream mixture into bowl of chocolate chips, discarding hop cones/leaves. Let sit for 3-5 minutes. Starting in the middle of the bowl, slowly start stirring the chocolate and cream until all of the chocolate is melted the cream disappeared into it – it should be smooth.
- Cover with plastic wrap, preferably resting right on top of the surface – this prevents a skin from forming while it cools.
- Chill in the fridge for at least an hour or two, until it’s pretty solid.
- Once solid, scoop out small balls (a teaspoon or so), and roll them into balls. Try to handle the chocolate as quickly as possible, or it will melt.
- Then, roll them in cocoa and eat them!
More Truffle Recipes!
Once you find out how easy it is to make tasty truffles at home, you may find yourself wanting to try MORE! Here are a few recipes to help you out!