Boozy Bitter Chocolate Truffles, or, I DON’T WANT TO BE YOUR VALENTINE!


Nor do I want you mine.

I think it was that pink Rice Crispy Treats I was subjected to one sad Valentine that ruined it for me for ever.  Or perhaps it saved me.  Depending on your perspective.  In any case, if I saw another heart-shaped cookie or pink cake I might just scream and go sew black buttons over my eyes and then build traps for unsuspecting children or misguided lovers.  I just might.

But there is hope yet.  A distressed signal sent over Twitter to my crowd received in reply dozens of also-dissenting voices, reassuring me that, even in my most misanthrope moment, I am, alas, not alone.  In the dark, lonely corners of Twitterverse we plotted to bring down valentines.  “Do the Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic”, sang the Tweet-chorus.  “Cook everything that gives you gas”, cried a petulant – or perhaps flatulent – voice.  Another pointed to a gnarly – if absolutely delicious – Dim Sum staple, braised chicken feet. One even suggested a bottle of cheap booze and a hammer, I dared not ask why.  I supposed another that might do is that dish with a poetic name, Pissed-off Prawns, I ate earlier this week at Michael Chiarello’s new Bottega up in Napa.

Then an aha moment arrived.  What fun is bitterness without booze?  There you have it.  I’ll make chocolate truffles, dark and bitter chocolate truffles, and I’ll make it boozy.  Rum perhaps.  No, Armagnac, better yet, Armagnac with some prunes soaked in it.

And just in case you’re wondering.  No, no, the cause of my bitterness is *not* because my otherwise-sweet valentine is at his restaurant cooking a very special meal for everyone else’s valentines.  And, no, it hasn’t been like that every year for the past four valentines we’ve had together.  And, really, no, I don’t plan on wallowing in my bitterness tomorrow night with a bowlful of these boozy bonbons and all those monster movies marathon on Sci-fi.  I don’t plan on doing that at all.

Boozy & Bitter Chocolate Truffles

recipe adapted from La Maison du Chocolat

8oz very dark, very bitter chocolate.  I used Valrhona Extra-Amer.

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/8 to 1/4 cup Armagnac, or Rum, as you please

almost 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

(optional: 6oz of chocolate to coat)

Chop up the 8oz chocolate to very small pieces, place the chopped chocolates in a medium glass bowl.  In a small pan, bring the cream to a boil, then remove from heat immediately and pour the hot cream over the chocolate bits.  Let stand a couple minutes to melt.

Stir the chocolate and cream until well incorporated.  Add the Armagnac or whatever booze you’re using, mix well to completely incorporate the booze into the chocolate.  Let stand outside the fridge until cool down completely.

Put the cocoa powder in a medium bowl.  Using a tablespoon measure, scoop up slightly less than the tablespoon of chocolate and gently roll it into a ball.  You might need to press the chocolate a bit together before rolling.  Place it on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Repeat the rolling until you’re done with the ganache batter, you should have 30-40 little chocolate balls on the cookie sheet.  You can toss these balls in the bowl with cocoa to coat, or you can first dip them into melted chocolate to form a thin crust before coating with cocoa.

Put another medium bowl over a pot of simmering water, add the optional 6oz of chopped chocolate, stir until just melted.  Remove from heat immediately.

Dip the chocolate balls into the melted chocolate, do this with 3-4 ganache balls at a time, remove them and place them back on the cookie sheet.  Remove the chocolate balls from the melted chocolate and put immediately into the bowl of cocoa.  Toss until they are well coated and place them back on the cookie sheet to dry.  Store them in an airtight container if you want to keep them a while.  I don’t.

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52 Responses to “Boozy Bitter Chocolate Truffles, or, I DON’T WANT TO BE YOUR VALENTINE!

  • Chez US said:
    February 13th, 2009 at 12:23pm

    Pim, these look fantastic! And I love your write up on the whole VDAY thing! I thought I was one of the very few if not only women out there who thinks it is such a over rated holiday! It is to the point that we like to get gushy just to poke fun at the whole thing. Would much rather be cooking as always, eating great food and enjoying a good bottle of wine (or bubbles)at home! Wish I had time to at least make these bonbons for my friends who still hang onto the whole romantic Vday thing!
    Happy Vday to you, too! 😉

  • Mark Scarbrough said:
    February 13th, 2009 at 1:32pm

    I’m not a Valentine’s Day kind of guy–despite being in a relationship for 12 years and–well, not madly anymore, but quietly–in love to this day. As my friend Chef Chris Prosperi of MetroBis in Simsbury always says, “Eating out on Valentine’s Day is for amateurs.” Tomorrow night, we’re splitting a bottle of wine–after coming back from a book signing down in southern Connecticut–and probably collapsing from a week of work. Sounds about like the sort of holiday I can admire.

  • Paula Maack said:
    February 13th, 2009 at 2:43pm

    Having a chef for a Valentine has it’s downsides, I guess. Hmmph! I hardly feel sorry for, though. 😉
    I guess I won’t tell you all about my
    aphrodisiac infused V-Day picnic post
    , then. Unless, of course, you two can celebrate Lupercalia on February 15th, together. In which case, you should definitely read it.
    ~ Paula

  • katiek said:
    February 13th, 2009 at 5:09pm

    I wish you could add more booze to the chocolate, but it would probably fall apart/never come together like so many a baking blunders. 🙁
    Well then I say… perhaps a liquid chocolate (bougey hot chocolate) with straight up Armagnac? In San Francisco we have this really fancy chocolate place that infuses its drinks with spices. Don’t try the Chinese five spice blend. While cozying into the fireplace you take a sip and are suddenly transported to a Hong Kong alley with remnants of duck aroma int he air… BUZZKILL.
    ps. I am with the guy who said that you should make gas-inducing culinary fare. Broccoli gratin with a side of cabbage and cream?

  • oakmonster said:
    February 14th, 2009 at 9:13am

    I made “How deep is your love? 7 layers!” dip for the office and I put a heart on it. Lovely, but I’m sure someone’s going around not only sharing love but gas as well. LOL. (I’ll put that on my food blog today.)
    We don’t do V-day here. It’s an agreement. But lo and behold one of us would sneak in a card. Or as Brandon surprised the hell out of me one year showing up with a giant polar bear. Dude who’s adamant about not doing V-day did that. LOL.

  • shuna fish lydon said:
    February 14th, 2009 at 11:15am

    rose petal shortbread.
    subtle. buttery.vanilla bean polka dots. quiet. open oven door halfway through baking, inhale. cashmere scarf. intimate without fuss.
    bitter chocolate dipped, just half. for those single, bitter, whole while alone.
    i send you transcontinental kisses.

  • OysterCulture said:
    February 14th, 2009 at 1:18pm

    These little tasty sensations sound simple and delish! No temperature taking required. Thanks for sharing.

  • maris said:
    February 14th, 2009 at 2:57pm

    Boozy and bitter…great title for a V-day post! 🙂

  • Mikeachim said:
    February 15th, 2009 at 5:47am

    Aye, Pim.
    It’s a fact – the backlash is really getting going. There are those who wallow in Valentine’s and the opportunity to glow with smugness in the direction of all those poor single / non-clingy people. They do the “you hang up”, “no, YOU hang up” thing in the middle of queues where you can’t avoid hearing them. They say things like “I can’t imagine what life was like before I found my Other Half”. They make cute-shaped cakes, yes.
    But it’s ok. Because these people are destined for the B Ark.
    Those truffles look astounding. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Laura said:
    February 15th, 2009 at 3:21pm

    Ah, this is so perfect! The first meal I ever made for my boyfriend was on the first Valentine’s Day we spent together, and I made some very similar truffles for dessert. I agree, so perfect for the day…or any day!

  • Discover Unearthed said:
    February 16th, 2009 at 9:42am

    Bitterness has never tasted so sweet!

  • pillow said:
    February 16th, 2009 at 10:51am

    So…I got pink rice crispy treats for Valentine’s. It does make me feel better that I’m not alone in the cereal-as-holiday gift department, though.

  • Gary said:
    February 17th, 2009 at 9:55am

    I’m happy it’s over. Who made Valentine’s a holiday anyway.

  • Tonya @ What's On My Plate said:
    February 18th, 2009 at 6:57pm

    I local store is selling the 85g schaffen berger bars for $1. This recipe would make excellent use of this deal!

  • Alex said:
    February 19th, 2009 at 1:54am

    Loved this post. Great stuff.

  • Michelle @ said:
    February 19th, 2009 at 8:17pm

    So I confess to making the ubiquitous heart-shaped dessert this Valentine’s day (Gasp!) (…
    but also admit that bitterness can feel so sweet sometimes.
    Phenomenal post…I’m on these like ants on candy.

  • Katherine Muzyczka said:
    February 20th, 2009 at 10:20am

    Mmmmm, for those, I’ll be anti-valentine’s day too.
    I love your write up.

  • said:
    February 20th, 2009 at 12:44pm

    keşke siteniz türkçe olsaydıda ingilizce bilmiyenlerde okuyabilseydi ama mümkün değil tabi.

  • zerrin said:
    February 20th, 2009 at 3:33pm

    These are so cute and yummy as if they came out from my dreams… I must taste them soon. Also I love your writing style.

  • Tyler said:
    February 20th, 2009 at 6:09pm

    Oh Pim, I share your pain, being married to a chef (really anyone in the resto biz) means no nice long weekends, holidays, and certainly no Valentines days. Luckily my hubby got sick with the flu this year and excused from kitchen duty. So perhaps next year, you can hope for a bit of the flu for the chef in your life. But instead of truffles, you may just make hot toddies.

  • Bot said:
    February 21st, 2009 at 2:18pm

    Hi all

  • Agirlhastoeat said:
    February 25th, 2009 at 2:45am

    I adore your blog! I read it often. Omigosh you have posted about truffles, and there is simply nothing I like better!

  • Lauren said:
    February 25th, 2009 at 3:18am

    Lovely post, nice and sardonic with a good dose of great vday meal ideas – I can just imagine by boyfriends face when I chook chicken feet next year! It will be hilarious!
    Consider me an anti-valentines day convert!

  • catherine said:
    February 25th, 2009 at 7:19pm

    There’s nothing like a good truffle. I’ve tried many–yours look wonderful!–but my hand’s down favorites are Teuscher Champagne Truffles.

  • them apples said:
    February 26th, 2009 at 5:20am

    Very, very good looking truffles, those. I can imagine that they’re heavy with chocolate, so rich and bitter that they catch the back of the throat. Superb stuff.
    There’s something very special about making this sort of thing yourself.

  • Anne said:
    February 26th, 2009 at 5:47pm

    yes, we’ve all been there, with truffles or without.

  • kim said:
    March 1st, 2009 at 12:19pm

    TAG, YOU’RE IT!!!
    Hi Pim, I love your blog – those chocolate truffles look amazing!!! I’m supposed to tag 8 people, so if you want to play the game, look at my blog for the rules. (if you’re not so inclined, that’s fine ~) Thanks – kim

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:45am

    Thanks! I’m sure your foolish romantic friends will appreciate them too.

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:45am

    12 years and counting, that’s super sweet! I’ll drink to many decades more!

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:46am

    That post might come in handy one day. Thanks.

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:48am

    I’m always up for booze in chocolate, in any form. Or booze without chocolate, even.

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:49am

    Well, I should admit that I was a quick turncoat. David showed up with truffled omelette and a pot of darjeeling….fixed my valentines grouch totally.

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:49am

    One is one its way back to you.

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:50am

    You funny.

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:50am

    I hope it was a better shade of pink than the one I got years ago!

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:52am

    That’s such a pretty post, you shouldn’t be ashamed! Love the eggbeater too.

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:53am

    He managed to surprise me with a breakfast tray in bed. That’s not so bad, really. 🙂

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:54am

    You must take a picture. And share it here with us next year.

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:54am

    Never tried those, but they sound good.

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:55am

    Yes, special and also economical. Truffles are so easy to make but so *expensive* to buy.

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:56am

    Oh dear. Not sure if I’m up for over-sharing again. Mind if I took a pass on this one?

  • mellebiotupp said:
    March 3rd, 2009 at 1:12pm

    miam !

  • vincent said:
    March 5th, 2009 at 10:05am

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes
    We would like to add it to the
    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.
    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on
    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use or just go to and click on “Add your site”
    Best regards,

  • vincent said:
    March 17th, 2009 at 10:33am

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes
    We would like to add it to the
    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.
    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on
    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use < or just go to and click on “Add your site”
    Best regards,

  • Richard said:
    March 23rd, 2009 at 4:29am

    I made some truffles about a year ago but they looked pathetic in comparisson.
    Excellent blog. My kind of food!
    Mind if I put you on my blogroll?

  • CTT said:
    March 31st, 2009 at 6:11am

    What is the advantage to crusting them in chocolate before dipping them in the cocoa?
    Many thanks!

  • Jennifer S said:
    April 25th, 2009 at 8:10am

    My sister always refers to Valentine’s Day as Halloween. She says it’s because it’s Trick Or Treat, and she always gets tricked. I’ve felt the same way for many years as a singleton.

  • PB said:
    September 7th, 2009 at 3:51am

    I made these yesterday, using Valrhona le Noir 61% and dark rum. It was my first attempt ever at truffles, and they were delicious! It was a surprise to see how easy it is to get such good results (I made the version without the chocolate coating).
    I’ll definitely use this recipe again!

  • Morning truffle cake said:
    March 24th, 2010 at 10:16pm

    I definitely try this recipe… Became my favourite….

  • Bitter Chocolate Truffles said:
    April 21st, 2010 at 9:39pm
  • Carl_can said:
    June 13th, 2011 at 1:21pm

    Your blog is very informative.This is obviously one great post.i keep on reading articles from here.thanks for sharing.. amada

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    September 16th, 2011 at 2:54pm

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