Ask Chef Phyllis:
I was lucky enough to be in Paris around Valentine’s Day. I stopped by a patisserie that featured many kinds of truffles. I tried a few of them, but my absolute favorite was a dark chocolate truffle with lime and honey. They were expensive but absolutely worth the price. Can truffles be made at home successfully?
—Elaine Cole from Santa Monica, CA
What a treat to have truffles in Paris on Valentine’s Day! Patisseries all over France feature truffles, and French chocolatiers consider them an art form. While browsing the local shops, you may have noticed that some truffle makers have a distinct signature flavor. I believe the distinctive honey-lime truffle was created or designed by Pierre Herme.
The making of French chocolate truffles is indeed time consuming, and this is often reflected in the price. The process has many steps, but if you’re patient, you can master the method. Handmade and super creamy, decadent chocolaty truffles are worth the effort!
This is a famous truffle recipe from Pierre Herme’s Patisserie featuring dark chocolate, honey, and lime.
Dark Chocolate Truffles with Honey and Lime
- 1½ teaspoons finely grated lime peel (the smallest holes on a box grater)
- 2⁄3 cup Rapunzel organic whole cane sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened organic cocoa powder
- 16 ozs. semisweet organic chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- Extra cocoa for decoration
- Dark chocolate pieces finely chopped or shaved for decoration
- In a medium bowl, rub 1 teaspoon of lime zest and sugar together with your fingertips until the mixture is slightly moist. Add cocoa and chopped chocolate to lime zest and sugar. Stir well. Set aside.
- Place the remaining ½ teaspoon lime zest in a medium saucepan. Add cream and bring just to a boil over low heat. Cover and set the pan aside to cool for 10 minutes. Uncover and heat again to a boil.
- Pour cocoa and chocolate mixture into the cream and stir until the chocolate melts.
- In a small bowl, mix the ¼ cup lime juice and honey. Gradually stir into the chocolate mixture.
- While the chocolate mixture is still warm, add the butter 2 tablespoons at a time. Stir until all the butter is absorbed and the chocolate is smooth.
- Cover and chill for at least 4 hours (overnight is better).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Working quickly, place cold truffle mixture by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Roll the truffles into balls with your palms.
- If necessary, place the baking sheet into the freezer until all the truffles are rolled. Chill in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes or until solid. Roll the truffles in shaved chocolate or cocoa powder.
These can be made 2 weeks in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:
- chemical- and hormone-free meat
- wild-caught fish
- pasture-raised, organic eggs
- whole, unrefined grains
- virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
- whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
- pure, clean, spring water
- sea salt
- raw and/or cultured milk and cream products