Chinese Five-Spice Chocolate Truffles with Crystallized Ginger

I came across a recipe for an Asian 5-spice chocolate cake the other day and was intrigued by the idea. The author, chef Christian Thornton, suggests to serve the cake with ginger whipped cream and I took those concepts and applied them to the chocolate truffles here.

Chocolate Cocoa Truffles with Chinese Five Spice Powder Recipe

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The crystallized ginger bits give you something to bite into and the 5-spice powder (cinnamon, fennel, clove, star anise and white pepper) adds a very, I would say, sophisticated flavor. The anise comes through quite strongly so if you’re not a fan of its licorice-like taste, then I predict you won’t like these truffles. If you do, I think you’ll love them. It’s something special and out of the ordinary and at the same time very easy to make. Enjoy!


Chinese Five-Spice Chocolate Truffles with Crystallized Ginger Recipe

by Nicole Branan


  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Ghirardelli 60 percent cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bars)*
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • unsweetened cocoa powder to roll the truffles in



  1. Add cream, butter, spice and salt to a saucepan, bring to a boil and stir until you have a homogeneous mix.
  2. Pour the hot cream mix over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.
  3. Stir together until everything is well combined and no large chocolate clumps remain. (You may need to heat the mixture over a pot of simmering water to get rid of the last clumps).
  4. Stir in the crystallized ginger.
  5. Cover and put in the fridge for 3 hours.
  6. With a melon baller or a scoop or spoon, scoop out the chocolate and quickly roll into balls with your hands.
  7. Roll each ball in the cocoa powder.
  8. Keep the truffles in the fridge until you serve them and don’t inhale when you bite into them (seriously!).



*Don’t use chocolate morsels; morsels have stabilizers in them that actually prevent them from melting.


Food Photography and Styling:I wanted an elegant and sophisticated set for these truffles and went with white crockery and placemats. Both the “floor” and the “wall” are sheets of beadboard that I got from the hardware store some time ago. For some contrast to all the elegance I used my beat-up, antique milk crate upside down as the “table” and I think this mismatch worked well in this particular case here.

Nikon D600, 105mm, f/4, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.


  1. Kim | Low Carb Maven says:

    Wow! What a flavor pairing. I love gingered whipped cream and love the suggestion with the spiced chocolate. I must try this. As always, lovely photography. I sometimes spend an hour just looking at the pictures on your site. Thanks for a lovely recipe.

  2. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says:

    I really love Chinese 5 spice and I don’t know why I don’t use it more. But I’m hanging my head in shame right now because I have a bottle of it that is almost full. I brought it from our old house — 15 years ago :-( I think I need to buy a new container. Now for your wonderful shot — yes it looks perfect. A touch of old-fashioned elegance. I feel as if I stopped by an elderly aunt’s and we’re in her parlor. Have a great day!!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Yes, definitely buy a new container! :) I have to admit that so far I haven’t used Chinese 5-spice much either…

    • Nicole B. says:

      Candied ginger is awesome, isn’t it? I always keep a bag in the pantry. Need to work on incorporating it into recipes more often.

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thanks, Stacey! I love that cup too, found it in an antique store and was immediately smitten with the tall, curvy handle. :)

  3. Wendi Spraker says:

    That is just the loveliest photo ever! I am positive that those truffles are just to die for! I am thinking that ginger, 5 spice and that chocolate are SUPER – ok, well, I’ve talked myself into it – I’ll be making these soon! Thanks for a great recipe AND another beautiful photo!

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