These dark Bourbon truffles make a very decadent treat. They are made with bittersweet chocolate and have a deep, complex and intense flavor from Bourbon, vanilla and instant espresso powder. They also have a buttery richness that takes them over the top.
Why make this recipe?
If you love dark chocolate and the slightly caramelly, complex and intense flavor of Bourbon, you’ll like these Bourbon truffles. The Bourbon flavor comes through strongly and makes them a very grown-up dessert. The truffles are not very sweet but quite rich and best enjoyed after dinner and in small quantities (I suggest 1 to 2 truffles per person).
Ingredient notes & substitutions:
- Be sure to use chocolate bars and not chocolate morsels for this recipe. Morsels have stabilizers in them that prevent them from melting properly.
- Instant espresso powder is a great dessert ingredient that intensifies the chocolate flavor.
- Instead of using unsweetened cocoa powder you can roll the truffles in finely chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, instead.
How to make the truffles:
See full ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below!
Prep the chocolate:
Step 1. Finely chop the chocolate using a large knife.
Step 2. Transfer the chopped chocolate to a large glass bowl.
Make a ganache, chill, then roll truffles:
Step 3. In a saucepan, add:
- heavy cream
- unsalted butter
- instant espresso powder
- vanilla extract (or seeds from one 2-inch piece of vanilla bean)
- a pinch of salt
Stirring continuously, bring the mix to a very low simmer, then turn the heat off and stir in the Bourbon.
Step 4. Pour the hot mix over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.
Step 5. Whisk the mix to get a smooth ganache.
Step 6. Cover the ganache and let it solidify in the fridge for 3 hours. Scoop the ganache with a melon baller, a spring-loaded metal scoop or a spoon. Quickly form balls in your hands, then roll them in unsweetened cocoa powder.
Recipe and equipment notes & tips:
- It’s important to chop the chocolate finely – as shown in the photos for step 1 and 2 – in order to get it to melt fully. If it’s chopped too coarsely, the hot cream mix will not be able to melt it. If you still end up with large chocolate clumps after whisking the ganache, briefly set the bowl with the ganache over a pot of simmering water.
- Give yourself enough room to work comfortably: Use a glass bowl that’s large enough to hold all ingredients for the ganache and that still gives you enough room to whisk everything.
- To scoop the truffles it’s best to use either a 2-teaspoon metal scoop with a spring-loaded handle or the large scoop of a melon baller. If you don’t have either, you can use a regular spoon but it will be harder to keep the truffles uniform in size that way.
- You’ll want to work fast when forming the truffles because the warmth of your hands alone with start to melt the chocolate. Transfer the chocolate bowl back to the fridge if things get too warm.
Frequently asked questions:
Serve the truffles cold and – importantly – don’t inhale before you bite into them!
Transfer the truffles into an airtight container and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve them. They will keep for at least a month in the fridge.
If you don’t like the idea of unsweetened cocoa powder you can roll the truffles in finely chopped nuts instead. Pecans or walnuts work very well.
More delicious chocolate recipes:
See more chocolate recipes →
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Full Printable Recipe
- measuring cups and spoons
- cutting board
- glass bowl
- wooden spoon
- spring-loaded metal scoop OR melon baller OR spoon
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, (I used Ghirardelli 60 percent cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bars)*
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or seeds from one 2-inch piece of vanilla bean)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons Bourbon
- unsweetened cocoa powder to roll the truffles in
- Finely chop the chocolate, then transfer to a large glass bowl. Set aside.
- Add cream, butter, instant espresso powder, vanilla and salt to a saucepan. Stirring continuously, bring the mix to a low simmer.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the Bourbon.
- Pour the hot cream mix over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.
- Whisk the mix until it is well combined and smooth and no large chocolate clumps remain. (You can gently heat the mix over a pot of hot water to get rid of the last clumps but don't go haywire, a few small bits add a nice texture and something to bite into.)
- Cover and chill in the fridge for 3 hours.
- With a spring-loaded metal scoop, a melon baller or a spoon, scoop out the chocolate and quickly roll into balls with your hands.
- Roll each ball in the cocoa powder.
- Keep the truffles in the fridge until you're ready to serve them and – importantly! – don't inhale when you bite into them.