Hot Pepper Truffles

With the intensity of dark chocolate and the unexpected heat of Peruvian panca peppers, these truffles are a delight for the palates of those looking for new and exciting flavors.

Serves: 20Hands-on: 2 hoursTotal: 4 hoursDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 20


  • 2 ají panca (dried red chilies)
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • 1½ cups coarsely chopped dark chocolate
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped dark chocolate


  • Slice the ají panca lengthwise; take out the seeds and veins and dry fry in a skillet for 5 minutes over medium heat. Turn off the heat and let the peppers cool. When cold, put in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Boil them twice for 3 minutes, changing the water each time. Drain and cool.
  • In a heavy saucepan, bring the heavy cream and the reserved ají panca to a boil over high heat. Turn off the heat, cover, and infuse for 20 minutes.
  • Put the coarsely chopped chocolate and salt in a bowl. Discard the ají panca and heat the cream again over low heat until hot. Pour over the bowl of chocolate. After a couple of minutes, start stirring very gently from the center outwards with a spatula, until smooth and no chocolate pieces remain. This is a ganache. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.
  • When the ganache is firm, take out of the refrigerator and start forming 1-inch balls. If the balls are too soft, put ganache back in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes. You can even leave the ganache balls overnight in the refrigerator.
  • To make the outer layer, melt the finely chopped dark chocolate in a bowl placed over a pan of boiling water. Cool to room temperature and dip each truffle in the melted chocolate to cover completely. Transfer to a lightly oiled dish and let harden. Serve.