These truffles are incredibly easy to make and delicious! Full of white chocolate, ground nuts, and a hint of rum, they are festive and can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator or frozen. You can easily vary the booze and the type of nuts to your personal preference.
Originally published in Jan 2013, these post has been updated with text and images to serve you better. The recipe remains the same.
I've been making these for years and they never disappoint! Smooth and easy to make, they're great for holiday gatherings, cocktails, or as a sweet treat with coffee after a dinner party.
What are white chocolate truffles?
They are small chocolate balls with a smooth texture, made by melting chocolate (any type) with cream and chilling the mixture first before forming the truffles. They can have different add-ins, flavorings, and coatings.
The fact that they can be frozen or refrigerated for several days makes them convenient, and end-of-year baking is hectic, we do need simple recipes that can be made ahead.
There are three ingredients that can be varied: the type of nuts, the liqueur, and the coating. They will allow you to have different truffles from one mixture.
- White chocolate: any white baking chocolate works but I like to use melting chocolate because it melts more easily. You can buy it online, Merckens coating melting wafers or Ghirardelli white melting wafers. I don't recommend white chocolate chips as they don't tend to melt well.
- Nuts: any nut can be used. I am partial to macadamia nuts, walnuts, or pecans when it comes to combining with white chocolate.
- Cream: heavy, whipping, or double cream, they all work.
- Rum: any type of rum works, though gold or spiced are better in my opinion because they are mellower. I use Captain Morgan spiced rum. Also, a rum essence or emulsion works, like LorAnn Rum baking emulsion or Cook's pure rum extract.
- Vanilla: I always use pure vanilla extract or paste when available, but vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works well if that's what you normally prefer.
The method is extremely easy and, since the truffles are coated in coconut, you don't have to worry about dipping them in melted chocolate, which is more laborious.
- Making the ganache: the recipe starts with a simple white chocolate ganache that involves adding very hot cream to the chocolate (image 1) and stirring it until it's smooth and shiny (image 3).
- Chopped chocolate: make sure it's finely chopped, especially if it's not melting chocolate. The cream is a very small amount so the finer the chocolate the quicker it will melt and mix before the cream loses temperature.
- Mixing: as you stir it will look like there's just not enough cream to melt the chocolate well, but it will. At first, it will look thick and the chocolate pieces will be large (image 2). But it will eventually be completely smooth.
- What if it doesn't melt completely? You can use the microwave (make sure the bowl is fit for it) and use 5-10 second spurts and mixing after each one until it melts completely.
- Adding the nuts and liquor: ground walnuts and rum are added to the chocolate mixture (image 4). The mixture will be thick but not enough to form the truffles. So it needs to be chilled for several hours.
Coating the truffles
There are several ways to finish the truffles, but this recipe is a super simple one so we use shredded coconut or sprinkles. It pairs very well with the rest of the flavors without overpowering them.
- Unsweetened shredded coconut: I don't recommend using sweetened coconut unless you like very sweet desserts.
- Sprinkles: they are a great option to change the color depending on the holiday or celebration. We use silver for Christmas and pastel colors for Easter.
- Cookie scoop: it's the easiest way to make uniformly medium-sized balls.
- Shallow bowl: use it to roll the truffles in the coconut and then transfer them to a plate or serving dish.
- Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
- Chocolate: If you ever worked with white chocolate probably know that it's much harder to melt than other types. So I recommend using tempered or melting chocolate that will melt easier and make the process much simpler. If you use the regular kind, make sure it's finely chopped as the amount of cream is small, and if it's in large pieces they will not melt before the cream loses temperature.
- Storing: they can be made ahead and refrigerated, well covered or in a container, for several days or in the freezer for a month. Use wax paper or parchment paper if you need to separate them into layers. To defrost transfer to the refrigerator until soft enough to eat.
- Size: don't be tempted to make large truffles. They should be about the size of a whole walnut.
- Nuts: as mentioned before, any type of groundnut can be used. I make them with either walnuts or macadamia nuts, but almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, they all work.
- Liquor: rum is a very friendly type of booze that combines with most nuts so it's a great choice. Which one is your favorite? You can probably use it.
- Great combinations include pecans with orange, like Cointreau or Grand Marnier, hazelnuts with Frangelico, coffee liqueur such as Kahlua with walnuts or pecans, cognac or brandy instead of rum work with most nuts.
- Coating: instead of coconut you can use very finely ground nuts, plain cookie crumbs, sprinkles, or melting chocolate for dipping.
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- 8 ounces white melting chocolate, finely chopped (see Notes below)
- 1 cup walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts, finely ground (I use the food processor)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons rum (see Notes below)
- ¾ cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted
- Put finely chopped white chocolate in a bowl.
- Heat cream in a small saucepan until it starts to simmer, just before boiling, and add to the chocolate, trying to cover as much as possible. But it won't cover completely.
- Let stand 10 seconds and start to stir both ingredients together. The chocolate will start to melt.
- Mix until well incorporated, smooth, and shiny.
- If the chocolate does not melt completely, you can microwave the mixture (make sure you use a microwave-safe bowl) in 5-10 second spurts, mixing well after each time until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Add the ground nuts, the rum and mix well.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 3 hours. Or freeze for about 1 hour. The mixture should be firm enough to make balls with it.
- Scoop heaping teaspoons of the mixture, form into a ball with your palms, and roll in shredded coconut.
- Chill, covered until ready to serve.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator in airtight containers with parchment paper between layers. Or in the freezer.
Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
White chocolate: any white baking chocolate works but I like to use melting chocolate because it melts more easily. You can buy it online, Merckens coating melting wafers or Ghirardelli white melting wafers. If you use the regular baking chocolate, make sure it's finely chopped. I don't recommend white chocolate chips as they don't tend to melt well.
Rum: any type of rum works, though gold or spiced is better in my opinion because they are mellower. I use Captain Morgan spiced rum. Also, a rum essence or emulsion works, like LorAnn Rum baking emulsion or Cook's pure rum extract.
Storing: they can be made ahead and refrigerated, covered, for several days, or in the freezer for a month. To defrost transfer to the refrigerator until soft enough to eat.
Size: don't be tempted to make large truffles. They should be about the size of a whole walnut.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Chilling time: 180 minutes
- Category: Candy - Sweets
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: International
- Serving Size: 1/24
- Calories: 111
- Sugar: 6.1 g
- Sodium: 9.9 mg
- Fat: 9 g
- Carbohydrates: 7 g
- Protein: 1.2 g
- Cholesterol: 3.4 mg
Keywords: white chocolate truffles
Adapted from an old Gourmet magazine