Cardamom and Chili Chocolate Truffle Recipe

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Most Expensive Spice in the World?

Cardamom, recognized by its small spindle-shaped pod, is a spice native to India, Nepal and Bhutan.  Today, the majority of cardamom is grown in southern India, although some other countries, such as Guatemala and Sri Lanka have also begun to cultivate it.  It is the world’s third most expensive spice by weight, outstripped in terms of its market value by only saffron and vanilla.

Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly more smokey, though not bitter, aroma with a coolness some consider similar to mint.  It is a fantastic complement to dark chocolate.  Rich dark chocolate, aromatic cardamom and a touch of fiery chili make these truffles a sophisticated after-dinner treat.

Oh, and today is National Truffles Day!  Whip these up, pop a bottle of bubbly and celebrate!

Cardamom and Chili Truffles




½ cup heavy cream

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon chili powder

300g dark cooking chocolate, finely chopped

2 ounces high-quality butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons bourbon

2/3 cup cocoa powder


Combine the cream, cardamom and chilli powder in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil. Add the chocolate and butter, and remove from heat. Set aside, stirring occasionally with a metal spoon, for 5 minutes or until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

Add bourbon and use a metal spoon to stir until smooth.

Pour the chocolate mixture into a small container (make sure the chocolate mixture is at least 3cm deep). Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or until firm.

Place the cocoa in a deep plastic container. Dip a melon baller or a small metal spoon into boiling water and scoop out 1 ball from the chocolate mixture. Tap the truffle directly into the cocoa. Gently shake the container to evenly coat the truffle in the cocoa. Transfer the truffle to a small paper case. Repeat with remaining chocolate mixture. Serve.

Makes 15 truffles

Note: You can make this recipe 1 day ahead. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.

photo courtesy of Mark O’Meara

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