Inverse Chocolate Truffles | #Sugarfree

This is a last-minute holiday cooking inspired by Ina Garten’s video on chocolate truffles. She rolled balls of chocolate ganache over a bed of hazelnuts. I did the inverse of her version: rolling balls mixed with chopped pecans, dates, chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice butter over the chocolate ganache. In other words, the inside out approach to Ina’s recipe. This is my first attempt at chocolate truffles. They are easier than I’ve thought. Another wonderful holiday gift idea for the chocolate lovers.

The pecan pumpkin pie balls are both whimsical and experimental. Free feel to make a version entirely your own. From my experiment, anything that comes together in the shape of small balls can be turned into chocolate truffles.

I want something heathy in the inside that rolls into the like of a chocolate truffle. Put pecans, dates, chia seeds and pumpkin pie spice butter in the food processor until the mixture comes together. Press and roll them up in small balls and let them chill in the refrigerator. They harden a bit which makes it easier to roll in the chocolate ganache.

I watched the video and followed Ina’s recipe in making the chocolate ganache. Heat 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a small pan until it boils. Pour the cream over about 7 oz. of chopped chocolate. I used all dark chocolate. The slightly bitter chocolate goes deliciously well with the naturally sweetened pecan and pumpkin pie spice balls. Rolling the balls in liquid chocolate can be messy and takes some practice. Hey, considering that this is my first attempt in making chocolate truffles, I’ll take anything that resembles a chocolate truffle that tastes better than it looks. No sugar is needed but the best ingredients you can find: 72% cacao dark chocolate, dates, pecan and chia seeds all rolled up in an inverse chocolate truffle.

Chocolate over pecan, dates, chia seeds and pumpkin pie spice butter balls

Chocolate Truffles

Print Recipe
Serves: 20 truffles


  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 3 1/2 ounces good bittersweet chocolate
  • 3 1/2 ounces good semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur (recommended: Frangelico)
  • 1 tablespoon prepared coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.


Chop the hazelnuts and place them on a sheet pan. Roast them in the oven for 10 minutes. (If the hazelnuts have skin on them, roast them for 25 minutes.) Set aside to cool.


Chop the chocolates finely and place in a bowl.


Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it boils. Immediately pour the hot cream through a fine-meshed sieve into the bowl with the chocolates. With a wire whisk, slowly stir the cream and chocolates together until the chocolate is completely melted. (If the chocolate doesn't melt completely, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir for a few minutes just until it melts.) Whisk in the hazelnut liqueur, coffee, and vanilla. Cover and chill for 45 minutes to 1 hour until pliable but firm enough to scoop.


With 2 teaspoons or a 1 1/4-inch ice cream scoop, make dollops of the chocolate mixture and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes, until firm enough to roll into rough spheres. Roll the chocolate in the chopped hazelnuts and chill again. Truffles are best when they're allowed to set overnight in the refrigerator.


Adapted from Ina Garten's video on Foot Network.

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  • Reply
    Kim Tracy
    December 17, 2017 at 10:53 am

    This is so fun! I really love how you changed it up and made these nearly guilt-free (I say that for the health nuts mainly because I wouldn’t feel the least bit guilty about popping one of these in)! Plus, you are right, these are really the perfect gift because they are totally totable and could even be shipped (to cold weather climates). Love!

  • Reply
    December 17, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    You wouldn’t hear any complaints from me! I think they sound great!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Clever gurl, you! I have yet to attempt truffles and must absolutely get round to trying these soon!

  • Reply
    Diane Zwang
    December 18, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    The seasonal changes you made sound great. I bet you will be making truffles again.

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