Challenge Entry #2 – Spicy Cherry Truffles!

February 25, 2011 By: Serena

Update: I’m advancing to the next round! Thanks for your support, everyone!

Before I had left for Singapore, I had posted my first entry for the Marx Foods Ridiculously Delicious Challenge. Well, guess what – I advanced, wheee!! I was super excited for Round 2, which featured a “mystery box” (oooOOOoooh) of eight ingredients.

My mission (I chose to accept it): Use 2 of the 8 ingredients in an original dish.


I bet you’re wondering what the mysterious box contained – well wonder no further:


From left, that’s dried tart cherries, grains of paradise, saffron threads, juniper berries, Szechuan peppercorns, coconut sugar, Tepin chile, and dill pollen.

As a huge fan of the mixing sweet with other flavors (salty, spicy, sour, etc.), I decided to make some spicy cherry truffles using the dried tart cherries and the Szechuan peppercorns.  The tart cherries have a pleasant tang just as their name implies, without being cloyingly sweet, while the peppercorns offer more of a tingly mouth feel than burning heat.  Mmm mm mmm! Are you intrigued yet?

You will need:

20 dried tart cherries
1/2 cup of cream
10 oz good quality chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
6 tbsp cocoa powder (forgot to include this in the picture!)

1. First, rehydrate the cherries.
As per Marx Food’s guidelines here, place the cherries in a small bowl and cover with boiling water for 5-10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

2. Heat cream over low heat until just starting to simmer. Remove from heat immediately.

3.  Melt chopped chocolate and butter in a double boiler over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat.
My family bought me a Disney cutting board set.  So yes, I’m chopping chocolate on Mickey’s butt.

My double boiler consists of a bowl-on-a-pot setup.

4. Pour heated cream over chocolate mixture and let stand for 1 minute.  Then gently stir until combined.  Spread mixture onto shallow dish (to facilitate chilling) and refrigerate mixture for 1 hour.

5. Meanwhile, toast peppercorn in a pan over low heat for 3 minutes.  Let cool and grind with mortar and pestle.

I admit, I thought of recipes where I could use my cute red mortar/pestle 🙂

6. Once chocolate is cooled, take 1 tbsp of chocolate and flatten into a circle.  Place cherry in the middle and wrap chocolate around the fruit, shaping into a ball.   Lay truffles out on parchment and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

7. Combine cocoa powder and ground Szechuan peppercorn. Dip truffles in mixture, coating completely.
The peppercorn is quite potent, so just a touch will do! To mix things up, I dipped some in cocoa powder/peppercorn and sprinkled just the ground peppercorn on others. I’m daring like that.

8. Enjoy!

These truffles tasted awesome (if I do say so myself, ha!) – the quality of the ingredients definitely played a huge part in that!  If you enjoyed this recipe, please support me and VOTE for BigAppleNosh in the Ridiculously Delicious Challenge!

Can you handle the heat? Are you a spicy food person or no?

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15 Comments to “Challenge Entry #2 – Spicy Cherry Truffles!”

  1. This is an awesome recipe! I love spicy mixed with any other flavor, so these would be great to try. I'll definitely vote for you 🙂

  2. Mm! I love spicy truffles! and cherry! what a great combo!

  3. lavenderpug says:

    wow, that sounds amazing and really creative. brilliantly done noshgirl!

  4. San Jose Love says:

    I'm a spicy food person but probably not a fan of spicy chocolate. It definitely sounds like a unique combo though. I'll definitely vote for you!

  5. You are sooo invited to my next potluck and you're bringing these. 😉

  6. Ali @ His Birdie's Nest says:

    Those look delicious! What a great idea!

  7. These look amazing. I absolutely love the "ma-la" from the szechuan peppercorns. What dark chocolate percentage did you use? Do you think that'd make any sort of difference?

  8. I saw that top photo and thought, "What are they and can I have some!" This challenge reminds me of the show, "Chopped", which I love! I was up late last night/early this morning watching it, they had swiss cheese, lamb chops, celery root and some kind of pepper. I love the mystery basket! Happy Weekend!

  9. BigAppleNosh says:

    @Jade it was 70% dark

  10. Shannon says:

    oh wow, love these! great entry 🙂

  11. Donna Currie says:

    Those cherries were awesome, weren't they? When I opened that bag and tasted them, I knew I'd better use them right away, or I'd sample my way through the whole bag before the next stage of the contest. Nice job with the truffles, and good luck with the contest!

  12. Yum yum!

  13. The Food Hunter says:

    Wonderful idea. I wish I could taste one right now.

  14. Leslie Uhl says:

    I would love one of these for dessert tonight! Though my cherry supply is quickly dwindling….

  15. I love these, what a great combination of sweet & spicy & so easy to make!


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