Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles

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The hint of pepper in these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles is fun…and delicious!

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The hint of pepper in these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles is fun...and delicious!

Good things come to those who wait.  Or at least that’s what my Dad taught me when I was a kid.  As much as I disagreed with my Dad’s advice back then, I have to admit now that he was spot on.  I’m definitely on the ‘slow and steady wins the race’ team.  Take homemade bread for instance.  Baking homemade bread takes time.  It’s a labor of love.  But the incredible smell (and taste!) of fresh bread right out of your oven is just beyond words.  That same concept can be applied to these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles, but more on that later.  And speaking of these truffles, who would’ve thought that combining raspberries with black pepper would lead to something amazing?  But it totally works!  

The hint of pepper in these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles is fun...and delicious!

From blue cheese to green olives to vinegar, my taste buds have evolved over time.  And combining sweet with a bit of savory in these truffles totally falls into that category.  Another one?  Scotch.  And whiskey.  (Well, to be fair, scotch is whiskey, too.  It’s just whiskey that’s been produced in Scotland.)  Laura and I traveled to Scotland a couple of years ago, and it was seriously an amazing trip.  Before we went, my boss at the time had given me a bottle of scotch for Christmas.  Laura and I didn’t think we liked scotch, but we decided we needed to learn to appreciate it before we made the trip over to Scotland.

The hint of pepper in these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles is fun...and delicious!

So for a few months there, we would pour ourselves a tiny glass of scotch while we hibernated in our basement watching tv.  (It was winter in upstate New York…so that meant hibernation was in full force.)  At first, we didn’t like the flavor.  But then the strangest thing happened.  We slowly found ourselves appreciating the flavor of scotch.  When we were in Scotland, we stopped at a number of different distilleries.  (I swear you can’t go 10 miles…err, kilometers…in Scotland without stumbling across another distillery!)  And now we actually enjoy trying different scotches.  We do enjoy the taste, and it also brings back memories of our trip across Scotland!

The hint of pepper in these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles is fun...and delicious!

Do you like scotch?  What about whiskey?  I recently discovered the Whiskey5 website which separates a variety of scotches and whiskeys into 5 tasting categories: Smooth, Spicy, Bold, Sweet and Smoky.  You select 2 of those 5 flavors, and then adjust the slider bar to set the intensity for those 2 flavors.  Then the website will give you a list of several scotches and whiskeys that match your taste preferences.  How cool is that?

I took the test and selected Smooth as my top choice.  (Smooth whiskeys are described as rich and creamy…a mellow and soothing adventure for your senses.  Sounds like me!) I knew the website was spot-on when it included Oban Single Malt scotch on the list as Oban happens to be one of my favorite scotches!

The hint of pepper in these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles is fun...and delicious!

In addition to Oban, the Whiskey5 website also recommended the Singleton of Glendullan 12.  As I mentioned, Laura and I love trying new scotches, so we decided to give this one a shot.  And we love it!  The Whiskey5 website did a solid job of predicting our taste preferences.  So what does the 12 after the Singleton of Glendullan mean?  It means this single malt scotch has been aged for 12 years before bottling.  Remember that whole thing about ‘good things come to those who wait’?  Well it certainly applies to scotch!  Can you imagine making a recipe and then having to wait 12 years to try it!?  Oh, and fun fact that we learned in Scotland: scotch is aged in wooden barrels, and over time a little bit of that scotch evaporates.  That evaporated portion, roughly 2% of the total volume of the cask each year, is called the ‘angel’s share.’

As we were driving down from Inverness to Edinburgh near the end of our trip, Laura and I stopped at a distillery where we did a chocolate and scotch tasting.  At first glance, scotch and chocolate don’t seem to be likely partners.  But the flavors totally play well together!  After all, scotch is often enjoyed as an after-dinner drink, so it makes sense that it should be accompanied by a bit of nice chocolate.  And that’s where these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles come in!

The hint of pepper in these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles is fun...and delicious!

Let’s revisit that ‘good things come to those who wait’ concept.  In addition to scotch, it also applies to these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles…although you don’t have to wait 12 years to eat these truffles!  Making homemade truffles is a bit of a process.  Similar to baking homemade bread, there are a number of steps.  Each step isn’t terribly difficult, though.  Making the ganache filling for the middle of the truffle takes the most time…but it also produces tasty results!  I mean the rich raspberry taste combined with chocolate and just a hint of black pepper makes it worth the effort!

The hint of pepper in these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles is fun...and delicious!

I also chose to temper the chocolate that I used to coat the outside of these truffles.  Tempering chocolate is a process of taking melted chocolate to different temperatures in order to produce a smooth chocolate that has that characteristic ‘snap’ to it.  If you want to shorten the process a bit, you can often find chocolate melting wafers in the store that are already tempered and ready for dipping.

The hint of pepper in these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles is fun...and delicious!Laura and I sat back and enjoyed nibbling on these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles while we sipped on a glass of the Singleton of Glendullan 12.  We prefer our scotch either neat or with just a couple drops of water.  Honestly, we always thought we only liked our scotch neat (i.e. no ice or water), but the bartender on our recent Rhine river cruise convinced us to try a glass with a couple drops of water.  That water really opened up the flavor profile of the scotch, and it tasted totally different!  So what flavors do you look for in your whiskey?  Check out the Whiskey5 website to a find a list of scotches and whiskeys to try.  Click here to find out where to buy.  Then go make some Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles to enjoy with your selection!  Cheers, friends!

The hint of pepper in these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles is fun...and delicious!

Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles

The hint of pepper in these Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles is fun...and delicious!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 18 servings
Calories: 361kcal


For the Ganache

For the Truffles (see note)

  • 16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped, divided
  • {optional garnish} white chocolate melted


For the Ganache

  • Using a food processor or mini-chopper, puree raspberries until smooth. Gently press mixture through a fine-meshed strainer to remove seeds.
  • Place raspberry puree in a medium saucepan; stir in the powdered sugar. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until mixture is reduced to ⅔ cup. (Note: The puree will get very thick near the end of cooking; make sure to stir often to prevent it from burning.) Remove raspberry puree from heat and set aside.
  • Heat the heavy cream in a separate saucepan until hot but not boiling. Pour the heavy cream into a medium mixing bowl. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate has fully melted. Add raspberry puree, light corn syrup, butter, black pepper and salt; stir until mixture is well combined and smooth. (Note: If some larger chunks of chocolate remain and don’t fully melt, simply place the ganache in a heatproof mixing bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water until it heats up enough to melt the remaining chocolate.)
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap, pressing wrap down so that it touches the surface of the ganache. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, or until hard.
  • Line a baking tray with wax paper or foil. Using a spoon, scoop ganache into small ¾” balls. Place balls on lined baking tray and freeze for at least 2 hours.

For the Truffles

  • Place 12 oz. of chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Place bowl over a gently simmering saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir chocolate with a rubber spatula often until it melts and reaches 120°F.
  • Remove the bowl from the saucepan and wipe any condensation off the bottom of the bowl. (Note: It is very important that no water gets in the bowl with the melted chocolate, or the chocolate will seize.)
  • Gradually add remaining 4 oz. of chopped chocolate to the bowl, stirring after each addition until fully melted and smooth.
  • Test the temperature of the chocolate. The goal is to let the chocolate cool to 86°F. If the chocolate is above 86°F, continue stirring until it drops to 86°F. (If it is already below 86°F, continue to next step.)
  • Place the heatproof bowl with the chocolate back over the saucepan with simmering water. Reheat, stirring often, until chocolate reaches 88°-91°F. The goal is to maintain a temperature in this range while you dip the ganache balls (next step). (Tip: Try to work fairly quickly while dipping the balls, and, if necessary, adjust the heat to keep chocolate between 88°-91°F).
  • Drop each ganache ball into the bowl of melted chocolate. Roll it back and forth until it’s fully coated, and then use a fork to lift the truffle out of the bowl. Allow excess chocolate to drip off and then place truffles back onto lined baking sheet. Set truffles aside until completely cool.
  • {Optional} After they’ve cooled, drizzle tops of truffles with melted white chocolate.
  • Store truffles in air-tight container in refrigerator, but allow them to come to room temperature before serving.


If you don’t want to temper the chocolate in this step, you can purchase chocolate melting wafers instead of pure chocolate.

Raspberry Black Pepper Truffles

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  1. “Good things come to those who wait” – I like this credo, David. Sometimes I even follow it. However, there are certain things I’m totally impatient. It often comes to cooking. For instance, having a limited available time for developing recipes/photography, I tend to squeeze into one day quite a few things resulting me being exhausted and searching for shortcuts like cutting down the time for dough to rise (Which you, as a professional baker, knows isn’t the best thing to do). Or I might impatiently check (every five minutes) if the chocolate ganache has set…leaving some beautiful fingerprints on it:) Obviously, it would be hard for me to wait until these truffles are ready (or until I get a parcel from you). I love this touch of pepper too. And this combo of raspberries and chocolate is amazing. Also, you’ve given me a great idea. There’s one delicious ice cream called raspberry truffle so I need to recreate your recipe…but in the ice cream form!

    1. I hear ya, Ben! Sometimes it’s just hard to wait when it comes to kitchen tasks. But I like to try to plan ahead for recipes like that. In fact, recipes with multiple stages are often easier because you can stop, do a part, go off and do something else and then come back again later. Know what I mean? I have definitely left some awesome fingerprints in my chocolate ganache before…and then I have to melt it again with a kitchen torch to remove that fingerprint. Been there, done that. haha!

      So the combo of black pepper, chocolate and raspberries in these truffles is out of this world. Give is a shot sometime! And I know you like a good drink, so pour a glass of scotch with these as an after-dinner treat. 🙂 I think you could also turn this one into ice cream as you are the Ice Cream King!

  2. Hi David. I made chocolate covered raspberries at Christmas. I have candy molds so it is really easy, but I also make truffles similar to these. Gary is a Scotch guy, my drink choice is vodka. Although I’m not opposed to beer or wine. 🙂

    1. It sounds like Gary and I would get along quite well, then! 🙂 Perhaps we can sit back with a glass of scotch while nibbling on truffles and chocolate-covered raspberries? Believe it or not, but it won’t be long before the holidays are here! Thanks so much, Dorothy!

  3. I agree – good things do take time (and patience) and I definitely really enjoy the whole bread making process! Hubby enjoy whiskey and bourbon and lately I have been enjoying an old fashioned with him. It’s something that I didn’t like, but now enjoying sipping on one. Funny how you mention kilometres…that’s what we use here in Canada 🙂 I’m seriously digging these truffles, David! How perfect for gifting (or keeping and eating all myself, lol). Cheers, my friend!

    1. Yes! Bourbon, whiskey and scotch (i.e. Scottish whiskey) are among my favorites, but they all took time to appreciate. We slowly sipped and tried different ones until we decided what we liked, and now they are my go-to drink when I’m in the mood! So these truffles are so much fun, Dawn. They take a bit of time to make since the ganache filling needs to be chilled, but the wait is well worth it! Thanks so much, my friend. I hope your week is off to an excellent start so far! 🙂

  4. Hi again! Meant to ask, have you ever had chocolate cayenne ice cream? I had some at Trader Joe’s years ago and it was good!

    1. Hmmm…I haven’t had chocolate cayenne ice cream, although I can totally see how it would be good. I have had a chocolate cayenne bar (just chocolate with cayenne in it), and that was quite fun. Switch that one into ice cream form, and I would gladly grab a spoon and dig in! 🙂

  5. My grandpa always drank a finger of scotch with a splash of water and an ice cube; when I was little, he’d give me his ice cube after he finished his drink so I developed a taste for scotch from an early age. I’m totally jealous you and Laura went to a scotch and chocolate tasting! That’s basically a dream come true for me. These truffles sound like a dream come true too. I love a little spice in my sweets! Have a great week, David!

    1. How funny is that? I love that your grandpa gave you the ice cube! And I bet the taste of scotch totally brings back memories of your grandpa, right? Awesome. Next time you’re in upstate New York, swing on by so we can recreate that chocolate and scotch tasting here, ok? 🙂 These truffles were a fun creation with the bit of black pepper hiding in there, and we shared the leftovers with Laura’s coworkers. How’s that for a snack in the break room? Haha! Thanks, Kelsie!

  6. Good things always come to those who wait, but I’m horrible at waiting for food. I’m seriously the worst. In my late 20s, I got into drinking Rye, I loved Manhattans now I cringe when I taste the stuff. I’ve never made truffles but I’ve always wanted to. Maybe I can include these in my Christmas Cookies 🙂
    Have a great week David 🙂

    1. I totally hear ya, Mary! I’m ok with the patience and waiting thing as long as I’m not hungry…but if I’m hungry? Then watch out! That’s so funny that you don’t like the taste of Manhattens anymore. I guess I’ve done the same thing with other liquors over time, but bourbons and scotches are totally my thing now. I love trying different ones! Also, these truffles are so fun to make! They do take a bit of time, but just treat each of the stages of the recipe as a separate recipe…that way it doesn’t feel like it’s that long to make! And trust me that your friends/family will be mega-impressed with homemade truffles. In fact, can we call homemade truffles a Friday craft? It’s kinda close enough, right? 🙂

  7. I agree with you David that all good things come to those who wait. I have to admit I am not much of a whiskey lover and have never tried scotch. I have never tried pepper in sweet treats although I have seen recipes for it. I think these truffles look amazing! I am going to have to put them on my list to try. I would love to try the pepper in a recipe like this.

    1. So I used to not care for whiskey and scotch, either, Dawn…but Laura and I decided we needed to learn to appreciate scotch before we took our trip to Scotland a few years back. And now I’ve grown to love different types of scotch! It was a slow process, but fun to try different flavors.

      And I do agree that the black pepper in these is a fun little surprise. It’s not too much. Just enough to leave you wondering what that extra layer of flavor in there is. Give ’em a shot sometime! Thanks so much, my friend! I hope your week is off to an excellent start so far!

  8. Oban Whisky is one my my favourite malts too David. Whilst you were in Scotland did you manage to get to Oban to visit that distillery? If you didn’t it’s well worth a quick visit and I’d be happy to meet you there if you make it over next year. I’d also like to recommend my absolute favourite malt whisky which is Talisker. That disttillery is in Carbost on the Island of Skye. I could go on and on about it and all of the Scottish malts but I feel that’s a conversation we need to have face to face one day! Anyway, these truffles look amazing, for me these are THE perfect Christmas day afternoon treat (whilst slouched in a chair too full to move from just having had Christmas dinner!) 😀

    1. See, I knew we were good friends, Neil! Let’s get together and share stories over a glass of Oban, ok? 🙂 So we didn’t make it to Oban on our trip to Scotland a couple years back. In fact, I didn’t discover Oban until one night at the curling club…and now it’s up there in our top 3 or 4 favorite malts! And funny that you mention Talisker because I also happen to have a bottle of that one in the cabinet upstairs. Laura got me a bottle for Christmas last year! Ok, that’s it. We need to have that face-to-face conversation about malts. Let’s put it on the calendar for sure!

      And, yes, these truffles are amazing. They would indeed make a good dessert for after Christmas dinner as they aren’t too big, but they pack quite the decadent punch with the raspberry, chocolate and little hint of black pepper in there. Thanks so much, Neil! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Balvinder…you are too kind! But I do agree with you that these truffles are worth the wait. The combination of flavors here is so tasty! 🙂

  9. My hubby would love these, he puts black pepper on EVERYTHING! I totally agree that your tastebuds can evolve a lot over time. My mom always used to tell me that, and I’ve found that she was definitely right! I love the combo of raspberry + chocolate. And your Scotland trip sounds like a lot of fun!

    1. Haha…it sounds like your hubby and I would be friends then, Nicole! I love black pepper! So the combo of raspberry + chocolate is delicious…and then the little hint of black pepper just adds a new level of mystery. Quite a fun one to make and serve! 🙂

    1. Oh, you should totally try the chocolate, raspberry & black pepper combo, Manali! The little pinch of black pepper is enough to add intrigue to the truffles without being too overpowering. Give it a shot sometime! 🙂

  10. These truffles sound awesome! I think they would make great “gifts in a jar” at Christmas, too. #client

  11. i’m not a huge fan of black pepper, probably due to my dad’s tendency to over-pepper everything (and his tendency to do most of the cooking as well). but a touch in these truffles sounds really interesting, especially truffles are so decadent and could use a bit of oomph to cut through all that sweetness!

    1. So I am a fan of black pepper, but I get that it’s not for everyone. But these truffles only have a little pinch of pepper. It’s enough to be noticeable, but at the same time you probably couldn’t name the flavor if someone didn’t tell you. It’s quite a fun little twist! Thanks so much, Heather! 🙂

    1. Yes! I am actually pretty excited for autumn and winter, too. Of course, I know I’m going to be over it once the snows and bitter cold move in…but for now, I am REALLY enjoying these crisp, cool mornings. Thanks so much for the kind words, Lucie! 🙂

  12. It sounds like you had a fantastic time in Scotland – can you imagine I have never been to Scotland even though that I have lived in the UK for more than a decade – it is so overdue! My husband recently discovered that he likes whiskey, his favourites are from Japan – he might like Scotch as well. I am a very patient person but I am glad I don’t have to wait 12 years to eat these truffles, I am a big fan of ‘odd’ flavour combinations and pepper & raspberry sounds great to me. Still have to master the art of tempering chocolate! Have a fantastic weekend, David!

    1. Wait…you’ve never been to Scotland? Miriam! You seriously need to catch a train up to Edinburgh! To be fair, August is the best time to visit Edinburgh, so maybe put on the calendar for next year? Heck, we’ve been talking about going back to Scotland next year, so maybe we’ll see you there! Haha! As far as scotches, I bet your husband would be a fan. It’s an easy jump from whiskey over to Scotch whiskey (i.e. scotch) in my opinion. Oh, and tempering chocolate isn’t that hard. You just need a good thermometer and pay close attention to the stages. Then you get to eat delicious truffles as a reward! 🙂 Thanks so much, my friend, and I hope you have a great weekend as well!

  13. Chocolate and raspberries are so good together.. Black pepper is such a strong spice.. I am wondering how you thought about adding it to those truffles!!! They definitely are intriguing and delicious for sure!!

    1. Thanks, Jeff! The black pepper is a subtle but noticeable flavor in here…and it’s quite fun. Plus, there’s chocolate and chocolate makes everything awesome!

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