strawberry balsamic white pepper truffles.

Hey. You’re pretty fancy, right?

Are you into making insanely delicious treats for your valentine? Treats that are simple to prepare, but taste like they’re straight out of the fanciest chocolate shop in town?

While I am a fan of the finer things in life, like leather-bound books and rich mahogany, I’m not crazy about spending a ton of money on said fine things. Roses, chocolates and a nice meal at a restaurant are like, triple the price around Valentine’s day! That literally makes no sense to me whatsoever.

“Hey! It’s Valentine’s day! I must either really love you or I’m a little dumb, because I bought you this bouquet of six roses for $85! Hooray for love!”

I really don’t think your special someone wants a vase full of already-wilting flowers for Valentine’s day. Or a heart-shaped box of mass-produced, flavorless chocolates. Or a giant teddy bear–seriously, what’s the deal with those things? Who goes to the store, sees a stuffed bear the size of a small child and thinks, “This bear is perfect. It’s the physical manifestation of my feelings, love and affection!”

Nope. Sorry, guys. In my opinion, I think the giant bear is creepy. What am I supposed to do with that thing? Prop it up somewhere in the corner of my room, so when I wake up in the middle of the night and glance around the room I’m terrified, thinking there’s a miniature killer lurking in the shadows?

And yes, that would definitely be my first thought.

So rather than spend more money than you need to this Valentine’s day, why not make your special someone something delicious?

Like these truffles. Seriously. I know the combination sounds a little weird, but trust me on this. These truffles will change your life!

Strawberry jam lends a tart sweetness to the ganache filling, pairing wonderfully with the earthy balsamic vinegar. A light kiss of cracked white pepper on top provides just enough heat to make these truffles unbelievably delicious!

Plus, when you serve these and describe the flavors to your Valentine, they’re going to think you are the fanciest ever. They are going to feel totally spoiled and special and crazy lucky to have you in their life.

And really, isn’t that the whole point of Valentine’s day? To celebrate the people we love most in our life?

So please. put down the already-dying flowers, and back away from the six foot tall stuffed bear wearing a bow tie staring vacantly back at you from the shelf. That thing is going to give her nightmares, dude. For real.

strawberry balsamic white pepper truffles

Yield: 24-30 truffles, depending on size

Total Time: 1 1/2 hours, including chilling time

this recipe can easily be halved or doubled!


8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
5 ounces heavy cream
1 ounce unsalted butter
1.5 ounces strawberry jam, at room temperature
1-2 teaspoons good balsamic vinegar
1 bag dark chocolate candy coating
freshly cracked white pepper, for topping


Place the chopped dark chocolate in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

Combine the heavy cream and butter in a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Using a heat-proof spatula, stir the cream and butter occasionally, and heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is at a simmer. When the mixture is steaming but not yet boiling, remove from the heat and pour directly over the chopped chocolate.

Allow the chocolate and cream mixture to sit undisturbed for about 30 seconds. Add the strawberry jam and balsamic vinegar, and begin whisking the mixture together until smooth and uniform, about 1 minute.

Once all the ingredients are thoroughly combined, cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate mixture is slightly firm, but still soft to the touch.

Remove the bowl from the fridge. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and, using a teaspoon, begin scooping rounds of chocolate onto the baking sheet, leaving room between each truffle. Repeat until all the chocolate mixture is used up.

Place the baking sheet in the fridge for about 15 minutes, just so the truffles can firm up a bit.

Remove the baking sheet from the fridge. You may want to put on a pair of disposable gloves, because this next part can get messy! Working one at a time, gently roll each truffle into a rounded shape and place back onto the baking sheet. Once all the truffles are rolled, return the baking sheet to the fridge for 30 minutes, or until the truffles are firm.

Melt the candy coating according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the baking sheet from the fridge and, working one at a time, coat each truffle in the chocolate coating. Place the coated truffle back onto the baking sheet and sprinkle very lightly with the freshly cracked pepper. Repeat until all truffles are completed.

Once the candy coating has set and the truffles are firm, they can be transferred to an airtight container and stored at room temperature for up to three days.

a food + words original

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17 Responses to “strawberry balsamic white pepper truffles.”

  1. #
    leaf (the indolent cook) — February 13, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Oh yeah, sounds like a sexy combo of flavours. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  2. #
    Heidi — February 13, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I agree, who needs another stuffed animal when you can stuff your face with decadent chocolate!! Live the add-ons of black pepper and balsamic, what a terrific idea.

  3. #
    Katie — February 13, 2012 at 11:52 am

    These look and sound amazing! I totally agree with you we never go out to dinner on Valentine’s day and cook in — instead. I’ve made a balsamic truffle before BUT never with white pepper… I’m all over this! Love the idea and beautiful photos as always!

  4. #
    Shaina — February 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    The flavor combination here is so intriguing. I love it. We’re also the ones who stay home and enjoy…well, home on Valentine’s Day.

  5. #
    Julia — February 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I made a balsamic strawberry combo dessert for Valentine’s Day too, but not with black pepper, what a sophisticated idea! In 10 years my husband’s never bought me a stuffed animal, thank goodness! Probably because he knows I go all ninja on it if I say it from the corner of my eye at my 1 am pee break. Stuffed animals are just creepy, for sure!

  6. #
    Carolyn — February 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Wow, Jaclyn, what an incredible flavour combo for truffles!

  7. #
    Kathryn — February 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I absolutely adore this combination of flavours – sweet and spicy and tart all at the same time!

  8. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — February 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Awesome recipe. Can’t wait to try!!

  9. #
    Russell van Kraayenburg — February 13, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    The flavors in these truffles sound incredible! What a combination. That balsamic vinegar especially has me tantalized.

  10. #
    Kathy - Panini Happy — February 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I absolutely love these flavors, Jaclyn! Would make a pretty fantastic scented candle too, don’t you think? :-)

  11. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — February 14, 2012 at 7:57 am

    HELLO BFF…. I’m expecting a box of these in the mail today.

  12. #
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray (soon to be Rachel Cooks) — February 14, 2012 at 10:16 am

    These look divine!

  13. #
    Alison @ ingredients, Inc. — February 14, 2012 at 10:20 am

    too fabulous!!! Happy V Day!!

  14. #
    Amanda — February 14, 2012 at 11:45 am

    What a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day! So romantic :)

  15. #
    brandi — February 15, 2012 at 8:54 am

    hmm…will you be bringing these to share at FBF?!? :)

  16. #
    Living The Sweet Life — February 15, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    What fancy-pants truffles, I’m in love with all the cool flavors, they look so rich and luscious. YUM!!

  17. #
    California Giant Berry Farms — March 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    These look addictive. Such a unique valentine’s idea. If you have any recipe ideas using fresh berries for the spring you should enter them into our Spring Reciberry Contest! We’d love to see you enter one of your creative food inspirations!

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