These Thai Bird Chili Truffles combine a “sneaks-up on you spice,” with the complex sweetness of dark chocolate ganache.
By Marissa Sertich
Don’t judge a chili by its size – The Thai bird chili may appear puny, but it hides a lot of heat behind that slender, piquant frame. Ranking far above jalapenos and cayenne on the Scoville capsaicin scale, the Thai bird, like chocolate, hails from Central and South America, although it has become a major element in the flavor profile of Southeast Asia.
While I don’t swoon over wasabi donuts or crave smoky, bacon mousse, I do like a little Thai bird zing in my chocolate. While the modernist approach to the savory-sweet fusion leaves me flat, I adore spicy chocolates. The combination is far from new – when Columbus first landed in the Americas, he was introduced to cocoa in the form of an unsweetened, spicy beverage.
These Thai Bird Chili Truffles combine a “sneaks-up on you spice,” with the complex sweetness of dark chocolate ganache. They may cross the sweet and savory county line, but Chili-spiced chocolate is as old as chocolate itself.
- 2 each Thai Bird Chili, sliced
- 100g cream
- 30g corn syrup
- 250g dark chocolate
- 10g butter
- Sea Salt to garnish
- Additional melted chocolate for coating the truffles
- In a small saucepan place the cream, corn syrup and sliced thai bird chilies.
- Bring the cream mixture to a slight simmer, take the pot off the stove and let the Thai birds steep in the cream for at least 10m.
- Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve and bring the mixture back to a boil.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and gently stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture is shiney and homogenous.
- Add the butter while the ganache is still warm and stir until completely incorporated (if the mixture has become too cool to melt the butter or any chocolate pieces remain, you may warm the ganache over a double boiler).
- Place the mixture into the refrigerator until firm enough to scoop.
- Using a small teaspoon, scoop the ganache into individual truffles. Use your hands to roll the truffles into small balls - if you find that your hands are too warm and the chocolate is melting, it is prudent for both the chocolate and your cleanliness to wear rubber gloves.
- Once the truffles have been shaped, roll them in the additional melted chocolate. To properly enrobe the truffles, they may require two coats of the chocolate.
- Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle with a small amount of sea salt, or garnish of your choice.
- Allow the truffles to set completely before serving.
Marissa Sertich Velie is a New York based pastry chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. She passionately documents her adventures of baking and eating her way through the fascinating (and sometimes nutty) underbelly of the American pie. Velie has a Master's degree in Food Studies from NYU.