Chestnut truffles are a special treat for the holidays, but they’re also a great way to introduce people to the flavor of chestnut—they’re sophisticated enough to serve at a party, but simple enough to make on your own. These rich, luxurious bites of pure chestnut flavor are actually chocolate-covered balls of chestnut puree sprinkled with ground pistachio nuts or coconut.
The process for making chestnut truffles is fairly straightforward: roast some fresh chestnuts, puree them in a food processor with some sugar and cream, form into balls, roll in melted chocolate chips, and chill.
If you’re looking to get creative, you can try adding a garnish or chopped nuts or coconut, or different spices and extracts to the mix for some variety.
Where Do I Get Chestnuts?
I used fresh European chestnuts (Castanea sativa), also known as sweet chestnuts or Spanish chestnuts. I was lucky enough to find mine fresh while foraging around an old historic cemetery nearby. If you don’t have access to a chestnut tree, you can also find them in the produce section of the grocery store around the holidays. They will most likely be the Chinese or European species. Be on the lookout for them and you’ll be making chestnut truffles before you know it.
Chestnut Truffles Recipe
- 1 pound of roasted and shelled chestnuts
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
Dark chocolate coating:
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Place roasted chestnuts, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream in a food processor and pulse on high until well blended. Continue to add cream little by little, processing each time, until you have a dough-like puree that doesn’t stick to your hands. Remove the puree from the mixer, form it into a ball and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- To make the coating, melt the chocolate and coconut oil using a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can create one by bringing a medium pot filled with about an inch of water to a simmer. Turn the heat to as low as it will go, then place a heatproof bowl—preferably stainless steel—that’s just big enough to sit on top of the pot. Add your chocolate chips and coconut oil to the bowl and slowly stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula until completely melted and silky smooth.
- Grab 1 heaping tablespoon of the puree and roll into a ball with your hands. Repeat for the remaining chestnut puree.
- Dip or roll the truffles into the chocolate until covered. Garnish the top of each ball with ground pistachio nuts or coconut before the chocolate hardens. Gently place onto parchment paper. Place tray of truffles in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or until the chocolate has completely hardened. Remove from freezer and place in a container in the fridge. These truffles will last for several days refrigerated.
For other recipes using homegrown or foraged foods, check out our recipe index page. It’s got dozens of unique and delicious recipes like these:
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