Lavender And Espresso Truffles

Lavender And Espresso Truffles

Christmas is right around the corner isn’t it?! I am fully in the holiday spirit, at least I think I am. No, I know I am once I get home, close the door and start baking and filling boxes with goodies to be shipped off to friends and given to the family on Christmas day. Indeed, it’s been a little strange looking at snowmen and pine trees while we were in shorts today…no kidding. Well, B. was because I am a “frileuse” as we say back home; always chilly. I am currently living winter vicariously through my pal Jen in Colorado who keeps filling my head with pictures of snow, ice, skiing and delicious holiday treats while I am rolling truffles.

We all have our traditions comes Christmas and there are a couple that my family never miss. My grandmother was famous for her marzipan stuffed dates and walnuts while since I was old enough to hold a spatula, I have been the one making truffles. I flew home the first Christmas after my grandma died and without exchanging a word one night my mom went to the pantry, pulled out the dates, nuts and marzipan and we made the stuffed fruits. There was quite a bit of reminiscing, a lot of crying and raw feelings shared. It was one of the best moments of my life. Through my grandma’s passing I discovered what it meant for my mom to continue with certain things just the way they were. It brings people together, it gives you a breakthrough or a headache but your heart is full and your soul growing.

While grandma was playing with marzipan, I was never more than a couple of feet away, strirring and scooping and rolling ganache for truffles. You can safely assume that once I moved here, this is the one thing I never miss doing during the holidays. The truffle batter I use is a basic ganache that I flavor differently depending on my mood or what people ask for. Depending on the time available I might hand dip them in tempered chocolate (Go Jen!) and decorate them but this year it is so not happening so I made them the way we do in my family, rolled in cocoa or nuts, etc…


I have only made two kinds so far, lavender infused truffles and espresso truffles. Once the ganache was made, I let it harden in the fridge for a couple of hours and then scooped out little balls that I rolled and place on a parchment baking sheet and place them “naked” back in the fridge. The reason behind this little “curing” it is to help them develop a natural skin so that the cocoa powder won’t seep in the truffles as they stand waiting for their delicious (for you!) fate. On the other hand I find it a lot easier to have the nuts adhere to the chocolate right after you have rolled them in between your hands and your body heat has softened the ganache a bit.

I made a firm ganache with semisweet chocolate (Callebaut) and since all chocolate vary, your ganache may set up differently so if it turns out too soft, add more chocolate in your next batch or if it was too firm add a little more cream. I used a ratio of 8 oz of chocolate for 1/2 cup of cream but if you want to use milk or white chocolate increase the ratio to 12 oz for the same amount of cream. Adding alcohol will soften the ganache unless you add the same amount of chocolate so for every ounce of liqueur (about 2 tablespoons) that you use, increase the chocolate by one ounce also. For milk or white ganaches, add 2 ounces of chocolate for every ounce of liqueur. If you want to know more about chocolate, I strongly recommend this wonderful book “The Art Of Chocolate” by Elaine Gonzales.

Lavender Truffles

Makes 30 to 35 truffles

1/2 cup (125ml) heavy cream
1 tablespoon (1gr) edible lavender buds
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
cocoa powder for rolling

In a small heavy saucepan placed over low heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let stand 30 minutes. Strain the lavender and bring the cream back to a simmer. Once hot, add the chocolate and let stand for a couple of minutes then stir until the ganache is completely smooth. Let cool to room temperature then refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. With a spoon or a melon baller, scoop out balls of ganache, roll them in between your palms fairly quickly and set them on a baking sheet. Refrigerate overnight. Roll them in the cocoa powder and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Espresso Truffles:

Makes 30-35

1/2 cup (125ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons espresso powder
2 tablespoons (1 oz) coffee liqueur
9 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pistachios

In a small heavy saucepan, bring the cream and espresso powder to a simmer over low heat. Add the liqueur and remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and let stand a couple of minutes then stir the ganache until completely smooth.Let cool to room temperature then refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. With a spoon or a melon baller, scoop out balls of ganache, roll them in between your palms fairly quickly and roll them in the pistachios and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Lavender And Espresso Truffles

For more cookies and sweet treat ideas, check Susan’s Eat Christmas Cookies, Season 2!





81 responses to “Lavender And Espresso Truffles”

  1. K and S Avatar
    K and S

    sounds perfect for the holidays and every day after that 🙂 happy holidays!

  2. Mrs.French Avatar

    please oh please santa bring me some of these…sigh…xo

  3. Sunshinemom Avatar

    The last picture looks so beautiful! Can I have your email id please?

  4. Cannelle Et Vanille Avatar
    Cannelle Et Vanille

    I am also loving all the snow photos from jen and everyone. and it seems like when all my friends can’t wait to get out of the cold and snow of colorado, i want to go cozy up by their fireplace. maybe next year. these are lovely images helen. they really make me want to bundle up, sit by a fire and eat truffles. i’m so glad it’s christmas. my favorite time of year.

  5. Rosa's Yummy Yums Avatar
    Rosa's Yummy Yums

    What delightful truffles! I particularly like the espresso ones!



  6. Manggy Avatar

    Eep! I keep thinking how lovely it would be to have a white Christmas until I realize I may be cursing that very same snow in a few weeks! 😛 Thank you so much for the tips, Helen– especially the one about truffle “skin”. Very helpful! 😀
    We have a very simple tradition here– mass, then Mark makes food and everyone eats, lol 😛

  7. Christy Avatar

    Helen, you have to tell me where you got those adorable little boxes with the scallop-edged inserts and matching scallop-edged wrapping paper from!! They are so cute they drive me crazy!! Or did you make them?? In which case you will officially be my domestic goddess. They are so perfect for..for…everything!!

    The truffles look so wonderful!! With those boxes, they really do look like the perfect gift!!

  8. diva Avatar

    tartelette, you always do take the best photos. i love the lavender infused one..anything lavender drives me insane. by the way, i just love that ornamental ball thingy. it’s gorgeous. merry christmas!! have a fab one. x

  9. Y Avatar

    The wrapping alone, of those delicious gifts, makes me wish I was receiving one too 🙂

  10. carolina @ patagonia gifts Avatar
    carolina @ patagonia gifts

    Oh darling, not only those truffles look delicious, but those boxes are just heavenly treasures!

  11. Culinary Wannabe Avatar
    Culinary Wannabe

    Your pictures are just stunning! They are truly works of art – just like the truffles! 🙂

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    Beautiful as always and so inspiring!

  13. Sweet Treats by Dani Avatar
    Sweet Treats by Dani

    YUM 🙂

  14. Kana Avatar

    Christmas is not complete without chocolate truffles in my home. I have been making them for years. But mine is soft and I figured that is they are supposed to be. And you are right, the cocoa powder does “seep” into the chocolate. Thanks for the tip on cooling them before rolling in cocoa powder. I think I will give this recipe a try – firmer truffles would not be so cumbersome to make ( but delicious all the same)

  15. Anonymous Avatar

    I can feel Christmas is so near with your photos!! Lovely!

  16. LizNoVeggieGirl Avatar

    DIVIIIIIINE!!! And hooray for Christmas coming up 🙂

  17. Marian Avatar

    ¡¡exquisitas ¡¡¡

  18. Bridget Avatar

    What a sweet story about your Grandmother!

    The truffles sound delicious! Thanks for the tips on making them!

  19. Beachlover Avatar

    what a beautifully truffles you make..Thanks for sharing your recipe.I never make this and going to try out your recipe soon:) Happy Holiday to you and family!

  20. Aimée Avatar

    Helene, before I even opened up my Christmas parcel from my mother, I could smell her home grown lavender. She send a beautiful bundle and now I have the perfect recipe to try it with.
    Of course, being the coffee fanatic that I am, I just may have to make both recipes!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours–those boxes are precious and would brighten up anyone’s holiday.

  21. Anonymous Avatar

    ooooh…lovely truffles. I have those boxes too! I was going to use it for an assorted mix for the business but I thought they were hard to put the lid on. And then when they got filled it was easier to put the lid on – but I already sent a bunch of them back. 🙁

  22. Helene Avatar

    Thank you everyone!

    Christy: I was slack this year and got the boxes from Martha Stewart. Veron reported that the lids were hard to get on them, mine were fine but one set was a little tight. They come with tissue paper, ribbons and tags but I made my own instead.

  23. Susan @ SGCC Avatar
    Susan @ SGCC

    Everything looks so beautiful, Helen. You are a true artist! I’ll be dreaming about those lovely truffles tonight! 😉

  24. Dewi Avatar

    Everything look so cheerful and colorful. Espresso truffles sounds so good, especially with pistachios.
    Have a wonderful season, Helen.

  25. Breadpitt Avatar

    truffle ooo truffle!!!! made them , love them , eat them…!Pomegranate Hibiscus Tea & Ginger Yogurt Verrine are too pretty to spoon it, awww!hehe

  26. Leacayoungart Avatar

    Those look so yummy!

  27. cindy* Avatar

    these are wonderful helen! i love the holidays and all of the traditions that come with.

  28. Kelsey Avatar

    How lovely! What could be better than sitting by a warm fire with a hot cup of tea and a lavender truffle? I can’t think of anything…

  29. montague Avatar

    i should really experiment with lavender!

  30. Anonymous Avatar

    What lovely photos. I think I will try both recipes this weekend for some friends who are stopping by. I like the scalloped candy separators in your boxes. Did they come with the boxes or did you make them yourself?

  31. Anonymous Avatar

    wow – what a combination. I love lavender in food – far more so than the actual smell of the plant, oddly.

    Go on, send us a box! these look fantastic!!!! 😛

  32. Cakebrain Avatar

    Mmm! I can imagine how delicious these would be! I so love your sense of colour and design…your pics are so inspiring!

  33. kickpleat Avatar

    oh my, these look so beautiful!

  34. That Girl Avatar
    That Girl

    It’s funny how we keep switching weather this year. I’m FREEZING out here!

  35. Helene Avatar

    Nichole: one of her box set came with the inserts. Made it so much nicer to add different cookie types without crumbs flying all over!

  36. Bron Avatar

    Mmm lovely, who couldn’t love these?!

  37. Anonymous Avatar

    I love lavender truffles! It’s also great mixed with various teas. I like your technique of leaving them in the fridge overnight to form a “skin”.

  38. Cindy Avatar

    the story about your grandmother was really touching and a beautiful example of the importance of cooking or making just about anything together.

    i don’t remember who said it, but i recently heard with regard to artists that if they excel in one form (photography) they will excel in other forms (cooking). that concept certainly applies to you, helen.

    everything looks incredible! i really love the photos of the packaged truffles.

  39. Anonymous Avatar

    Gorgeous helen!! beautiful and they sound delicious!!!!

  40. Anonymous Avatar

    Gorgeous helen!! beautiful and they sound delicious!!!!

  41. Lori Avatar

    I love truffles but talk about slack, I was not in the mood to make them this year. Yours are beautiful!

  42. Rita Avatar

    I love lavender touch on foods so that’s probably what I’ll try when I get around making truffles (who knows when will that be…) But I was really interested on your grandmma’s marzipan-stuffed dates. Is there anything else to it, or do I just cut open the dates and stuff them with marzipan?

  43. Helene Avatar

    I am smiling because Mamie would be tickled pink that someone inquired about her marzipan treats.
    She would us a mix of dried dates, figs, prunes and cut small pieces of colored marzipan and stuff them in the fruits cut open but not all the way through. For the walnut she would sandwich a piece of marzipan in between 2 walnut halves.

    Not everybody liked it but that was a sure way to either get you stuck on them or hating them!!

    One year we did not go home she mailed us a box of those… 🙂

  44. Anonymous Avatar

    Hi Helen,

    Your truffles look lovely, a pefect holiday gift!


  45. karey m. Avatar
    karey m.

    stunning. as always.

    and i just spent about 20 minutes scrolling through your style feed over on the right…

    i think you are effortlessly perfect. covetable, all. xoxo.

  46. karey m. Avatar
    karey m.

    oops. what i really wanted to tell you is that your memory of you and your mom baking after your grandmother’s passing?

    one of the loveliest moments i’ve ever read. as though we were all there. well done.

  47. Anonymous Avatar

    Mmmmmm. Both (lavender and espresso) look really delicious. Whatever the taste touch, ganache is one of my favorite things ever.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS (and happy baking too) 😉

  48. Tiny bakery Avatar
    Tiny bakery

    truffle is my all time favorite dessert !! but yours looks better than i’v ever done 🙂

  49. Nina Timm Avatar
    Nina Timm

    Truffles are my favorite sweet! Lovely gift idea!

  50. Anonymous Avatar

    Lavender truffles — I can’t think of anything more decadent, or more romantic (maybe for Valentine’s Day…).

  51. Mallory Elise Avatar
    Mallory Elise

    ooooh starbucks espresso truffle late, i had a grande yesterday! i bet your truffles taste just like it…but better. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  52. Anonymous Avatar

    Oh to be on the receiving end of one of these boxes…that would be fantastic!!

    Amazing, amazing pictures! It is wonderful to see you versatility!


  53. Anonymous Avatar

    So curious about lavender infused truffles !

  54. dicus Avatar

    So I made lavender truffles this morning and rolled them in honey powder. They look great and taste fantastic. Thank you so much for the recipe and the inspiration. Tonight I will make white chocolate Chambord truffles rolled in raspberry powder to go along with them.

    Merry Christmas

  55. Sandie Avatar

    What an elegant and decadent treat for the holidays, and I know just the recipient I should make some for!

  56. Anonymous Avatar

    Je passe pour vous souhaiter mes vœux par ce petit message, car je vais être absente pendant les fêtes.

    Noël se nourrira de miel, de brioche et de lumière
    Nous tremperons dans le bon café chaud la bûche
    A la belle saveur de crème vanille et chocolat
    Mille flocons de sucre glace tombent aux quatre coins de l’hiver
    Et la maisonnée rêve à tous tes cadeaux, beau Père Noël.
    Pour cette nouvelle année, Je n’ai que quelques vœux à formuler : La joie, le bonheur, l’amour et, bien sûr, la santé !
    Que ces jours de festivités vous enveloppent de joie de vivre ! Et, que celle-ci se poursuive tout au long des mois qui viendront égayer vos jours de soleil.
    Joyeux Noël,
    Bonne et Heureuse année 2009 !

  57. Joyce Avatar

    Mmmm… these sound heavenly! This might be a good thing I don’t live near by- I would be rolling down the street. Your treats always look so yummmy.

  58. Susan from Food Blogga Avatar
    Susan from Food Blogga

    Lavender and espresso? That is brilliant, Helen. And I know what you mean about baking after your loss. There is something inexplicably soothing about it. Happy holidays to you and yours, my dear.

  59. Anna Avatar

    They sound amazing! I will have to try them out.

  60. Anonymous Avatar

    Delicious flavor combinations and so very beautiful!

  61. chililime Avatar

    Absolutely beautiful, Helen. How thoughtful of you to take the time to create homemade, edible gifts for your loved ones. I must try lavender truffles.

  62. Bonbon Oiseau Avatar
    Bonbon Oiseau

    As always Helen, these are gorgeous and you are such a sweet spirit as well…lavender truffles sound perfect! lavender anything sounds perfect but these—yes!!!!!

  63. MyKitchenInHalfCups Avatar

    December and you’re in shorts . . .
    I think perhaps your lavender truffles could win me over to truffles.

  64. Anonymous Avatar

    Gorgeous! They both look great!

  65. Valentina Avatar

    Everything about your posts, this one specially, is beautiful. Lovely story, truffles, pictures…it is all so festive..

  66. Cakespy Avatar

    What festive little truffles! I’ll bet there is a trail of smiles everywhere they go! 🙂

  67. Elizabeth Avatar

    These look incredible. Thank you for sharing with us that special moment when you baked with your mom. Those shared experiences really highlight the closeness that is family.

  68. Anonymous Avatar

    Delicious and Christmas-y. Don’t know which one I’d try first…both must be delicious!

  69. P Avatar

    Oh my goodness – your blog is ridiculously wonderful! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog – I’m so happy to have found you.

    Marzipan stuffed dates – you’ve just described my two favorite things in the ENTIRE WORLD. Would you share the recipe with us?


  70. Fifi Flowers Avatar
    Fifi Flowers

    BEAUTIFUL treats! You make everything look amazing! ENJOY the holiday season and the first day of Winter!

  71. virtual chef Avatar
    virtual chef

    Merry Christmas! … That the joy of Christmas and the best recipes can be repeated every day in the new year.
    Virtual Chef

  72. La Tartine Gourmande Avatar
    La Tartine Gourmande

    Miam, tu me donnes envie de m’y mettre, la maintenant !

  73. Anonymous Avatar

    It’s when Santa shows up at your door wearing shorts that you should worry. 🙂

    Tes truffes sont tellement belles! Et puis je suis sur qu’elle sont encore meilleures a manger. Mmmmm!

  74. Art of Dessert Avatar
    Art of Dessert

    Gorgeous Truffles! Ooooh…I’d love to try the lavender infused ones 🙂

  75. Jen Yu Avatar
    Jen Yu

    Oh girl, if I didn’t know better, I’d think all you and the man subsisted on were sweets 🙂 So pretty too. You really keep me from getting too sloppy because I have to practice for the day when you visit – I have to feed you stuff that looks good and edible! Whenever you are ready for some seriously cold weather, I have a guest floor ready for you and B. Your truffles are gorgeous, almost as beautiful as you. xxoo I hope you have a fantastic holiday, sweetie.

  76. Kristina R. Avatar
    Kristina R.

    Even though I am done with my holiday truffles, I may have to make the lavender one just because since they look so goo.

  77. steph- whisk/spoon Avatar
    steph- whisk/spoon

    what wonderful gifts these would make! happy holidays!!

  78. Rachael Hutchings Avatar
    Rachael Hutchings

    Thank you so much for taking the time to explain how adding things like alcohol, or changing things (like using milk chocolate instead) affects the outcome of the ganache…SO useful! You’re a gem.

  79. Lesley Avatar

    C’est si beau. I LOVE THESE. Wow.
    I haven’t been on your blog in so long, sorry…but now I see all I have missed.
    I REALLY love the little boxes. Where did you get them?

  80. Jenny Avatar

    I'll most definitely try that Espresso Truffles reicpe, those look delicioud! Thanks for sharing.

  81. Shumaila Avatar

    Thanks so much Helen for the recipe for Lavender Truffles. Loved them. Also, love your tutorial on macarons! Helped a lot. Love your blog!

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