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Dark Chocolate Chèvre Truffles with Red Chile and Honey

I've been meaning to share this one for awhile now. They're so tasty and very easy to make. I put these together for the first time for a little Valentine's day treat for Scrapple this past Feb. while I was interning in the caves at Murray's. At the time, their cave master was doing a collaboration with Mast Brothers Chocolate, an amazing independent chocolate maker in Brooklyn (they bring their beans in on a sail boat to conserve energy!) for a special Valentine's day cheese and I was inspired to do some experimenting of my own! 

I had heard of goat cheese truffles, quite a few pioneering goat creameries have made their own amazing versions that I've heard mouthwatering tales of, but somehow I had never tried them! Cheese and chocolate - my two favorite foods - TOGETHER in perfect creamy harmony... Once the idea was in my head I was on a roll! 

I found some recipes online, but was disappointed to see that most used sugar, and a lot of it. Honey, my favorite sugar sub, is basically perfect for any cheese recipe and packs more sweetening power in a smaller dose. I was worried that it might glop up the consistency, but we tend to like our chocolate dark and bitter, so I wouldn't need a ton of if in there anyway.  I also decided to try using some of the amazing red chile powder we have on hand (in bulk, did I mention that I am married to a human sized NM chile?) to help convince Scrapple that these were really a treat for him (insert evil cackling laugh here). Because I had a great discount at Murray's, and had been spoiled with the leftovers of cave experimentation, I went with one of the fancy Mast bars they sell there. It was delicious, but by no means necessary. When I made them again last week for Mother's Day I used ghirardelli dark chocolate chips and the results were just as tasty. If you're not sure red chile powder is your thing try rolling in cocoa powder, cinnamon, nuts - really just about anything! That said, I do urge you to give it a try. Instead of giving the savory spice I had anticipated, it adds delicious jammy berry flavors with just a tiny bite of zing that really take these from yummy to addictive. Oh, they also pair quite well with a glass of red (cheese, chocolate, and wine. yes. do it.).  

You can make this recipe in any size batch you'd like, just adjust the amount of honey to taste. Depending on the size of truffle you prefer, this batch size will make 16-30.

Dark Chocolate Chèvre Truffles

8 oz chocolate (I think dark is best for this, but experiment away!)

8oz chèvre (I used Westfield Farm's Capri, now I'm using Bridget Chevre :)

1-2 tbs honey

about 1/4 c New Mexican red chile powder and or cocoa for rolling

1. Let the chèvre warm up to room temp in a medium sized bowl (an hour or two). 

2. Beat in 1-2 tbs honey (I like it to add just a little sweetness, but not too much, you are about to be adding equal parts chocolate) to taste.

3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in Pyrex in the microwave. If using the microwave, heat for only 10 -20 seconds between stirs depending on how powerful your microwave is. Be gentle! Once melted, let the chocolate cool for 3 minutes before the next step.

4. Beat (fork or spoon work fine) or whisk the chocolate into your chèvre honey mixture until thoroughly combined.

5. Refrigerate until hard enough to shape and no longer sticky (about 45 minutes to an hour and a half).

6. Hand shape into little balls or squares and roll in dusting of your choice.

7. Refrigerate in a sealed container (I line with parchment or wax paper) for a few hours to set everything in place and to give flavors time to meld. If you remember, set them out about 30 minutes before serving.