Rich, decadent, and oh so easy truffle bars are the way to have a truffle-like dessert without all the work. Make them with or without espresso powder –your choice.
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Let me say right off the bat that these espresso truffle bars are NOT brownies. Uhn-uhn. No way. They are rich, gooey, chocolaty, and smooth. In other words, more like a truffle. Just a lot easier in a bar form - no need to shape and dip.
With a fudgy base and whipped ganache top, I think you're going to love these.
I've made these to add to holiday goodie bags (along with Moose Munch caramel corn, Caramel Coconut Shortbread Bars, and Whole Grain Cut Out cookies), to take to potlucks, and for a simple yet rich dessert at the end of a dinner like French beef stew for company.
How to Make Truffle Bars - With or Without Espresso Powder
I'm going to start this recipe with a little secret hack I use often that could be considered chocolate heresy. You know how many recipes call for unsweetened melting chocolate? Um, yeah...I hardly ever have that on hand. It's a lot more expensive than cocoa powder, so it's simply not a staple of mine.
So here's my tip - there's a little equivalent label on the back of cocoa powder boxes that states:
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon of oil = 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate
And that's what I use for everything that calls for melted unsweetened chocolate. And I do mean everything.
Cakes, brownies, and even frosting. I can't tell a difference and neither can anyone else. At least if I go only by their reactions (they love everything!). And so I used it in this recipe as well.
The tablespoon measuring "shot glass" pictured above really helps with this substitution, since the recipe uses 7 individual tablespoons of oil using this hack and there's no cup equivalent. I really love this liquid tablespoon measurer for lots of recipes - I think every kitchen needs one, along with these other baking tools.
It's a simple step to mix the oil and cocoa powder and once everything is all melted together, no one will be the wiser. Unless they have some sort of mad cocoa powder detection skills.
The oil and cocoa powder blends seamlessly into the truffle bar base, which you make, bake, and cool before adding a topping of whipped ganache.
You can easily make these simply "Truffle Bars" by leaving out the espresso powder that is called for in the base and topping. But even if you think you don't like coffee, I challenge you to try this recipe with the espresso at least once - that mocha flavor is SO good.
The chocolate covered coffee beans are also an optional addition - but what a fun way to finish off the tops of each small bar when giving away? Oh, by the way, I just covered some coffee beans we had with dark chocolate chips that I melted - no need to buy some. Unless you want to, that is!
Just writing this is making my mouth water - what about you?
Fudgy Espresso Truffle Bars
- 1 cup butter
- 7 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped*
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached or gluten-free flour
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder optional**
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Whipped Ganache Topping:
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder optional**
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Cocoa powder for dusting
- Chocolate covered coffee beans optional for decoration
Make Truffle Base:
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch pan (or line with parchment, leaving extra on the sides for easy removal of the bars).
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in the unsweetened chocolate (or cocoa powder-oil equivalent) until melted and smooth. Stir in the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each. Stir in the vanilla, espresso powder, if using, and flour. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes only- the tops should still be shiny (don't overbake or they may turn out dry!). Cool on a rack completely before topping.
Make Whipped Ganache Topping:
- While the base is cooling, place the cream and honey in a medium saucepan and heat to barely boiling (just a few bubbles starting to form).
- Remove the cream from heat and add the chocolate pieces and espresso powder, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk the butter into the chocolate mixture. Cool to room temperature until it thickens to a custard-like consistency.
- When the base and topping have both cooled, whisk the topping for a bit until it lightens in color slightly. Spread it evenly over the base.
- Dust with truffle bars with cocoa powder and allow to sit at room temperature for a bit to firm up before cutting into 1-inch bars (these are rich, so small is good). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, though bring out early to serve at room temperature.
Other Easy & Delicious Desserts You May Like:
This recipe has been updated - it was first published in November of 2011.
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