Celebrate the Day of the Dead with these Sugar Skull-shaped Mexican Hot Chocolate Truffles. Each bite-sized dark chocolate candy has a lusciously creamy ganache center that is spiced with cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
Last week during the Fun Food Blogger Retreat's Facebook live event I showed you the Sugar Skull shaped Mexican Hot Chocolate Truffles I made for the Day of the Dead Dinner I hosted for my blogging friends. Several of you asked for the recipe so I whipped up a new batch of the creamy ganache-filled chocolates and I even made a video tutorial so you can easily see how these candies are created.
If you've had Mexican hot chocolate you know it has a very distinct flavor. With notes of cinnamon and a bit of heat from a sprinkling of cayenne pepper, the spicy hot chocolate warms you through.
When I created these truffles I wanted the heat of the cayenne to just linger on the tongue and warm the throat. My first batch was a bit too mellow so with this recipe I added a bit more cayenne and the heat was really nice. You can adjust the spice to your liking.
To make my chocolate ganache centers, I heated my cream just until it started to bubble then I removed it from the heat and sprinkled on the cinnamon and cayenne pepper. I set that aside and let it steep for 15 minutes to really infuse the flavor into the cream.
When you watch the video you'll notice that the cinnamon and cayenne pepper do not completely dissolve in the cream. I wanted a really smooth chocolate ganache center so once the cream had steeped, I poured it through a fine-mesh strainer, set over a bowl of melted semi-sweet chocolate, to remove the excess cinnamon and cayenne. If you don't mind the texture of the spices in your chocolate ganache then you can skip that step.
I made my chocolate sugar skull-shaped shells using melted and tempered pure dark, semi-sweet, chocolate. If you aren't comfortable tempering pure chocolate, then just use Dark Cocoa Candy Melts instead. But, be sure to make the Mexican Hot Chocolate Ganache (the creamy center) using your favorite pure dark chocolate. You'll get the best flavor that way.
For added effect, you can brush edible silver luster dust over the chocolates.
I found my Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Silicone Mold at Michael's in 2017 but you can usually find molds on Amazon too.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Truffles - Sugar Skulls Shapes Truffles that are perfect for the Day of the Dead or Halloween
Watch the video tutorial to see how to make your own Mexican Hot Chocolate Truffles.
- Each candy will take about ½ an ounce of chocolate to make the outer shell, so you'll use about 9 ounces of chocolate to make all of the shells. However, if you use the method shown in the video where you fill each mold and then pour the excess chocolate out of the mold, you'll need more chocolate, so the recipe calls for 16 ounces but you'll have some leftovers.
- You can, if you prefer, paint the chocolate into the molds creating the candy shell. Just be sure you cover the bottom and sides of the skull-shaped cavities completely with a thin layer of chocolate.
- If you are using pure chocolate (with cocoa butter in the ingredients) then you must melt and temper the chocolate. Otherwise, you can use dark cocoa candy melts (confectionery coating made with palm kernel oil) instead. Read my chocolate making tips page for more information.
- If you only use one mold your ganache may thicken by the time you make your second set of chocolate shells. So you may need to reheat your ganache in the microwave on the defrost or low setting for 5-15 seconds, just until it warms through. Don't fill your chocolate shells with hot ganache. Make sure it cools so that it is just slightly warm.
- To speed things up you can refrigerate the filled chocolates until the ganache firms up. Just be sure you allow the mold to sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before topping them with a layer of chocolate. If the mold is too cold the chocolate will harden too quickly and it will be difficult to scrape off the excess to create a nice smooth surface.
How to store your chocolates?
- Store your chocolate truffles in an airtight container (preferably) or in a candy box set on your counter at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
- If you have to refrigerate the candies because your house is too hot (over 74 degrees), place them in a cardboard box inside an airtight container. The cardboard box will help wick up any moisture that forms due to condensation in the refrigerator.
- To freeze these chocolates, wrap them in plastic wrap, then overwrap them in a cardboard box, and place that in a zip-top bag. To thaw, refrigerate them overnight, then place them on your counter and allow them to warm to room temperature in their packaging for at least a few hours.
Be sure to check out these other festive Day of the Dead Recipes.
Learn how to make other candies. See a wonderful selection of homemade candy recipes (including more chocolate truffles).
These Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls are great for any Halloween party. Made into skull shaped Mexican Hot Chocolate Truffles, they are the perfect dessert
- 18 ounces melted and tempered pure dark chocolate see NOTES below
- or dark cocoa candy melts confectionery coating, melted
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces pure dark semi-sweet, chocolate, melted
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- optional edible silver luster dust
Fill all the cavities in one Day of the Dead sugar skull silicone mold.
Turn the mold upside down over a piece of parchment paper allowing the excess chocolate to drip out.
Shake the mold until you just have a thin coating of chocolate around the side and bottom of the skulls.
Turn the mold over and use an offset spatula to scrape the chocolate off the top of the mold.
Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens then remove and let sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
Repeat using a second mold.
In a small saucepan or in the microwave, heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to bubble around the edges. (Scald the cream).
Sprinkle the cinnamon and cayenne pepper into the cream.
Stir until well combined.
Set aside for 15 minutes.
Reheat just until hot.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve that is set over the bowl of 6 ounces of melted chocolate.
Begin stirring in the center of the bowl until the chocolate and cream start to blend together.
Continue to stir through the entire bowl until the chocolate ganache completely comes together.
Pour ganache into a disposable pastry bag.
Pipe the ganache into all 18 skull shaped chocolate shells filling each so that you have between ⅛th and 1/16th of an inch of space between the ganache and the top edge of the chocolate shell.
Refrigerate until the ganache firms up.
Remove and let the filled mold sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
Spread a thin layer of chocolate over top of each candy, scraping off any excess.
Refrigerate for a few minutes until that chocolate hardens.
Remove the chocolates from the molds.
If desired, brush some silver luster dust over top of each candy.