Don’t let these truffles deceive you. Although they look innocent, they’re easily the richest, most decadent recipe. If these truffles don’t curb a chocolate craving, I am honestly not sure what will. They’re so deep and dark and chocolate-y that just one will likely satisfy. Though traditional truffles are made with chocolate and cream, here the cream is replaced with tahini, which is a surprisingly perfect complement. Its savory, nutty notes pair with chocolate much like peanut butter does. Oh, and though there’s no wrong way to enjoy them, I will say they go quite well with the last sips of red wine after dinner.

–Sheela Prakash

*What is Tahini?

If you’ve had hummus, you’ve had tahini. But unless you’re making hummus or other Middle Eastern foods from scratch, you might not know what it really is. It’s essentially just ground sesame seeds mixed with oil (usually a mixture of olive and sesame) until you have a rich, thickly unctuous, nutty-tasting spread.

Most tahini is made from toasted seeds, giving it a deeper and richer flavor but “raw” is also available. The sesame seeds can be hulled or unhulled—unhulled sesame seeds are a little bitter but they do have a higher nutritional value.

Five tahini truffles lying in a bed of cocoa powder.

Tahini Truffles

5 from 1 vote
These tahini truffles are intensely chocolatey thanks to a creamy tahini and dark chocolate filling with a hint of cinnamon and a dusting of cocoa.
David Leite
Servings12 truffles
Calories118 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Total Time2 hours


  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (60 to 70% cacao)
  • 1/2 cup tahini*, well stirred
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process


  • In a medium heatproof bowl set over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until completely smooth, 5 to 10 minutes. Alternatively, place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high power in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth, about 90 seconds. (You may need an extra 10-second burst at the end to complete the melting process.)
  • Add the tahini, cinnamon, and salt, and whisk to combine. Pour the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl or baking dish, such as an 8-by-8-inch (20-by-20-cm) baking dish, and refrigerate until firm, 60 to 90 minutes.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: If you’re in a hurry, you can speed along the cooling process by placing the mixture in the freezer until firm.

  • Once the mixture is firm, scoop it by the tablespoon and roll into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls between your fingers (your hands will get messy!). Place the truffles on a plate or baking sheet and refrigerate for 5 minutes.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: Roll the truffle mixture between your fingertips rather than your palms. It makes for less transference of body heat and, hence, less melting of the truffles in your hands.

  • Pour the cocoa powder into a small bowl. Dip and roll each truffle in the cocoa powder to coat evenly and place on a serving plate. Indulge immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. (If the truffles are refrigerated, let them sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.)
Mediterranean Every Day Cookbook.

Adapted From

Mediterranean Every Day

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 118 kcalCarbohydrates: 7 gProtein: 3 gFat: 9 gSaturated Fat: 3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gTrans Fat: 0.003 gCholesterol: 0.3 mgSodium: 30 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 2 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2020 Sheela Prakash. Photo © 2020 Kristin Teig. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Not only are these truffles dark, delicious, and decadent, perhaps most importantly they’re super easy and quick to make. Melt the chocolate, stir in the tahini, chill, roll, and you’re done. As promised, perfect with an after-dinner glass of red.

I used the microwave in three 30-second bursts, plus an extra 10 seconds to melt the final few chunks.

I left mine in the fridge for 1 1/2 hours because I got busy, but I poked it after an hour and it was firm.

The warning of messy hands is important! Don’t wash between truffles. Essentially you’ll make 13—one will cover your hands and you’ll have 12 left to eat. I scooped up icecream style scoops with a spoon. I found the later scoops were easier to roll. I think letting the truffle mix sit a bit after being in the fridge might help to shape the balls more easily.

Servings: 2 per person is a great amount, everyone I was with had seconds. I’d say serves 4 to 6, you could easily eat 3 they were so good and perfectly decadent.

Didn’t try with the sesame this time around, but I’ll make them again.

Folks have already asked for the recipe!

What a fantastically simple and delightful recipe! So easy to whip together, and the steps can be sped up by moving the truffle “batter” to the freezer for a few minutes rather than waiting it out in the fridge—if time is short like mine was…

I am a tahini fiend, so anytime I see a tahini recipe I HAVE TO make it. This one certainly does not disappoint. In my mind, nuts/seeds and chocolate are meant to be paired.

I used the double boiler method to melt chocolate (I have never trusted microwaves since I almost set the house on fire as a kid) and it took all of 10 minutes to simmer water and melt the dark chocolate (I used chips which I weighed out precisely).

I refrigerated the tahini-chocolate mixture for 20 minutes, then I got impatient/short on time and stuck it in the freezer for 8 minutes to get it firm but still spoonable.

When I rolled it into balls, I got 14 truffles, although I do think they were a bit smaller than suggested in the recipe. I opted to roll them in sesame seeds rather than cacao powder this time—I’ll try cacao next time. I just love the look of the golden toasted seeds coating the surface with the rich dark chocolate peeking from underneath…very inviting.

I actually loved these just out of the fridge, or softened for 10 minutes. It’s very hot where I live, so these babies might get a little too melty if I left them out much longer. Anyway you choose, these are rich and delicious!

If I’m going to have chocolate, which I can take or leave, it has to be the darkest DARK, so I used 85% cacao for these truffles. Good choice! These truffles are delightful and quick to come together for the rare times that I get a chocolate craving.

I heated the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. It was 20 minutes until it was melted and smooth. The tahini, cinnamon, and salt blended right in and I put the bowl in the fridge for an hour. Next time I will check it after 30 to 40 minutes to scoop and roll, as the chocolate became quite firm and did not roll easily; the truffles look like wonky flattened footballs. But who cares when they taste so good with just a whisper of tahini and cinnamon? I rolled them in Hershey’s Special Dark Dutched cocoa. I did not do the toasted sesame seeds this time.

I made these as they looked like a nice Valentine’s treat and in fact, they were. Given that I tried to make them during the day when my husband was at work, I made some modifications to the timing so I could hide the evidence before he came home.

It took about 5 to 6 minutes to melt the chocolate over hot water, but I actually didn’t chop the pieces. Once I mixed the tahini with the chocolate, I placed it in the fridge for about 18 hours. At the 2-hour mark, I went and checked the firmness and it did seem to be firm enough to shape. The next day, I removed the bowl from the fridge and used a cookie scoop to scoop and shape the truffles. The chocolate mixture was quite firm but was scoopable and this method wasn’t messy at all. Then, I used a sieve to sprinkle cocoa powder over the truffles and placed them in a box.

Before I packaged them up, I taste tested a couple for quality control and found them to be rich and delicious. The hint of cinnamon was lovely and I think that cardamom would’ve also been nice. My husband had his first taste today and gave his approval. Using my small scoop, the recipe yielded 14 truffles, each 2 small bites or 1 big bite.

This is a great truffle option for vegans (if you select a dairy-free chocolate) and regular truffle lovers looking to shake things up a little. The tahini flavor gives you low-key peanut butter vibes, scratching the itch without being in your face about it, and the truffles had that signature silky smooth texture you look for.

This will be MESSY AF, so prepare yourself and don’t wear anything white. Cursed with incredibly warm hands, I learned afterward that rolling truffles between your fingers means less melting, a trick I’ll certainly incorporate next time.

The exterior of the truffle dries in the fridge, and while the cocoa powder will stick, the sesame seeds won’t at this point. Would suggest rolling in sesame seeds right after making the balls in step 3 if you go that route.

Really, really rich. This met the bill.

My chocolate chunks took about 12 minutes to fully melt in the double boiler setup. Scooping went well, though I feel that a teaspoon would have worked well also. I used gloves but it was still messy. I got 13 balls but could have made 12.

I’m not an artist, so my first attempt wasn’t that pretty. The cocoa powder is really tasteless but blends well with the chocolate balls and makes them easier to handle. I would serve 2 each with a cup of tea for an evening snack. I didn’t try the sesame seeds but may next time for more texture.

I made these amazing truffles as a gift for Valentine’s Day and they were a huge hit. They’re an easy homemade gift or impressive ending to a dinner party. They’re rich and decadent and my friend was shocked that they didn’t contain cream.

I heated the chocolate over the water bath and it took 8 minutes to melt. I used an 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish to chill the mixture and two hours was the perfect amount of time. I lightly greased my hands with coconut oil before rolling the truffles.

I rolled a few in sesame seeds and powdered the rest in cocoa. You have to press the sesame seeds in a bag to get them to stick to the truffles.

Are you looking for a luxurious, decadent, fudgy-type truffle? Well, you will find it with this recipe. Imagine that bite of dark cocoa with the sufficient creaminess that makes you long for more…but slowly…almost like a slow kiss that you do not want to end!

The best part is that this recipe takes no longer than 15 minutes hands-on time and, with the time to refrigerate it, the full time is approximately 1 hour. Imagine your sweetheart is coming over but only gives you an hour notice….PERFECT!

I am not a fan of the microwave, so I melted the chocolate in a bowl. I ended up using a chocolate that I love from Pantagruel that is vegan and 85% cacao. The melting part took 4 minutes. Meanwhile, I ground the cinnamon (yes, I only buy whole spices). After adding the tahini, cinnamon, and salt, it took 1 minute to have everything well incorporated. Then I placed it on a plate and kept it in the fridge for about 40 minutes only, as I noticed it was already getting nice and hard, and wanted to make sure it would be easy still to form the balls. I was only able to make 10 balls though. I placed them again in the fridge for 5 more minutes.

I used Iswari cacao powder, which has an intense and amazing taste, but also decided to create my own mix, and did 4 of them with a mix of cacao, powdered dry rose petal, and a tad of ground ginger. Both came out outstanding! I refrigerated them for another hour and tried one right away from the fridge and left 2 others at room temperature for 10 minutes. I’m sure it’s a personal preference, but I actually preferred them cold, straight out of the fridge. You eat them more slowly and enjoy the taste that much more. I left a few for a couple of days and we ended up eating the rest last night. Still tasted just as good as when I made them.

A recipe to make OFTEN and always have some ready in the fridge for a special occasion, or those nights you have nothing going on and by boredom decided to have a romantic evening with your fridge!

I tried rolling in toasted sesame seeds and vastly preferred this to the cocoa powder. It added a wonderful texture and worked extremely well with the tahini, as expected. Swapping the sesame seeds for the cocoa powder worked much better for me. I think the combination of cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate, plus the somewhat bitter tahini, made this quite mealy.

I do think this could easily be made with semisweet chocolate instead of bittersweet. I did not taste the cinnamon at all so I’m not sure it’s necessary here. I would recommend trying this recipe with ground cardamom, which I’ve paired with tahini to great success.

I would suggest some flaked sea salt pressed into these truffles before rolling in sesame, to cut through some of the sweetness from the chocolate (or perhaps a dash more salt—I used Diamond Crystal and perhaps this was written using Morton’s).

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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