Chocolate Tartufi Diana from Goldy’s Kitchen Cookbook by Diane Mott Davidson

Goldy’s Kitchen Cookbook by Diane Mott Davidson is on sale today! To celebrate, we’re sharing one of her most indulgent desserts – Chocolate Tartufi Diana. Incorporating cherries, dark rum, decadent chocolate, and whipped cream to make a chocolatey gelato “bomb”, this recipe is perfect for any special celebration.

Diane Mott Davidson is the author of seventeen bestselling mysteries featuring caterer/sleuth Goldy Schulz, a woman who “took the lemon that life had given her and made not just lemonade but Lemon Chicken, Lemon Bars, Lemon Cookies and Lemon Meringue Pie.” Each Goldy novel includes recipes for scrumptious dishes from the adored character’s kitchen. Now, Davidson has collected these treasured recipes and some brand-new dishes in one volume for the first time. Full of irresistible food, Goldy’s Kitchen Cookbook is a must-have book for Davidson fans, food lovers, and cooks everywhere. Purchase your copy from your favorite retailer.

Chocolate Tartufi Diana

9780062194046This is a bonus recipe. It is not in any of the books. But after I finished writing this cookbook and submitted it for editing, I took a fabulous online class through Coursera: Roman Imperial Architecture, taught by Yale’s phenomenal Professor Diana Kleiner. During the class, Professor Kleiner occasionally mentioned her favorite gelato places in Rome. She raved about Tre Scalini, where she always ordered the tartufo. I decided to try to figure out how to make this frozen chocolate truffle (a restaurant secret). I made several recipes for chocolate gelato, which was fun, and finally hit on a combination of flavors we liked. Making tartufi, though, proved quite demanding, mainly because molding the gelato into balls was challenging. Then I hit on trying the round molds used for freezing ice cubes (made by Tovolo and available online). The molds come in sets of 2, and to be on the safe side, I ordered 3 sets. I describe the mold-filling in detail in the recipe, but it is really quite easy. My taste-testers invariably said, “Whoa, that’s intense!” (before their eyes rolled upward). To moderate the intensity, I found that it was important to serve each tartufo with a very large dollop of the whipped cream garnish as well as the cookie. If you crave what Professor Kleiner calls a “chocolate bomb,” I hope this recipe meets your expectations.

Makes 4 or 5 large tartufi


  • 5 glacé cherries (available either at your grocery store during holiday time or year-round online)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons, or more as needed, best-quality dark rum, such as Clément or Appleton Estate


  • 2¼ cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup extra-fine (also called “Superfine”) sugar, divided
  • 1 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, such as Godiva
  • Dark, chopped
  • 4 egg yolks, from large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more as needed
  • 7 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate


  • 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, or more to taste
  • 5 to 10 Pirouline or Pirouette cookies

For the centers:

Place the cherries in a narrow glass or plastic container and pour the rum over them to completely cover. (Make sure the rum completely covers the cherries.) Place a piece of plastic wrap over the cherries and allow them to sit at room temperature while you work on the gelato. (They can remain at room temperature for at least a day. Longer is fine.)

For the gelato:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the milk and ½ cup of the sugar over medium heat, stirring with a wire whisk until the sugar dissolves and the milk begins to simmer (bubbles appear around the rim of the pan). Add the cocoa and whisk vigorously, until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In the top of a double boiler, over simmering water, heat the cream and the chopped chocolate, stirring until the chocolate melts. Remove the top of the double boiler from the bottom pan.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Pour the mixture slowly into the cream-chocolate mixture (still in the double boiler top), whisking until well combined. Pour the mixture back into the glass measuring cup. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the remaining ¼ cup sugar on high speed for 4 minutes, or until the mixture is lemon-colored and very thick. Turn the mixer to low speed, then pour the combined milk-cream mixture slowly into the egg yolk mixture. Beat well to combine.
  5. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan. Make sure the thermometer does not touch the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens into a custard and covers a spoon. The thermometer should register at least 170˚F when the mixture thickens. (At high altitude, you may have to stir until the thermometer registers 180˚ to 183˚F.) Remember: You are making a custard, not scrambled chocolate eggs, so although you do need to allow the mixture to thicken, you do not want to allow the mixture to boil.
  6. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a glass bowl. Stir in the liqueurs, vanilla, and salt. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the custard (this is to prevent a skin from forming). Chill completely, preferably overnight.
  7. Meanwhile, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for prepping the bowl of a gelato or ice-cream maker.
  8. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, pour the custard mixture into the bowl of the gelato maker or ice-cream maker. Process about 25 minutes, until the gelato is soft set. Turn off the gelato maker and remove the bowl of gelato.
  9. Follow the directions that come with the spherical ice molds for filling them, except you will not be filling the molds to the fill line, but just below it, so as not to lose too much gelato when you place the tops on the molds. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the gelato into the bottom half of the first mold, to just below the fill line. Drop 1 rum-soaked cherry into the mold. Using a toothpick, gently push the cherry into the center of the gelato. Carefully place the silicone cap on the top of the first mold. If you have filled the mold to just below the fill line, you should not have much gelato squirting out the hole in the top of the mold. If you do have gelato squirt out the top of your first mold, fill the next molds even less. (Even if you do have gelato squirt out the hole in the top, do not worry, you will rinse it off later.) Depending on how well you can manage the mold-filling, you will have 4 or 5 molds filled. Freeze the molds until rock-hard, usually 4 to 6 hours, or overnight. If there is gelato left over after you fill the molds, you can freeze it in a hard plastic container for another use.

For the coating:

  1. When you are ready to make the globes into tartufi, make the coating. In the top of a double boiler, over simmering water, melt the butter with the chocolate, stirring until completely melted. Remove the top of the double boiler and allow the mixture to cool slightly, stirring frequently. (If the chocolate seizes up, or is too thick, reheat the mixture over simmering water, and add the additional butter, a tablespoon at a time. Stir well, until the mixture is liquid again.)
  2. Once the coating is slightly cool but still quite liquid, unroll a 12-inch square of wax paper and place it on a freezer-proof dinner plate. Remove the molds from the freezer. Working quickly, run each mold under warm tap water, remove the silicone cap from the mold, and unmold the whole globe onto the wax paper. (If you have run the mold under warm tap water and the globe still will not release, you may have to coax the chocolate globe out of the bottom half of the mold with a fork. This is okay.)
  3. Using tongs, quickly dip each frozen globe into the butter-chocolate mixture, and roll it around until it is completely covered. Place the chocolate-coated globes back on the wax paper–covered plate and place in the freezer. These are now tartufi, or truffles. (You may not use up all the coating, in which case you can dip large fresh strawberries into it. Place these on wax paper until firm.)

For the garnish:

When you are ready to serve the tartufi, whip the cream with the vanilla and powdered sugar. Place each tartufo into a pretty individual serving bowl, top with a very large dollop of whipped cream, and put 1 or 2 cookies on top.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: