Truffle Hunting

Truffles are as old as dirt, at least when referring to the prized fungus known worldwide for its heady umami aroma. Chocolate truffles, fashioned after this rare prize, are a relatively recent innovation. Legend has it that the rich confections we know and love were originally created by accident, sometime between 1890 and 1920. French chef Auguste Escoffier is often credited as the first to mistakenly pour hot cream over chocolate chunks instead of sugar and eggs, intending to make a classic pastry cream. Personally, I have my doubts about the veracity of this claim, but his renowned patisserie certainly did kick-start their astronomic rise in popularity.

The word “truffle” comes from a Latin word tūber or the Vulgar Latin tufera, meaning “swelling” or “lump.” Especially when rolled in cocoa powder, evoking a fresh coating of dirt, their striking likeness to mushrooms easily explains the name. While I’ve previously worked to bridge the gap between candy and spore, I now have a new secret ingredient in my arsenal: Sugimoto Shiitake Powder.

Foraging for Flavor

As autumn paints the world with its warm hues and Halloween approaches, it’s the perfect time to forage for mushrooms and indulge in sweet treats alike. Bringing together the richness of chocolate, the nuttiness of walnuts, the earthy sweetness of dates, and the unique umami notes of shiitake powder, these mushroom-shaped truffles are the epitome of fall charm, both in taste and presentation.

Sweet, Salt, and Savory

At the heart of these exquisite truffles lies Sugimoto Shiitake Powder, a secret ingredient that elevates the flavors to a new level. Made from carefully selected shiitake mushrooms, this powder infuses the truffles with a subtle umami taste, without inherent mushroom-y flavor, adding depth and complexity that’s both surprising and pleasing to the palate. It harmonizes with the delicate touch of miso paste, lending a subtly salty finish, punctuating the whole mouthful with a bold flourish.

Easy and Adaptable

While the novelty of having a mushroom-shaped chocolate truffle is a large part of the visual appeal, you could certainly keep it simple and make traditional, stemless rounds instead. What’s more, you can use this basic formula as your palate to paint with a wide range of complimentary flavors, such as:

  • Orange zest
  • Mint extract
  • Pumpkin spice
  • Instant coffee powder
  • Powdered raspberries

To infuse your truffles with a touch of fall and Halloween spirit, consider lightly dusting the mushroom caps with cinnamon or powdered sugar. These subtle additions evoke the essence of autumn leaves and festive celebrations.

Smarter Sweets for Halloween

These wholesome treats aren’t just a delicious indulgence; they’re also a healthier alternative to store-bought Halloween candy. Perfect for serving at parties, these truffles are bound to bewitch the taste buds while keeping sugar in check.

Each little bite packs in immense chocolate flavor, with the caramel-sweetness of dates for body. They’re easy to sink your teeth into thanks to their genuinely fudgy texture, set off by a satisfying crunch from your “stem” of choice. Both elegant and whimsical, decadent and wholesome, umami truffles are the best of all worlds, sweet, savory, and salty alike.

Yield: Makes 16 - 24

Umami Truffles

Umami Truffles

Take a more literal approach to truffles by incorporating the rich umami taste of shiitake powder into date-sweetened cocoa candies. It's sweet, savory, and salty in just the right balance.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1 Cup Pitted Medjool Dates
  • 1/3 Cup Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Miso Paste
  • 2 Teaspoons Shiitake Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Bread sticks, Cookies, or Pretzels (Optional)


  1. Place the walnuts in your food processor with the "s" blade installed. Pulse to roughly chop and break them down into smaller pieces. Once it reaches the consistency of a coarse meal, add the dates.

  2. Continue pulsing to combine. Add the cocoa, miso, shiitake powder, and vanilla, processing until it forms a cohesive, sticky dough. If it's too sticky to handle, place it in the fridge for 30 - 45 minutes, until chilled.

  3. Scoop out 1 tablespoon portions and roll them into smooth ball between the palms of your hands. Break off short pieces of bread sticks, cookies, or pretzels, and press them into the bottoms.

  4. Enjoy these truffles at room temperature or chilled. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze to save them for up to 3 months.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 73Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 47mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

This post was made possible as a collaboration with SUGIMOTO Co. My opinions cannot be bought and all content is original. This page may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting my blog!

7 thoughts on “Truffle Hunting

    1. Absolutely, I think that would be a great way to change things up! I’ve also used raisins with great success.

  1. These umami truffles are not only a delicious indulgence but also a healthier alternative to store-bought Halloween candy, making them a smart choice for parties or festive celebrations. The balance of sweet, savory, and salty flavors in these truffles sounds like the perfect combination to satisfy a variety of cravings. It’s a wonderful blend of creativity and culinary innovation. Nice one Hannah

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