This Easter, I was intent on making traditional chocolate truffles—you know, rich French-style ones consisting of a lavish chocolate ganache, amply dusted with luxurious cocoa powder—totally creamy, dreamy and decadent.
I even bought all the ingredients: heavy cream, butter, chocolate, and then, as I was about to start setting up, I had a change of plan… a strange thought struck me:
“Nuts and coconut oil are very creamy and, mmmm, wouldn’t they be good with some cocoa?”
Without hesitation, I returned the butter and the cream to the fridge and ended up making vegan chocolate truffles instead. Yup. Vegan ones.
Before all the non-vegans start rolling their eyes, I have to declare an interest and admit that, under the influence of The Smiths’ album Meat is Murder, I once was a vegetarian. Of course, when I say once, I mean from 1984 through 2004, which is, on reflection, a whole lot of once. But, despite 20 years of vegetarianism, I never have been, nor could ever be, a vegan. Ever.
Simple fact is, I love cheese too much. Far too much.
So, in putting together this recipe, even I had to put my ingredient-doubts aside and in fact, was in denial for some while that the splendid outcome on my baking tray was actually vegan.I mean, naturally, they are healthier than the traditional fresh cream truffles I had planned, but DAMN, they are so good, I had to hide them from the husband and kids.
Not only are these Vegan Chocolate Truffles ingredient-defiantly delicious, they are a breeze to make. During the process, I ran out of almond butter, so decided to make some tahini truffles too: they were good but the plain almond ones were by far the best.
The other great thing about these is that you can have some fun with their toppings. I tried: crystalized ginger, sea salt, cocoa powder with a bit of cinnamon, and coconut. My favorite was the toasted coconut with some crushed cardamom seeds.
- 1 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup plain cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp agave syrup or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp of melted coconut oil
For the toppings:
- Dessicated coconut (toasted or not) with crushed cardamom seeds
- Finely chopped almonds
- Cocoa powder
Combine the almond butter, syrup, melted coconut oil and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Use a teaspoon to scoop out small amounts of mixture. Roll them into balls using your hands.
Roll the chocolate truffles in whatever topping you want. Then refrigerate the truffles to firm them up. These truffles are best kept in the fridge to avoid them going soft. They should last about 2 days, although not in my house, clearly.
- 2 cups tahini (sesame paste)
- ¾ cup raisins or cranberries
- ½ cup dried dates
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp agave or maple syrup
- Finely chopped almonds or pistachios
- Sesame Seeds
- Crystalized ginger
Combine the tahini, raisins, dates and the cocoa powder in a food processor and blend until very smooth. If the mixture is too crumbly add water one tablespoon at a time. If the batter is not sweet enough, you can always add some agave or maple syrup
Roll the batter into small balls. Coat each ball with either coconut, sesame seeds or chopped nuts. Refrigerate or freeze the balls for at least an hour before serving. Again they will last 3-4 days in the fridge.
Both types of truffles are best served to meat-eaters without their prior knowledge of the ingredients – then you can surprise them once they’re licking their lips and asking for more!