Chocolate is one of those things that is always a good idea. A small bite of the good stuff can lift your mood, increase your happiness and delight your taste buds. Plus if you’re a dark chocolate fan there is plenty of evidence out there stating that the antioxidant properties make it good for us. What’s not to like?
Well how about increasing the flavour and fun factor? This recipe is a little treat that I created which may or may not be specifically defined as chocolate truffles, but for all the chocolate lovers out there it’s certain to start a new addiction. The biggest bonus is that they are vegan (if you use vegan dark chocolate), have very little refined sugar (only what is in the chocolate itself), and dairy and gluten-free. So what is the secret? Remember the coconut rough that I made about 12 month’s ago? Well you’re heading in the right direction.
The centre is a delicious combination of medjool dates puree with desiccated coconut, almond meal, cacao and coconut cream. They are then coated in a 70% dark chocolate. I used Lindt because it was on special and I love the flavour but, pick a vegan or sugar-free version if that is your preference. Unfortunately these treats are not fat-free, which means you still need to exercise a degree of restraint in your indulgence, but really they are a wonderful alternative to a commercial chocolate and really quite simple to make. Here’s how to make this yummy creation…
Special Chocolate Truffles
(makes about 24 pieces)
- 20 medjool dates
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 2 tbl sp. cacao powder
- 2 tsp rum/Cointreau (optional)
- 250g dark chocolate (70% or higher)
Place the dates, desiccated coconut, almond meal and cacao into a food processor with half the coconut cream and blitz into a paste. Add more coconut cream if necessary to loosen the mixture until it is a smooth and slightly sticky mixture.
In a brownie tin lined with cling film spoon in and then press your mixture until it is smooth and there is no spaces. Place into the freezer for about 1 hour or into the fridge overnight. Once the mixture has set, remove from the tin and cut into cubes that are smaller bite sized pieces.
Bring a small saucepan of water to a low simmer and then place the chocolate into a metal bowl and sit over the saucepan. Allow the chocolate to melt, don’t stir as it may turn grainy. If the water starts to boil then remove from the heat or turn down so that it is just keeping the chocolate melted.
Line a baking tray with non-stick paper.
Piece by piece using two forks, roll the date cubes in the melted chocolate until coated and then place onto the baking tray. Repeat until the chocolate is all used up.
If you have any date cubes left then these can be rolled into balls and coated with desiccated coconut or some cacao powder for a bitter and then sweet bite.
Allow the chocolate to set, if it’s a particularly warm day then place in the fridge. Serve at room temperature with a small nip of aged port or muscat for a delicious late night treat.
These treats will keep in an airtight container for a few weeks in a dark cool environment… if you can resist.
Happy Baking and Happy Eating,