These chocolate truffles are one of the simplest raw vegan treats to make. They're lovely to look at, full of delicious ingredients, with a rich, decadent taste. I think this recipe may cause me to introduce the catch phrase "naughty and nice eating" (and I'm sure Santa isn't into 'clean eating' anyway). Maybe leave some of these truffles with those cookies and milk by the Christmas tree?
As I was making a few batches of my favorite pumpkin spice granola this morning to give to friends as gifts, I thought I'd try to make some of these chocolate truffles as well. Granola baking in the oven makes the house smell so wonderful, with an aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg, so I was inspired to make more holiday gift treats.
To make these chocolate truffles, you'll need a few special ingredients, but nothing too difficult to find. Of course, it's easy to improvise and make your own flavor combinations, just add what you already have in your pantry--- such as pecans, pistachios, and cocoa, for instance. I make mattcha tea lattes at home, so I have a lot of green tea powder in my cabinet readily available.
You can find matcha (powdered green tea) at Japanese grocery stores. If you don't have access to a Japanese supermarket like I do, it can be ordered online. I recommend Maeda-en mattcha for your chocolate truffles. I enjoy all kinds of mattcha and particularly enjoy their "Matcha Booster" in Genmai (roasted rice) flavor.
The deep red chocolate truffle is coated with the natural color and flavor of raspberries. All I did was pulverize freeze dried raspberries in the coffee grinder to make it into a ruby red powder. So beautiful, yes? Trader Joe's carries a selection of freeze dried fruits: raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, mandarin oranges, etcetera. Pulse your choice of freeze dried fruit in a high speed blender or use a coffee grinder to make it into powder for your chocolate truffle coating flavor.
You can find the freshest dates in most Mediterranean supermarkets. I have one market near my house that has the juiciest dates and they sell them at their pastry counter along with the baklava and cookies. If you don't find these kind of dates, you can soak packaged dates in warm water for a few minutes and then dry them to soften the dates for blending. Dates are the base ingredient for these chocolates, lending a chewy caramel texture and natural sweetness. The dates are blended with cacao powder for a rich chocolate taste. I used Navitas Naturals brand.
makes 1 dozen or two gift boxes of 6 truffles
2 cups medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup unsweetened cacao powder, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
mattcha green tea powder
freeze dried raspberry powder
toasted coconut flakes
ground nuts (I used pistachios and pecans)
cacao powder, unsweetened (Navitas Naturals)
açai berry powder
Make the chocolate truffle paste in a food processor and blend all ingredients together until smooth. (If you want to prepare each flavor with a separate flavored chocolate truffle paste batch--- like adding raspberry powder to your date/cacao powder paste--- you can do so, but keep in mind it will change the overall flavor.)
Prepare all of your chocolate truffle coatings (mattcha green tea, cacao nibs, raspberry powder, ground nuts, coconut flakes, cacao powder) and have them ready to roll in dipping bowls.
Scoop the chocolate truffle paste out of the food processor with a spoon and roll them into a bite-sized ball. It helps to oil your hands with some coconut oil first because the paste can be very sticky. Don't worry--- once you refrigerate the chocolate truffles, the coconut oil helps solidify them to a chocolate texture.
Dip each rolled ball into its selected coating. I recommend that you choose the same coating for two or four each (depending on how many batches you are making of course) and wash your hands for each kind so you don't have to wash your hands too many times in between. Handle the covered truffle carefully. You can also decorate the top of each one with the dust of another to make them prettier and go together visually.
Set on parchment paper and refrigerate until set.
Package your truffles in a pretty box as a gift or save them for a sweet treat.
Give a box of chocolate truffles as a gift for the holidays, or treat your special Santa with some of these decadently nice and deliciously naughty chocolate truffles on Christmas Eve. Makes a great gift box for friends, yoga teachers, tea lovers, and anyone that loves sweets (including yourself).