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Vegan Cacao Truffles

Decadent cacao truffles made from only 7 ingredients, all plant-based, ready in under an hour

It seems people can’t get enough of all things cacao these days, and for good reason. Cacao has a lot of wonderful properties, the least of which is taste… If you loved my Golden Cacao Latte recipe, these Vegan Cacao Truffles won’t disappoint. I have to be honest; I made this recipe up… so, they aren’t even technically truffles. Truffles, by definition, are filled with ganache which is made of a “whipped filling of chocolate and cream.” Not only do my vegan truffles have no dairy, but I didn’t even look at my blender (you should have seen my hands though). I will still refer to my filling as ganache below, for simplicity.

Yield: Makes about 25-30 truffles

Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 60 min (if you count the cooling)

Supplies: Mixing bowls (1 large, 2 small), cookie sheet or large tray, small plate, wooden spoon, foil or wax paper, very clean dry hands.

Ingredients:

•          1/2 bag (4oz) of fair trade organic cacao powder

•          1/2 jar (7 oz) of coconut butter (NOT to be confused with coconut oil)

•          pinch of salt

•          vegan creamer of choice (soy, nut, almond, etc.)

•          dash of vanilla extract

•          1/8 – 1/4 cup of agave nectar (depending on sweetness desired)

•          hazelnut or almond meal (or any well-crushed nuts)

Pre-preparation:

•          Make sure the coconut butter is at room temperature

•          Put approximately 1/4 cup of the cacao powder from the remaining half of the bag in a small mixing bowl (for dusting)

•          Add 1/2 cup of nut meal of choice to another small mixing bowl (for dusting)

Preparation:

•          Add coconut butter to large mixing bowl.

•          Combine cacao powder with butter using a wooden spoon. (Mixture will be lumpy at first until the butter begins to break down.)

•          Add salt.

•          Add agave and vanilla and begin mixing the ganache with your hands like dough (the warmth of your hands helps to soften the butter).

•          Add 1/2 the creamer and continue kneading.

•          If needed, add the rest of the liquid. (In other words, add creamer if you want more of that, but if you want it to taste sweeter than it does, add more agave first, then see if it still needs more moisture. (I like it very under-sweetened.)

•          Knead the ganache mixture until soft and well mixed. (There may be some tiny visible coconut butter lumps, but they will eventually mix into the ganache.)

•          Place one heaping teaspoon of the chocolate ganache mixture into the palm of your hands and compress it before rolling it very, very gently into little balls with two hands. (If it falls apart too easily, add even more moisture. If you overdo it with liquid, add more powder or butter and so on.)

•          Place the balls on your cookie sheet or tray and alternate dusting with cacao powder and/or meal by dropping two or three balls in the small mixing bowls containing your topping (meal or powder).

Option:

•          Reserve half the balls on a small plate to be dusted in nut meal. (The warm temperature of the balls makes it easer for the nut meal to stick.

•          Put the rest of the balls in the fridge to cool for 20 minutes, then dust with cacao powder. (This step is not necessary if you don’t mind the cacao powder melting slightly into the surface of the warm ball. If it does, you can always give them a second coat, once they have cooled a bit, later.

Cook’s Notes:

Prep:

  • Unless you have a sous chef, you would be well served to have all your supplies out and handy on the preparation surface, ready to go. Once all ten fingers are covered in gooey, chocolatey ganache, you won’t want to have to clean them a hundred times to grab bowls and foil out of the cabinets. I made that mistake once, and it looked like a chocolate ping pong ball had bounced around my kitchen. But, chocolate streaks on my forehead and nose was what got the kids giggling the first time I made these 20 years ago.

Toppings:

  • I invite you to play with different toppings or dustings. I would even try a favorite salt or a fancy chili powder, although I haven’t gotten that brave yet. There are no hard rules for this recipe. Play around with substitutions. I think I even tried marbling the truffles with crunchy, salty peanut butter, once.

Serving:

  • One of my favorite features of these tasty treats is that they freeze well. I usually double the batch above then freeze most of the truffles for later. Whenever I anticipate having a chocolate urge (which is almost every night) I defrost one for myself for “dessert.” If you want to make them in advance for a party, no problem, just defrost them an hour before serving. You may want to freshen the dusting, or not. If you do, you will want to let them sit until they are warmer, so the “dust” sticks to the candy. Also, before you freeze them, make sure they are nice and cool when you add them to a baggie or container so they don’t melt into each other then freeze into one lump.
  • If you do store your truffles for later, whether it be fridge or freezer, make sure the container is well sealed. Nut oils absorb nasty refrigerator odors, fast.
  • To serve your truffles, creativity is your only limit. I put mine here in a martini glass to photograph them for you, but serving them on a large leaf is fun too or line them up in a little row on a narrow dish. You can also change up the ratios and make the ganache creamier if you want to try these next two ideas.
  • Dive a clean teaspoon into the pool of ganache and fill it with a gentle mound of chocolate. Dip the tip of the spoon into the topping of choice. Clean the bottoms of the spoons and add the spoons to a platter and let people enjoy it straight off the spoon.

As a gift one year, I filled plastic syringes with a creamier version of the chocolate filling and slapped a label on them: ChocRx “When Nothing But a Chocolate Fix Will Do.” That was a huge hit.

Find Mary’s very popular Cacao Turmeric Anti-Inflammatory Latte here.

Read about Mary in her AGEIST profile here.

Read about keto eating here.

Discounts on keto products here.

Mary P Shriver
Mary P Shriver
A trauma-informed somatic stress therapist with a clinical practice in Los Angeles, she is also a writer and an accomplished cook. Originally from NYC, her storied background includes a stint in Las Vegas as a Big Band jazz singer and Director of Public Relations for the Four Season’s Beverly Hills. Contact Mary here: www.shakeoffstress.com
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