Aren’t chocolate truffles just the height of decadence? At this time of year, they seem to abound on coffee tables, in buffets, or in scalloped porcelain dishes that have been handed down from generation to generation.
Well, for dessert day here at DD&D, I thought I’d share a recipe for my favorite NAG-friendly chocolate trufffles.
I’ve always loved these ultra-rich, velvety treats, but in recent years have sought out other, more health-supportive ways to indulge my hankering. When I discovered raw truffles, I knew I’d found the winner–the candy I could eat with impunity yet would still allow me to feel just a little bit naughty while I savored them. And these babies actually contain many compounds that are good for your heart!
There are many recipes for raw chocolate truffles on the Internet and in raw lifestyle cookbooks (though not on the Holidailies site). I was given this recipe by a friend a couple of years ago, and I tinkered with it quite a bit before ending up with this version. The recipe uses both maple syrup and agave nectar, which allows for a smoother, silkier texture.
I also favor dark cocoa powder rather than Dutch process. Yes, I am aware that those in the upper echelons of the food blogging world would never make use of such a base form of cocoa; but it turns out, in fact, that the darker the cocoa, the more flavonoids it contains. So Dutch process is actually less efficient at fighting off all those pesky chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, or Type II Diabetes. Mary Engler, in her article, “The Emerging Role of Flavonoid-Rich Cocoa and Chocolate in Cardiovascular Health and Disease,” tells us,
“It is important to note that the amount of flavonoids in chocolate is not only dependent on the cacao bean, but also on the processing steps involved in its manufacture, e.g., excess heat and alkalization (“Dutch” process) can significantly reduce the amount of flavonoids.”
Besdies, dark cocoa just looks so much better in this recipe.
Similarly, the fats in the cashews (mostly unsaturated) are also good for your ticker. And according to one of my favorite sites, cashews also contain a fair amount of magnesium, equally beneficial for heart health. If you aren’t concerned about the cashews being raw, go ahead and use regular cashew butter–it will still taste amazing.
These truffles can tend toward the soft side, so you must be sure to refrigerate them if you want them to hold their shape. If you’re not too fussy about achieving a perfect sphere, dig in as soon as you’ve rolled them.
Mostly Raw Chocolate Truffles
1 Tbsp. instant coffee substitute (such as Krakus, Caf-Lib, etc.)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. tamari soy sauce (it adds depth of flavor–trust me)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp. agave nectar
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup smooth raw cashew butter
In a small bowl, dissolve the coffee substitute in the vanilla and tamari that have been blended together. Measure the sweeteners into a measuring cup and add the tamari mixture.
Place the cocoa in the bowl of a food processor and add the cashew butter along with the liquid mixture in the measuring cup. Process until well combined and satiny smooth, scraping down sides as needed, about 3 minutes (mixture will thicken and become glossy).
While soft, divide mixture into 12-15 equal parts and roll into balls with your hands. Dust with more cocoa powder if desired, or create variations by adding chopped nuts, fruits, candied ginger, or whatever strikes your fancy. Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 10 days (good luck keeping it that long).
[This recipe will also appear in my upcoming cookbook, Sweet Freedom, along with more than 100 others, most of which are not featured on this blog. For more information, check the "Cookbook" button at right, or visit the cookbook blog.]