My first introduction to making truffles came when I was waiting tables at a trendy restaurant in the TriBeCa neighborhood of New York City way back when. In the lull between lunch and dinner, the pastry chef would sit at one of the big round tables, the white tablecloth peeled back, massaging rich chocolate ganache into balls with a cigarette dangling from the corner of her mouth. I had to wonder if ashes were the secret ingredient!
Thank goodness food and its preparation have come a long way since. These days you can even make heavy-cream-free truffles that are so decadent and nutritious that non-vegans will be vying with the vegans to grab the last one. In fact, the truffles below, which come from Living Raw Food, are so healthful, you could almost pop them like giant vitamins—but then you’d miss savoring all their rich deliciousness.
One year I filled oversize teacups with them and wrapped them in silvery cellophane.
I’ve been gifting these dense chocolate morsels for years. They are pure perfection in all their nakedness, and don’t need anything fancier to contain them than simple tins or pretty takeout containers, but don’t be afraid to let your creative freak flag fly—one year I filled oversize teacups with them and wrapped them in silvery cellophane. Thrift stores and dime stores are great places to find inspiration!
Note: The coconut butter and shredded coconut somehow do not impart an obvious coconuty taste—if they did, my mom wouldn’t eat them, and she loves them.
This recipe makes about three dozen truffles.
½ c coconut butter or oil, warmed to soften
¾ c agave nectar
2 t vanilla extract
¼ t sea salt
1 c dried shredded coconut
2¼ c cocoa powder (preferably raw), sifted
In a high-speed blender, thoroughly blend the coconut butter or oil, the agave, the vanilla, and the sea salt. Add the shredded coconut, ½ cup at a time, and blend until smooth. (You can do this without a high-speed blender, but the texture won’t be as smooth.)
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and thoroughly stir in 2 cups of the cocoa powder. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes so it sets a bit.
Place the remaining ¼ cup cocoa powder on a plate or in a small bowl. Scoop up heaping tablespoons of the chocolate mixture and roll them into balls. Then roll the balls in the cocoa powder to coat. Store truffles in the refrigerator.
These bonbons are so ingredient-pure, they will be welcome by foodies of all persuasions—vegan, kosher, raw, lactose-intolerant, gluten-free, even paleo (if you swap coconut syrup for the agave, but note that coconut syrup has a more pronounced flavor)—so there’s no excuse not to make them. Enjoy!