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Date, coconut and spice truffles

>> Sunday, April 4, 2010

Date truffles 2

I guess you know that traditional truffles mainly consist of sweet chocolate and cream... a lot of cream. But vegans and raw vegans invented a healthier type of truffle already some time ago... yes, you can make truffles without the cream and the sugar. And I find they are a truly interesting kind of sweet, even though I'm neither vegan nor raw vegan. You've got to absorb any knowledge potentially good for you. Empty your mind, like Bruce Lee used to teach... Strip yourselves of prejudices like you peel the paper off a cupcake... To lend body and softness to the truffles, avocado or dates are used instead. Dates have been used in these truffles, to give them sweetness and tenderness.

The concept is adapted from this gorgeous vegetarian blog. I've substituted dry for fresh dates, cocoa butter for part of the coconut oil and ras el hanout for the hot chili (is this getting close to an addiction? No, why?). Sure curry powder would work too... I thought about adding hot pimentón, but I didn't dare. I've recently stumbled upon some spicy bonbons (they seem to be fashionable right now) and I really liked them. After all, Mesoamericans used to have their hot chocolate with chili. But you can skip the ras el hanout if you don't like spicy chocolate (prejudiced!). Being that these sweets aren't cooked in any way, the ingredients should all be premium quality, organic when possible. Okay, I'm a bit of a purist...

Date, coconut and spice truffles
Yields 30 small truffles

  • 20 organic dried dates
  • 1 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp organic cocoa butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa (better if organic)
  • 30g shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp cinammon
  • The content of half a vanilla pod, scraped
  • 1/2 tsp ras el hanout
Date truffles 1

And you were wondering... is it really a good idea to leave the cream out and use coconut oil instead? Well, apparently coconut oil, after being considered a very harmful saturated fat for years (coming from the wrong belief that ALL saturated fats were harmful, especially promoted in the 60's by large producers of poliinsaturated vegetable fats... what a coincidence), is changing its reputation due to recent scientific research.
  1. Soak the dates in water for a while if they're too dry. Melt the coconut oil and the cocoa butter in a double boiler or bain-marie. Put the oils in a blender or processor with the drained dates and process till almost smooth. Don't expect the dates to disintegrate completely, some chunky bits will remain.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the date mixture and process again, till a more or less homogeneous paste forms.
  3. Flatten the paste on a plate and refrigerate until the oils are solid again, around half an hour.
  4. When the paste is cool, use a teaspoon to break down little pieces and shape them into balls, rolling them between your palms (you can make them larger if you want).
  5. When they're all shaped, coat them either in more shredded coconut or in cocoa. To do this, put a couple tablespoons coconut or cocoa in a plate, place the truffles on it and move the plate for the truffles to roll and coat.
These truffles keep well in the fridge, but, as any traditional truffle, they are best if left to temper for a while before eating. The flavor of ras el hanout was hardly noticeable in the batch I made, I guess the cocoa flavor is too strong to offset, but a slight heat revealed at the end of each bite... Next time I will add more heat... yummy. And by the way, if you want to see the face of your less adventurous guests when they bite into one of these truffles, let them believe these are regular ones... it's your chance to have a good laugh.

26 comentarios:

Pam April 4, 2010 at 6:02 PM  

Oh my gosh! They look and sound delicious! This is a must try! Thanks!

SashaInTheKitchen April 4, 2010 at 6:26 PM  

That sounds totally fabulous!

Marly April 4, 2010 at 6:42 PM  

OK. I'm definitely going to try these. I'm not a fan of cinnamon and chocolate together, but I figure I could just leave out the cinnamon. These look delicious!

Bellini Valli April 4, 2010 at 6:49 PM  

These are similar to something my daughter makes. She is all into delicious and good for you too!!

Stella April 4, 2010 at 8:07 PM  

La foto se ve perfecta, Miriam. Y los ingredientes son tan interesantes-datiles y coco. Wow!

All Our Fingers in the Pie April 4, 2010 at 8:42 PM  

These look great. I didn't realize that I had not checked your blog for such a long time. Good to be back.

Talita April 4, 2010 at 9:00 PM  

I love chocolate and cinnamon together! Your photos are really beautiful!

Trix April 4, 2010 at 9:59 PM  

You used Bruce Lee, truffles and cupcakes in the same post. You rule!

Noelle April 5, 2010 at 12:34 AM  

I like that website Green kitchen Stories! Great pictures and recipe here thanks!

Cooking Rookie April 5, 2010 at 1:03 AM  

Great recipe! And an amazing picture!
I alos love adding fruit to my truffles - it gives them a very nice texture. If you're interested, here's my recipe for prune truffles

Mari's Cakes April 5, 2010 at 1:46 AM  

Miriam, these look awesome! Excellent combination.

Zahra April 5, 2010 at 1:59 AM  

oh my! this looks very intriguing! Hmmm...I may have to give it a go...but do you have a suggestion for a substitution for the vanilla bean? They are pretty hard and expensive to come by around here (but I have vanilla sugar!)
Also, is this overly chocolatey or not?:)

My mom loves dates and is always trying to force me to make healthier treats so this should be pretty good ;)

denise @ quickies on the dinner table April 5, 2010 at 6:09 AM  

Gorgeous truffles - love the addition of dates. Beautiful photography!

Tasty Eats At Home April 5, 2010 at 5:57 PM  

I made a variety of date truffles for New Years - but I LOVE your version! Spicy chocolate, yum! I have an affection for dates, I could eat way too many. You throw chocolate and spices in there, and boy, am I in trouble!

Joy April 5, 2010 at 6:13 PM  

That is a great use for Dates! I love that it is vegan too.

Alina April 5, 2010 at 11:27 PM  

Aww! Miriam you're fantastic as always :) I'm wondering what ras el hanout is?! It's been 4 months since I last ate chocolate (just didn't feel like), but these organic truffles with unsweetened cocoa do sound like something I'd love to have for dessert :)

Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking April 6, 2010 at 9:18 AM  

You can never have enough chocolate! I still do feel a bit overloaded with chocolate since this easter, but this still looks tempting...

Belinda @zomppa April 6, 2010 at 3:22 PM  

Wow! These look soooooooooooooooooo good and special...very unique.

farida April 6, 2010 at 5:54 PM  

These look heavenly! I have seen a somewhat similar recipe in a Moroccan cookbook I have, but yours looks different. Thanks for sharing! Saving it:)

Jencrafted April 6, 2010 at 10:26 PM  

Love truffles....and love this concept of non-cream, low-sugar truffles. Thanks for sharing! Awesome photography, by the way. Congrats on making Top9!

Kevin April 7, 2010 at 3:10 AM  

Those truffles look really good and I like that they are made from dates!

Elizabeth Jarrard April 7, 2010 at 3:33 AM  

i love raw vegan desserts and these look delicious!

Anonymous April 7, 2010 at 6:38 PM  

This is a truly unique concept to me but I think I'm in love with it! No prejudices here! I love chocolate with spicy. Do you think some chipotle powder would work here or would the smokiness not pair well?
Congrats on the Top 9, you deserve it Miriam!

Brie: Le Grand Fromage April 8, 2010 at 5:02 AM  

wow, these look so sweet and divine - beautiful!

Miriam April 8, 2010 at 1:10 PM  

Pam: thanks!
Sasha: thanks!
Marly: sure you can skip the cinnamon
Val: that's surely good for her!
Stella: gracias!
AOFP: thank you to be back!
Talita: thanks!
Trix: haha... just musing
Noelle: thank you!
CR: I will!
Mari: thanks!
Zahra: well, they do taste chocolatey. About the vanilla, you could always use extract I guess, though I haven't tried.
Denise: Thanks!
TEAH: then you'd like these truffles!
Joy: thanks!
Alina: ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice mix, it reminds a lot of curry powder.
Linn: haha
Belinda: thanks!
Farida: hope you like them!
Jen: thank you!
Kevin: me too!
Elizabeth: thanks!
Danielle: I'm sure chipotle would be great...
Brie: thanks!

tasteofbeirut April 12, 2010 at 3:47 PM  

Can't believe I missed these beauties~wow!
bookmark, bookmark!


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