Friday, December 18, 2009

Heaven in Every Bite: Dark Chocolate Truffles

Truffles in bowl

Holiday time comes alive when you get the whole family involved in making these marvelous treats. Little ones especially have fun with rolling the truffles in sugar or unsweetened coconut flakes if you are sugar-averse. It also teaches them the joys of creating a gift for someone as opposed to purchasing one. In our family, whoever helps gets to taste. I always have helpers!

Truffles

I save glass jars all year long to serve as gift delivery devices.  I have been known to break down and actually purchase an unusual looking one. We use them for water cups, food storage and gift giving. When I need to put together a gift, all I need to do is select one, fill it with scrumptious treats and decorate the lid with a piece of fabric and a pretty ribbon. Sometimes, I'll add a little tag with the ingredients or the recipe. It is always very well received. The challenge is to resist eating these yummy truffles long enough to fill up the jar. If you can't help yourself,  you can at least take comfort in the fact that they are relatively healthy as far as truffles go.

Truffles on platter

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Dark Chocolate Truffles (makes 13 )
These treats are delicious and not too sweet. It's important to use the highest quality unsweetened cocoa powder so the richness really comes through. If you like things on the sweeter side you can use only 2 tsp of hazelnut liqueur and then add 1 tsp agave nectar. If you are using the hazelnut extract and water mixture, use only 1 tsp of water and then add the agave nectar.

1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 tbsp almond butter
3 plump dates, pitted
2 tbsp of unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tbsp high quality cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 tbsp hazelnut liqueur (or 1 tsp hazelnut extract + 2 tsp water)
1 tsp toasted hazelnut oil (or a mild vegetable oil)

crystallized sugar to roll in
or sweetened cocoa powder

  • Place all the ingredients (except for the crystallized sugar or sweetened cocoa powder) in a food processor. 
  • Grind into a paste.  
  • Carefully, grab a little bit of the mixture in between your fingers: it should stick together into a malleable dough.
  • Prepare a plate with the sugar. Set aside for the final step.
  • Form the truffles by taking about two teaspoons of the mixture, clumping it together and rolling it into a little ball. Continue until all the mixture has been used.
  • Gently roll each truffle on the plate with the sugar to coat evenly.
  • Store in a jar in the refrigerator.
Printable Recipe


    Truffle clos-up

    Need more chocolate?
    Almond Bars with a Dark Chocolate Crust
    Figs Stuffed with Chocolate Hazelnut Cream
    Chocolate Caramel Baked Pears

    13 comments:

    VeggieGirl said...

    BEAUTIFUL!! Love the glass jar idea too.

    Marysol said...

    Bad, bad Alexa! Go to your room, and don't come out, until you apologize to my ever-expanding waistline.

    Those truffles look absolutely divine! I like your idea of adding a crunchy coating, via crystallized sugar.

    Btw, I also collect glass jars throughout the year, so I can fill them with treats to give away at Christmas. I also keep an eye out for pretty, vintage tins and milk glass pieces.

    Merry Christmas to you!

    ♥peachkins♥ said...

    I'm drooling. I love truffles!

    seasidegal said...

    I am going to the store to buy ingredients right now!!! I am a chocholic and am always looking for low sugar treats so these sound great!
    I'm not a big hazelnut fan though so I think I'll try using walnuts and see how that turns out. Hopefully I'll find a substitute at the store for the hazelnut flavoring. Thanks for all the great holiday recipes, I plan on using four of your recipes this week!

    Deeba PAB said...

    Can we be neighbours Alexa? Love these beautiful truffles...right up my street! Happy holidays my friend!
    xoxo

    Alexa said...

    seasidegal,

    Use some vanilla extract instead of the hazelnut extract. I did that last night and they came out perfect. Walnuts will work nicely. You could roast them a little first if you'd like. Enjoy!

    GF Gidget said...

    Gorgeous AND delicious! How do you do it?

    Robin Sue said...

    Alexa-
    It is so good to see you back to blogging. I am enjoying your posts again! These truffles look so flavorful, I love hazelnuts. Have a wonderful Holiday season!

    Chocolate Shavings said...

    Those truffles are beautiful! Love the sugar that coats them!

    Stacey Snacks said...

    Alexa,
    I love the saving a jar idea....it's a very "green" thing and probably looks so pretty with a fabric lid.
    I am not Martha Stewart, but I will save some jars from now on!

    rachel said...

    As a part-time chocolatier I have to say your little creations look sublime, and upon reading further I am impresses by how wholesome they are! Mine are cream, upon butter, upon chocolate. Yummy- but sinful. Good one Alexa!

    Shelly Borrell said...

    Great photos!!! Looks yummy too :)

    Inumidun said...

    I can't wait to try the truffles. I'm sure my son will love these little munchkins. I'll be sure to let you know how they turn out. Also, thanks adding my blog, b is for bloom, to your blogroll. I added Artsie Food over there as well.

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