This recipe deserves SO many more words than I just shoved into that title, but I thought I’d give you a break after nine of them! 🙂
This goodie isn’t a cookie, so I have called it a Christmas ‘treat’ – and boy, what a treat it is!
Since replacing simple sugars with natural sweeteners in my diet, the one thing I really miss is a good ol’ Lindt Lindor Truffle.
Those melt-in-your-mouth goodies wrapped in shiny foil are just too, too much. They are my favourite treat, especially at this time of year. A close second are those cocoa-dusted truffles you get in boxes at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. You know the ones I’m talking about – dark, rich and velvety with that cocoa coating. So good.
So I came up with a recipe – vegan and gluten-free if you want, but always naturally sweetened. I used gold candy wrappers from Michaels, and that way you can easily give them away as gorgeous homemade gifts this holiday season, or as take-home favours on the Christmas table this year!
These are ridiculously easy to make, with a lot of ways to customize, to make them more truffle-like (cocoa dusting) or more Lindor truffle like (chocolate coated!) or just to be different and play around with flavours. These aren’t low calorie, but they are under 100 cals each, which is pretty good for a treat that is so rich, you won’t be able to handle more than one or two at once, I promise!
Anna’s Delectable, Divine Chocolate Truffle Balls
INGREDIENTS (makes 12 balls):
1 bar very dark chocolate (vegan if you prefer) – I used 90% cocoa from Lindt
3 tbsp butter or vegan butter (I used Earth Balance buttery sticks)
6 tbsp light agave nectar
*Please note if you are okay with things that are not super sweet, you can play around with how much agave you add. That is the last thing to be added so I would suggest adding a tablespoon at a time and tasting as you go. If you are making these for someone who is used to sugar, though, I would use the full amount.
1. Place a Pyrex bowl over a saucepan filled halfway with simmering water. Break the chocolate into small pieces and put in the bowl.
2. Stir the chocolate and, as it starts to melt, add the butter. Stir well until everything is completely melted.
3. Start to add the agave nectar, tasting until it is sweet enough, or adding all. Stir well.
4. Place a sheet of parchment or wax paper on a cookie sheet. Drop the mixture in 12 spoonfuls on the sheet. They won’t have any shape whatsoever as they are melted, so let them just look like shapeless blobs.
5. Refrigerate for 5-1o minutes. Check on them – you don’t want them to firm up so they’re hard, you just want them hard enough that you can handle them without them being runny.
6. When just starting to set, remove cookie sheet from fridge and – working quickly, as your body temperature will quickly melt them again – roll each blob (scraping it up from the parchment paper using your fingers) into a circle.
7. Place balls onto a plate when you’ve rolled them and cover the cookie sheet in a fresh sheet of parchment paper. Here, add whatever you are coating them in (unless it’s melted chocolate). If you are using any of the dry ingredients suggested in my pointers list below, scatter that ingredient onto the parchment paper. I used cocoa powder.
8. Work fast, again, and roll each ball with the palm of your hand in the cocoa powder (or other coating) until thoroughly coated. Transfer back to plate. Refrigerate when done.
9. Now you can wrap in candy wrappers or serve as they are!
10. If you are coating in melted chocolate, allow the balls to set completely, then melt more chocolate in your Pyrex bowl over the hot water and put a toothpick into each truffle, dipping it thoroughly in the melted chocolate and putting straight back into the fridge. Let set!
Possible coatings include:
- melted chocolate
- cocoa powder
- sea salt
- sprinkle some cayenne pepper into cocoa powder for a spicier gourmet chocolate
- Sucanat or coconut sugar for extra sweetness and crunch
- Crushed hazelnuts (you could even include some nut extract in the melted chocolate for a true ‘Ferrero Rocher’ experience)
- Crushed nuts (other kind)
Nutritional information per truffle if makes 12:
BY THE WAY, check back Monday for my Christmas giveaway for one of my favourite treats ever! That’s actually good for you! Now that’s what I’m talking about ;).