Time for some sweet confessions on when I was not vegan one afternoon nearly a year ago. It was late March and I had surprised my husband with a long weekend to Cape Cod for his birthday. If you have ever been there, you’ll know that this is not exactly the best time to go to the Cape as far as weather is concerned – it’s cold, windy and rainy, but in some ways it is the best because traffic is light and innkeepers and shopkeepers are more likely to spend extra time with each customer.
Such was the case at this little chocolate shop we randomly found as we drove around exploring the area. The Chocolate Peddler is located slightly off the beaten path in Brewster, Massachusetts. When we stepped through the door, it felt more like we were walking into a parlor or salon, with a very friendly (and large) dog greeting us. The place, although small, was bursting with rich reds and golds, and we soon met the Chef Paul himself. As we were his only customers for the better part of half an hour, we got to sample more than our fair share of his very creative truffles. As soon as we thought that we had tasted the most exotic one, he’d bring out another, then another and then another.
When I used to think about truffles, I’d think of dark rich chocolate – and not much else. But that was completely turned on its head in this little chocolate shop. Think passion fruit, black pepper, mint, coffee and truffle oil. Think truffles with the names of Toes in the Sand, Georgia-Ray and Little Red Corvette. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I knew that we had stumbled upon someone who appreciates not only putting together a good quality piece of chocolate, but unexpected art.
When I was thinking a few days ago about what I wanted to make for Valentine’s Day, I realized that I wanted to make something that I’ve not yet tried. Then I thought back to that lovely little encounter with Chef Paul and I said to myself, I’ve got to make vegan truffles. I came across a very simple recipe with a lot of rave reviews and decided to use it as a base. I can’t say my truffles turned out quite so creative as those in Cape Cod, but they are dark, rich and creamy and would be perfect to give to that special someone (even if that special someone is yourself).
Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Based upon the Vegan Truffles at Recipezaar
This makes approximately 50 truffles
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1 pound bittersweet chocolate (I used Trader Joe’s Pound Plus dark chocolate)
- cocoa powder
- 1/8 cup raisins, optional
- 2 tablespoons rum or brandy, optional
- 1 or 2 tablespoons peanut butter, optional
- 2 tablespoons pistachios, chopped, optional
- powdered sugar, optional
If you choose to use rum or brandy-soaked almonds in your truffles, mix your raisins and rum or brandy together in a small bowl and set aside.
Put cashews and cold water in a blender and blend at high speed for 1-2 minutes.
Scrape the sides down and blend again until the mixture is the consistency of heavy cream.
Get your double boiler ready. If you do not have one, you can use two pots, with the bottom pot holding water that you will bring to high heat. This will allow your chocolate to melt more slowly, which is what you want.
Put your chocolate in the top pan and stir constantly until it is all melted, then take it off the heat. I used a 72% dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s. This is not a bittersweet chocolate, however it still produces a very dark and rich truffle and it is vegan.
Cool the chocolate until it’s comfortable to work with and fold in the cashew cream (making sure not to stir too fast or you’ll create bubbles).
Cool the mixture in the fridge for 2 hours (to set).
Using a small spoon or melon baller, scoop up a small ball of chocolate and then roll it into a ball with your hands.
Roll it in the cocoa powder, then set into a dish that you will use to cover and store the truffles in the refrigerator or freezer.
If you want to add filling like the rum-soaked raisins, peanut butter or pistachios, you can roll out the chocolate into a ball then flatten with your palms.
Place a small amount of filling in the middle, then fold the chocolate around it and roll into a ball again. Roll the truffle in cocoa powder. Repeat until all of the truffles have been made, then store them in the refrigerator so they will set.
In the end, I think these turned out well, but I think that the fillings were sparse and the cocoa powder was bitter. My suggestion, if you try these, is to increase the filling or to mix up the filling with the chocolate. I would also suggest mixing the cocoa powder with powdered sugar or rolling the truffles in an alternative ingredient like coconut or nuts.
Have you made truffles before? What flavors did you make?
Happy and Sweet Valentine’s Day! xoxoxo