Welcome to the Virtual Vegan Potluck! Today I am participating in a string of blog posts, collectively creating a virtual plant-based feast. At the bottom of my post, you’ll see two links: one to go back to the recipe before mine, and one to go forward to the next recipe. Prepare to get hungry. Too bad we can’t really all get together and swap the dishes for real. I love potlucks.
When I signed up to contribute a dish, it didn’t take me long to decide what fabulous concoction to post. I had been working on a truffle recipe for a few weeks, ever since attending VegFest. This festival takes place in Portland every year, with a huge crowd of people converging on the Convention Center to attend vegan cooking presentations, listen to medical experts and authors, and, most of all, eat. At least, that’s what I go for. With all of the free samples, it’s like an enormous vegan buffet. Ironically, this probably ends up being one of the unhealthiest days of the year for me, because I try every single sample (except the vegan dog treats) from the dozens and dozens of stalls. And sometimes I go back for seconds, although I think this is probably poor etiquette, so don’t tell anyone.
This year, one of the vendors had samples of enormous chocolate truffles, and they were so good, I knew I had to try and recreate them at home. It took me a bit to get it right, but the resulting recipe is incredibly easy, requires only a few ingredients, and takes five minutes to throw together. These balls of fudge are dense and velvety smooth, covered in a fine dusting of pure cocoa powder. They’re sweet, but intensely chocolate; a thick, creamy mass that will melt on your tongue. The peppermint gives them a cool aftertaste that reminds me of a York Peppermint Patty.
I hesitate to mention this, but it’s easily discernible from the recipe anyway: These are much healthier than they taste. I wanted to make them firm without resorting to a super high-fat substance, particularly anything with trans fats. I think the white beans have outdone themselves here, and no one would ever suspect their presence if they didn’t know.
There are a number of variations you could try as well. I made them many ways, but finally settled on the mint variety after all of my taste testers gave it the number one vote. However, you can easily substitute other extract flavors (see the headnotes for more on this). I think these would also be delicious rolled in finely minced almonds, but they would need to be eaten immediately after chilling, or I think the nuts would begin to get soggy.
Also, one note of caution: These truffles do need to be refrigerated until eaten. At room temperature, they’ll begin to get soft and will no longer have the right, sink-your-teeth-into-this-ball-of-chocolate texture.
Before I give you the recipe, I have to remind everyone to sign up for the GIVEAWAY I’m hosting. If you sign up to follow my blog anytime between now and November 11, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $10 Amazon giftcard. For details and information on how to follow, go to the homepage, and read the right side bar, directly below the picture of the gift card. I hope you enter, and good luck!
Decadent Mint Chocolate Truffles
Makes 8 Truffles
These delectable morsels are like balls of pure chocolate. They’re so creamy and rich, they seem much more indulgent than they really are, and no one will ever know they’re a healthier version of this tempting treat. If you’re not a fan of mint, you can easily substitute 1/4 t almond or vanilla extract instead. Also, make sure that if the white beans you’re using have any skins, you remove as many as possible, as they don’t always grind up as well as the rest of the bean. Then, make sure to puree the whole concoction until it’s completely smooth. This is essential to achieving a melt-in-your mouth texture. If you have a large food processor, you will need to double or triple this recipe; otherwise, there won’t be enough volume to ensure proper blending, and the texture will be chunky. The amounts given here work well in my 4-Cup Cuisinart.
1/2 C + 1 T chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips
2 t coconut oil
1/3 C white beans, preferably at room temperature, thoroughly drained and patted completely dry with a paper towel
2 T agave
2 T cocoa powder, plus more for rolling the balls in
1/16 t peppermint extract (just a few drops)
- Pick over the white beans to make sure there are no skins on the beans, and remove any that remain.
- Place the white beans, agave, cocoa powder, and peppermint extract in a small food processor.
- Combine the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-proof dish. Microwave on high for a minute or two, until the chocolate is melted. Stir the chocolate every 30 seconds or so to ensure that it doesn’t burn. (You can achieve the same result with a double boiler).
- Once the chocolate mixture is smooth and creamy, immediately add it to the food processor and puree. Continue to blend for at least two minutes, scrapping down the sides once or twice, until the texture is completely smooth with no lumps.
- Scrape the fudgey mixture into a bowl, cover, and set in the fridge until thoroughly chilled and firm, about two hours.
- Pour 1/4 to 1/2 C of cocoa in a small, deep dish.
- Using a spoon, form the hardened chocolate mixture into 1″ balls, rolling each in cocoa powder and setting on a clean plate before beginning on the next ball.
- Place the truffles back in the fridge to firm up for another 30 minutes, or until you’re ready to eat them. These will stay good in the fridge for at least three days. We’ve never been able to hold off eating them any longer than that, but eventually they will go bad because of the beans.
Click the image below to see the recipe after mine: