I might be a bit late for Valentine’s Day but I am sure you’ve heard that everyday should be Valentine’s day…and I agree. But I do like to celebrate Valentine’s day just because it offers a bit of an excuse or forces you to do something special. Not to say that I do something special for my loved one only once a year.
So, what could be more special than chocolate…I would say red velvet chocolate truffles. This recipe is something you can enjoy not just with the loved one but also for special occasions with friends and family. It is dairy free, no added refined sugar but definitely not indulgent free. I love desserts, but as I previously wrote in one of my blog post, sugar is not the best friend of your body. I have a balanced view on diet but for me balance means 80% good and 20% indulgent and if I choose indulgence I tend to go for the high quality ingredients and it needs to be something I really really love. So rather than having a processed cake bought from the supermarket lathered in artificial preservatives and loaded with sugar I prefer to choose a home made (including restaurant made) favourite dessert (I love home made sticky toffee pudding or chocolate puddings) or I come up with recipes which are not as bad for you. Red velvet chocolate truffles is one of these recipes.
I recommend using min 70% dark chocolate which means you are limiting the amount of sugar and it also feels a lot more chocolaty (desired for truffles). This recipe doesn’t have dairy (which means you are limiting the oestrogen that comes with it) however it does contain coconut oil and coconut milk which contain saturated fat in high proportion. There is a lot of debate around the health benefits of coconut vs dairy and the debate is not really settled. As a short summary coconut contains high proportion of lauric acid (a medium chain fatty acid) which can also be found in breast milk, palm kernel oil, certain nuts and in small amounts in cow’s and goat’s milk. It was believed that lauric acid mainly increases the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) (or the “good” cholesterol) (source: Mensink RP, Zock PL, Kester AD, Katan MB, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2oo3) . The same study also concluded that the effects of the lauric acid on heart disease are uncertain. The reason behind this is there are multiple factors affecting heart disease which cannot be studied in isolation. I still consider any dessert a treat and I believe these should be consumed in moderation. One potential added benefit of these red velvet chocolate truffles is the addition of the raspberry powder. Not only you get the bright colour but because the raspberries have been freeze dried means that in theory if the raspberries are of good quality (organically grown) it should have preserved most of the benefits of raspberries.
Red Velvet Chocolate TrufflesPrint Recipe
- 300g min 70% dark chocolate
- 3 tsp coconut oil
- 250ml light coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 3 tbps amaretto
- Pinch of salt
- 4 heap tbps of raspberry powder
Break the chocolate into smaller pieces by bashing the chocolate to the kitchen worktop (the chocolate still needs to be in the packaging). Place the chocolate pieces into a bowl and add 3 tsp of coconut oil.
Open the can of light coconut milk and carefully scrape the harden paste and place in a pan. Add 4/5 tpsb of the liquid and this in total should be around 250ml. The rest of the liquid you can use it for a smoothie so do not throw it away. Gently heat the mixture until all dissolved into a liquid, but do not bring to boil. Pour the coconut milk on to chocolate and carefully mix together. Be careful not to stir too quickly as the mixture could split. So take your time…this will take a couple of good minutes. If the mixture is loosing heat and you find the chocolate hasn’t melted completely pop it onto a pan with simmering water for a minute, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Mix together until the entire chocolate has melted and you have a smooth mixture, very much like a chocolate cream (the consistency of custard).
Add the vanilla paste, pinch of salt and the amaretto and mix.
The mixture is too runny to create truffles so leave the mixture to harden in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. If you are too impatient (which I can completely understand when you have a bowl full of chocolate sauce:) ) then you can dip strawberries in….just as nice!
When the mixture has set, you can either presented at the table and let everyone scoop their own truffles and then dunk them into the raspberry powder or if you have waiting overnight or for quite a while you will find the mixture might have set quite hard so then you can just scoop out and mould truffles with your hands and then roll them in the raspberry powder. Don't worry if you feel the mixture is too hard to mould. With the heat from your hands it will become more malleable. I have to worn you though that your hands will be properly chocolately, and of course...at the end I will not blame you if you start licking your hands :).