I’ve never tried or cooked with vegan chocolate before. Which is surprising considering how many vegan treats I used to create and bake up in Edinburgh for BrewLab. Making vegan food is doubly rewarding as not only are you making something delicious, but it tends to be a little bit better for you than your average sugary snack. As a non-vegan, I’m no expert, but I love nuts and dried fruit, so that’s always a good place for me to start.
When this dark ginger chocolate from Seed and Bean arrived on my desk, I literally did a double take over the packaging. Vegan chocolate? What? But how was the chocolate going to stay so rich and creamy and melt-y in my mouth-y? Well guys, I can’t answer that, but I can tell you, it’s bloody delicious. So spicy yet soft from the ginger, and as I melted it to make these, my kitchen filled with those beautiful warm notes of ginger.
These truffles make for a great after dinner treat/gift/anything really because they really are yummy. Not too sweet and nice and crunchy. You can swap the nuts for different flavours, or change up the golden syrup for honey or agave nectar. You can also change the coating: try finely chopped dry roasted hazelnuts or almonds, oats or just plain cocoa powder. All are divine! Double it too if you like, you’ll need to in fact, because they’re addictive.
To make 9 truffles, you will need:
1/2 cup dates
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup skinned hazelnuts
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla paste/essence
1/4 cup golden syrup
pinch of salt
For the coating:
85g Seed and Bean Just Ginger vegan dark chocolate
100g desiccated coconut (optional)
50g crushed pistachios (optional)
Place the dates, almonds and hazelnuts into a food processor, and blend until you have a paste. You might need to add a tsp of water to help this along. Don’t worry if the mixture isn’t completely smooth as it’s nice to have a bit of crunch in the truffles. Add the cocoa powder and blend again. Tip into a bowl, and add the shredded coconut, vanilla paste/essence, golden syrup and salt. Mix until everything is well incorporated and the mixture is nice and sticky.
Line a tray with baking parchment. Take about a tbsp of mixture at a time and roll into a ball in between your palms. Place the balls onto the lined tray and refrigerate for about 20 mins to harden.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bowl does not touch the water. Once the chocolate is completely melted, set aside to cool slightly.
Place the desiccated coconut and crushed pistachios into a shallow dish and mix.
Using a bamboo skewer or fork, dip the hardened truffles into the melted chocolate. Make sure they have an even coating, then drop them in the bowl of desiccated coconut and pistachios. Roll them around to ensure that all parts are covered. Place on a clean sheet of baking parchment and refrigerate for about 40 minutes before enjoying.