On December 22, 2016, the “grab a book and cook” theme for The Recipe Redux wound up producing one of my favorite recipes to date. The Lentil Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Crust was a remake of Bobby Flay’s chicken pot pie from page 216 of the Throwdown cookbook, and I really wish I could put mine up against his (someone send this post to Bobby or Food Network so they’ll invite me to Beat Bobby Flay!). This year I repeated the challenge and these vegan chocolate truffles were born!
2017 “Grab A Book & Cook” Challenge
I wasn’t fond of the recipes on page 217 of any of my cookbooks and page 17 was often the part of the book that didn’t yet have recipes. So, I turned to my last option, which was page 201. While there was a stir fry option I considered, I thought you’d all be much more interested in a decadent, but simple dessert that you could have this weekend if you’re celebrating Christmas! You’re welcome, chocolate lovers.
The cookbook where I found my recipe inspiration is “The Cancer Fighting Kitchen“. No, I thankfully do not have cancer or any history of it, but I was given this book after attending a Unite for Her wellness day. I was there seeing all of the resources the non-profit provides to women with breast cancer, so that they can feel support and confidence while going through treatment and having access to free alternative therapies such as acupuncture, CSA shares and, of course, nutrition support. If the organization continues to spread at its rapid rate, I may be working with them in the spring once they are more local to my area of Bucks County.
Vegan Truffle Recipe Adjustments
Anyway, this book has a variety of nutritious recipes for anyone, not just breast cancer patients. Everyone should enjoy some dessert, it’s just a bonus when it’s also nutritious! The original recipe is “Wendy’s Date Nut Truffles”. I made my tweaks based on a couple of factors.
First, I’m not a fan of dried apricots most of the time, especially with a chocolate truffle. Second, my family is joining us this weekend for Christmas, and I’ll clearly have leftovers so I wanted to avoid the almonds my brother is allergic to and swapped in peanuts instead. Finally, to appeal to more of my family, I axed the orange zest and went the spicy route. We all love a little heat and what better way to bring that than some cayenne, right? If you don’t love the heat, just omit this spice and you’ll still be in awe of this dessert. If you want the original recipe, it’s in this picture!
The truffles get all of their sweetness from dates and 85% dark chocolate, and the perfect truffle texture is made possible just with those ingredients and peanuts. I have to say, while I was originally going for a PB chocolate flavor, they wound up just being pure chocolate decadence and the peanut flavor is hardly noticeable even when you look for it. This recipe is giving you plenty of antioxidants from the dark chocolate, but also potassium, iron, vitamin E, and mono-unsaturated fats. The unsweetened coconut adds a bit of texture, and a tiny bit of coconut flavor, but more than anything I think it just makes the treat look more seasonal!
Simple Vegan Chocolate Truffles Recipe (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Simple Vegan Chocolate Truffles
- 2 oz 85% (or similar) dark chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp boiling water
- 1/2 cup salted peanuts
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp powdered cayenne pepper
- 1/3-1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Pour boiling water over chocolate chips in a small bowl and let sit about 30 seconds. Stir with a whisk or small rubber spatula until smooth. If needed, put in microwave for 10 seconds to help with mixing.
- Pulse the peanuts in a food processor until they are well ground, 20-30 seconds. Next, add the dates and pulse about 10 seconds.
- Pour the chocolate mixture over the dates and add the vanilla and cayenne.
- Pulse until the mixture forms a large ball (roughly 20 seconds in my standard Cuisinart food processor).
- Pour coconut over a large plate.
- Take just under 1 tablespoon at a time of the truffle mixture and roll it into a ball in your hands. Then, roll in the shredded coconut before placing in a storage container.
- Let sit in the refrigerator 2 hours or more before serving.