Sunday, February 10, 2013

Coconut Truffles

    This past weekend I made coconut truffles, and I must say, they were a treat. It's a great recipe to make in stages, since the chilled truffle mixture can be rolled out at your leisure. They don't require an oven, and are dorm friendly if you microwave the coconut milk. These sweets also have the distinction of being paleo friendly. No dairy, no grains, albeit there is sugar. Make sure you use dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa, and check that it is not made using milk or milk products. I highly recommend these truffles on the basis that they are delicious.

      On another note- Exciting news! I will be contributing blog posts to Campus Fit! It's an online resource for all things healthy, from exercising to eating, and everything in between. They have great advice, like how to work out without a gym, and their archives are a great place to pick up new tips. I know that these truffles seem like an unusual choice for a health conscious blog, but they're grain free, dairy free, and are a nice way to reward yourself, which we should all do from time to time : ). 
Coconut oil and chocolate, awaiting their fate.
I found this recipe from an incredible website, Nomnompaleo. I love the website's easy to navigate layout, variety of resources on socially/environmentally responsible eating, and the recipes of course. These coconut truffles couldn't be simpler. They were a hit with my friends- they're phenomenal cold, but they're also good at room temperature. The coconut flakes give it the outside a little bit of texture, but the inside is creamy and melt-in-your-mouth good. 
(This recipe makes 36 truffles)

10 ounces of dark chocolate, 70% or higher
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 cup of full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut and/or ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
in a small sauce pan, heat up the coconut milk. While it is heating, measure out the chocolate into a medium sized shallow glass or ceramic dish. Add the coconut oil. When the coconut milk starts to simmer, take it off the stove, and pour it into the chocolate/oil mixture. Stir until the chocolate is melted. You can put the bowl in the microwave at 15 second intervals (no longer, or you risk burning the chocolate) if it needs a little extra help melting, or if you don't have access to a stove-top. The great part here is that as the chocolate melts, an aroma of cocoa  and coconut blossoms, and it smells wonderful. Cover the bowl, and put in the fridge for at least four hours.
While the chocolate is chilling in the fridge you can toast the coconut. To toast, line a baking sheet with parchment and spread out the coconut flakes in a thin layer. Toast at 350 F for 3-5 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a saute pan, and toast over medium to high heat, stirring continuously to keep from over-browning.

Once you are ready to roll them out, use a melon baller, or a small ice cream scoop and measure out tiny balls. Roll between your hands to even out the shape- it's ok if they're not perfect. They will be perfect to your stomach, and your taste buds ; ).
If rolling in coconut flakes, coat them immediately, then chill. The Tartlette blog has a nice suggestion of "curing" the truffles in the fridge for about an hour. This way they develop an outer coat that will prevent excess cocoa powder from being absorbed into the truffles. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week (if they last that long), or in the freezer for up to a month.


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