Recipe: Dark Chocolate Truffles

Whether you love it, or love to hate it, there is no escaping the fact that Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.  Whatever the case may be, why not indulge your significant other, your friends, or yourself with my super healthy version of chocolate truffles.  Unlike mainstream truffles filled with butter, cream, and refined sugars, these are lower in fat, calories, and packed with antioxidants, potassium, magnesium and B-vitamins.  All the while remaining decadent and rich enough to put even the greatest of anti V-Day believers in the mood for love. And did I mention that chocolate is an aphrodisiac?  Stimulating the secretion of endorphins and serotonin in the body, it makes us feel all kinds of good.  Need I say more…

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Yield: Approximately 2 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried pitted dates (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4-5 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa solids), chopped
  • Optional toppings: dried unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped nuts, sea salt, dried unsweetened goji berries, cranberries, or cherries, and orange zest.

Procedure:

  • Put the dates, vanilla, and honey in a food processor and process for about 1 minute, until the ingredients are finely chopped and begin to stick together.
  • Roll the date mixture with your hands into teaspoon-sized balls and set them on a plate lined with waxed paper.  If mixture becomes too soft, place in refrigerator for 5 minutes and continue rolling.
  • Place a small bowl over a saucepan, containing barely simmering water, over low heat.  Make sure the water is at least 2 inches from the bottom of the bowl. Place half the chocolate in the bowl and stir until it is melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the remaining chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate is melted. Remove the bowl containing the chocolate from the pan.
  • Have your toppings ready.
  • Take a ball and place a toothpick in it.  Dip it in the melted chocolate.  Holding the chocolate dipped ball over the chocolate, let the extra chocolate run off.  You can slowly turn the ball while it is dripping to get better coverage.  Holding the chocolate covered ball upright, very carefully place back on wax paper.  Repeat until half the balls are covered, place your topping on them and put in refrigerator or freezer to set chocolate.  Continue with remaining balls. Truffles will set in about 15-20 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

* For a vegan option, swap out honey for maple syrup.

** WARNING: These are a very healthy, non-traditional tasting truffle.  For a more traditional tasting truffle, add 4 -5 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 extra tablespoon honey to date mixture and roll balls in cocoa powder instead of dipping in chocolate.

Happy Valentine’s Day,

DK

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