Raw Hazelnut and Mint Chocolate Truffles
I have been asked by many people how to make raw chocolate truffles. It is no secret that people love chocolate. Just the word arouses passionate responses from young and old alike. What better gift to give yourself and your friends than a treat that not only delights, but is also made from healthy ingredients! I once heard it said that desserts are the gateway to raw food. Why not open the door and give some of your non-raw friends a taste how good healthy raw desserts can be! Don’t tell the until after they have eaten them. They will be truly surprised!
The basis of this raw chocolate is Cacao Powder. Cacao is super-rich in antioxidant flavonols. The antioxidants in cacao are highly stable and easily available to human metabolism. Cacao powder has more than twice the antioxidants of red wine and up to three times what is found in green tea. (Cornell University). These are just a few of the healthful properties attributed to Cacao.
- 1 cup cashews, soaked at least 3 hours
- 1/3 cup agave (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
- 1 cup dried coconut (non-sweetened)
- Place drained cashews and agave in food processor. Process until smooth.
- Add dried coconut and mix until well combined. A ball should form.
- Remove half the mixture and set aside. You will be making two different fillings.
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, soaked for at least 3 hours
- Add hazelnuts to the mixture that is still in the food processor. Process until nuts are chopped fine and mixture is well combined.
- Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Add peppermint extract to remaining mixture and mix well. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
- Roll filling into 1″ balls. Place in freezer for 1 hour. While filling is setting up, make the raw chocolate.
- 1 cup raw cacao butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/3 cup powdered sucanat (finely ground in coffee grinder)
- 2 tablespoons agave (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
- 7 ounces cacao powder
- Melt cacao butter and coconut oil in dehydrator or over hot water.
- In food processor, combine melted cacao butter, coconut oil, agave and vanilla. Remove 1/2 mixture and set aside.
- Add 1/2 cacao powder and combine. Add sucanant and combine. Add cacao butter that was set aside and combine.
- Add remaining cacao powder, mix well. It should be quite liquid at this point. It will harden as it cools.
- Take a filling ball and place a toothpick in it.
- Dip it in the melted raw chocolate.
- Holding the chocolate dipped ball over the chocolate, let the extra chocolate run off. Be patient and wait until it has all dripped off. You can slowly turn the ball while it is dripping to get better coverage.
- Holding the chocolate covered ball upright, slide just the tip of a fork off under the ball, very carefully slide the ball onto a non-stick sheet. Repeat until all filling balls are covered. Place back in refrigerator to set chocolate.
Notes: Sucanat is not considered to be raw. It is made from the juice of the sugar cane. It is not a “processed sugar” and retains the highest nutrient value of the sugar cane (which is not exceptional, by the way).