Homemade Truffles (Part 2)

20120220-205048.jpg
Well as I re-read yesterday’s post, I realized that I left out the most important part – taste! I felt that these truffles tasted like the truffles you get in a gourmet chocolate store, the type we don’t have in Huntsville. The rest of the family agreed with this assessment. So our pursuit of truffles continued on Saturday.

20120220-205700.jpg
One of my good friends is moving away for an extended period of time, and I thought she would enjoy a box of truffles. I saw boxes decorated with maps on Pinterest and decided to give that a shot.

20120220-210206.jpg
I even decorated the inside!

20120220-210308.jpg
At this point Tom was pretty sure that I had been abducted by aliens and replaced with a freaky Martha Stewart duplicate. However he was in a chocolate-covered haze of delight, so he didn’t let on too much.

20120220-210727.jpg
Jewel reminded me that she wanted to make the Healthy Mocha Chocolates. She altered the recipe so that I felt they needed a new name.
Deep Dark Double Espresso Truffles
Ingredients:

20120220-212006.jpg
1/3 Cup Ground Espresso beans
2 Tbsp Raw Natural Cocoa
1-3/4 Cups Cashews
1/4 Cup Hazelnuts
1/4 Cup Unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 Cup Ground Flax
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Dates
1/2 Cup Coffee
1 Cup Extra Dark Chocolate (85-90% cocoa)
Crushed nuts or other desired topping
Directions:

20120220-212819.jpg
Place Dark Chocolate in a double boiler and let melt until completely smooth.

20120220-211835.jpg
Add nuts to your food processor and blend until it is flour.
Add unsweetened coconut and pulse until blended.
Add the vanilla extract, ground flax, ground coffee, cocoa, dates, and coffee. Blend until cookie dough texture.

20120220-212411.jpg
Remove the dough from the food processor and place in a bowl. Refrigerate for several hours until firm. Begin rolling protein balls into 1 inch balls.

20120220-212547.jpg
Place balls on a parchment paper lined tray.

20120220-212652.jpg
Now your hands will look like this.

20120220-212924.jpg
Using 2 spoons, cover balls with melted chocolate individually.

20120220-213313.jpg
Place chocolate covered balls spaced out on a parchment paper covered tray and sprinkle with your topping of choice. We used crushed hazelnuts and pistachios and topped each truffle with a whole coffee bean.
Place in the freezer for a few hours or over night.
Wow, these truffles packed a punch! Jewel described them as “just like eating coffee,” but she considered that a positive statement. They are quite bitter but have a well-rounded mocha flavor.

20120220-213547.jpg
Dora had another friend over on Saturday, so while I was on a roll I made her a box as well.

20120220-213659.jpg
Jillian earned her keep by helping to make Chocolate Raspberry Truffles. These are not Paleo. We used bittersweet chocolate chips. These are still quite sweet to me, but they have a delicious creamy raspberry-chocolate taste.

20120220-214430.jpg
After getting a chance to sample all the truffles, I decided that I honestly prefer the Paleo truffle recipes. The regular truffles just taste too sweet to me. I would like to experiment some more with different flavor combinations, especially after the success of the pumpkin cream cheese truffles, which I’ll tell you about tomorrow.

20120220-214754.jpg

Homemade Truffles! (Part 1)

20120219-164727.jpg
The idea to make homemade truffles began with my latest place for culinary inspiration – Pinterest. If anyone needs an invite, let me know in a comment and give me your email address if I don’t have it. I was drooling over Paleo desserts and came across Healthy chocolates, truffles and raw cookies on the Damy Health blog. I decided that it would be fun to make truffles with the girls on Friday when they were out of school. Dora absolutely lit up when I brought up the idea of homemade truffles, but her face fell when I showed her the healthy, date-based recipes I had found. So I told her we would make some decadent truffles as well.

20120219-165135.jpg
After reading through pages of comments to classic truffle recipes on Epicurious, I realized that truffles were considered to be difficult to make. Crap! All the talk of tempering chocolate and breaking ganache was completely over my head. I don’t cook fussy things. I won’t even bake a layer cake (not worth the effort). The healthy recipes I had found were of the level of “throw everything in the food processor and roll into balls.” But I was committed now. I found a couple classic recipes that I thought I could manage and hoped for the best.

20120219-165759.jpg
Jewel was as excited about the healthy truffles as I was. We decided first to try Healthy Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls. Except I wanted to keep the recipe at least pseudo-Paleo, so I didn’t want to use peanuts or peanut butter. I substituted almonds instead. Here’s my version of the recipe:

20120219-182307.jpg
Healthy Chocolate Covered Date Nut Balls
Ingredients:
1 Cup Almond Flour (or 1 cup almonds processed into flour)
1 Cup of Pitted Dates
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
¼ Cup Unsweetened Coconut
¼ Cup Ground Flax
3 Tbsp Almond Butter
¼ Cup Water
2 Cups Dark Chocolate Chips (you will not use this much but it is great to have extra for dipping)
Crushed Nuts for topping

Directions:
Melt dark chocolate chips in a double boiler.
Add almond flour, unsweetened coconut and ground flax to your food processor and pulse until blended.
Add the vanilla extract, almond butter, dates, and water. Blend until cookie dough texture.
Remove the dough from the food processor and place in a bowl. Refrigerate for several hours until firm.
Begin rolling into 1 inch balls.
Using 2 spoons, cover balls with melted chocolate individually.

20120219-182734.jpg
Place chocolate covered balls spaced out on a waxed paper covered tray and sprinkle with your topping of choice. We used crushed hazelnuts.
Place in the freezer for a few hours or over night.

20120219-182850.jpg

20120219-182916.jpg
The next recipe Jewel picked out from this site was:
Raw Pecan Pie Cookies
Makes 12 Bites/Squares
Ingredients:
1 Cup Pecans
1/2 Cup Pitted Dates
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Directions:
Using your large food processor bowl and blade process all ingredients until dough like consistency with visible chunks of nut.
Roll into cookie dough balls.

20120219-212209.jpg
Jewel sampled a piece of truffle and exclaimed, “you known what would make this better? Bourbon!” Yes, she’s definitely my daughter… So I deglazed the double boiler that had the leftover chocolate from the previous recipe with bourbon, and we used that to top the Pecan Pie Cookies. We also had a few chocolate chips left, so we gave the truffles little chocolate chip hats!

20120219-212917.jpg
Our next project was Rum Balls. Jewel and I made the dough, and Dora and her friend Mackenzie made the balls and rolled them in chocolate sprinkles. At some point I also made Easy Chocolate Truffles (although I have no clear recollection of this) and Dora and Mackenzie also made this dough into truffles. Neither of these last 2 recipes are Paleo.

20120219-214138.jpg
Around this time the line between reality and Pinterest became fuzzy. As evidence, check out the box below:

20120219-214316.jpg
Ok, I guess you can’t tell much from that picture. That’s Mackenzie with her box of truffles to take home. Her decorated box. I used more than one type of wrapping paper. The girls just kept handing me pieces of tape. Next thing you know, I’ll be scrap booking! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode, in which I not only make more truffles, I decorate more boxes.

Marvelous Mocha Mousse

When I get it in my head that I want to make a dessert (which has been happening with an alarming frequency lately), I don’t let anything stand in my way. You know, silly things like minor surgery or not having all of the ingredients. So I was drooling all over my iPad browsing through my Paleo Desserts Pinboard, trying to find something that I could make quickly before my husband caught me handling sharp objects and messing up the kitchen. I also wanted to make something the whole family would enjoy. I decided on the Mocha Mousse recipe from Elana’s Pantry. Both my kids like anything coffee-flavored. At 2 years old Jewel was banging on her tray demanding, “more [flourless chocolate espresso] cake.” So I figured this was a safe bet. I did some subbing so I’ll post the recipe with the ingredients I used:

20120217-223011.jpg
Mocha Mousse

4 eggs
½ cup dark chocolate chips
⅓ cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon espresso powder (I order this from King Arthur Flour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons raw sugar

20120217-223107.jpg
Pulse eggs in food processor until fluffy. Take care with the blade if you have received sedation earlier in the day.

20120217-223343.jpg
Fluffy eggs! (yeah, you should see the pictures I didn’t post!)

20120217-223546.jpg
Pulse in the remaining ingredients.

20120217-223636.jpg
“Process for another minute. Mixture will have the consistency of mousse.” That is, if you think mousse should have bits of chocolate chips in it. Of course, I chose this recipe because it was fast and easy, but I think I would have been more satisfied with the texture if I had melted the chocolate chips first.

20120217-224007.jpg
To make it look fancy (and detract from the chocolate chip bits) top with freshly whipped cream. Coconut whipped cream would work well here too. I also topped them with coffee beans. We buy whole bean coffee at Kaffeeklatsch where they roast their beans daily.

20120217-224155.jpg
This recipe made four small servings. It is quite rich though, so it was fine for my family. Everyone gobbled them up and was very pleased with how yummy they were.