Chocolate Decadence – Dark Chocolate Cherry Walnut Truffles

This week is chocolate week for me. Part of that is… well, if you’re a girl, you know. Part of it is that it’s almost Easter. Back in February with Valentine’s Day coming up at the time, my mind had been on chocolate. (As it is now with Easter coming up.) And then this OhSheGlows recipe came to my inbox I was very intrigued. Dark Chocolate Cherry Walnut Truffles – YUM!

(OhSheGlows is a great website run by a Tonrontonian named Angela Liddon who is a vegan baker/cook. She has a really inspiring story and some super tasty recipes. The cupcakes that I made back in November are from her site and every recipe I have tried from her is brilliant.)

I’ve brought these into work a few times and they are a hit. On the other hand, when Sean first tried these, he was on the fence. (I was shocked.) So I popped them back in the freezer for another hour and then he tried again. Reviews were a million times better but he, like me agreed that there needed to be more salt – I had only put in about a 1/4 tsp and it definitely needed more. Next time round, I used a 1/2 tsp and that extra salt made a huge difference. It was a perfect savoury/sweet mix.

DARK CHOCOLATE CHERRY WALNUT TRUFFLES (Adapted from Angela at Oh She Glows.)

Yield: 23-24 truffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnut halves, finely chopped and toasted
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener – I used honey)
  • 1.5 cups of your favourite dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (use the cream from the top of the can – makes a huge difference)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 12 drops red food colouring

Preheat the oven to 325F and toast the chopped walnuts for 12 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, soak the cherries in a bowl of water for about 10 minutes. Drain and add to food processor (or mini immersion processor that comes with a stick blender – this is what I have at home) along with 2 tbsp agave or other sweetener. Process until finely chopped.
In a medium-sized pot, heat the chocolate chips over low heat, stirring as necessary. Add in the coconut milk and stir well. Add toasted walnuts, cherry mixture, and almond extract. Stir again until combined. Now add the kosher salt to taste. The salt should give the sweetness a bit of a pop. Add a touch more sweetener if necessary to achieve your desired taste.
Spoon the truffle mixture into a bowl and place in the freezer, uncovered, for 90 minutes, stirring every half hour. After 90 mins, stir again and transfer bowl to the fridge for another 20 minutes until chocolate is firm and workable.
In a small bowl, mix together the coconut and food colouring until pink. When the truffle mixture is firm enough to handle, roll into small balls (you can use wet fingers if necessary- it will be very sticky!) and then roll into coconut mixture until you have about 23 balls.

The first time I made these, all I had was these ugly gold foil cups. I've since bought much better ones, but you gotta use was what you have sometimes...

Store in an air-tight container in the freezer or fridge (they will become very soft at room temperature). They should keep for a couple weeks in the freezer in an air-tight container.

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