Vegan chocolate truffles
I am entering into my fifth week of not eating processed sugars. The first week or so was a little crazy as I battled out the cravings, but as they subsided, I have regained my sanity bit by bit. I feel so much better even after just a few weeks of not being consumed by this one sweet dependence. I have a pretty chronic sweet tooth, you see, and it usually takes the entirety of my will to overcome it. If I don’t apply it in full force, I cannot find self-restraint to save myself.
Besides feeling more on top of my sugar addiction, this past month has forced me to get creative in the world of sugar-free sweets. I can’t just go cold turkey on refined sugars – I need to wean myself off them. One of the things that has kept me sane is raw chocolate, sweetened with agave syrup or coconut sugar. A friend said to me yesterday when I told him of my latest chocolate making adventures, “I’m noticing a bit of a theme here…” Well, I’ll be the first to admit: I am becoming a raw chocoholic.
The thing about this chocolate is that it’s actually healthy. It only has a few ingredients and I know what they all are – I can even trace all of their origins! When it comes to chocolate, I’m don’t like to compromise on quality. It has to taste amazing AND come from an ethical source.
Working out what comes from where and who owns what is not that easy. The Ethical Consumer Guide has a great Consumer Guide to Chocolate in Australia which rates companies by things like cash crops, pesticides and child labour. There are heaps of great brands that aren’t yet listed on this website however. Loving Earth is one of the best know makers of ethical chocolate that have exceptional levels of transparency in their production process. They also sell the basic ingredients individually so you can make your own. And that is exactly what I have been doing…
Entering into the world of making chocolate can be a wonderful creative journey. It is indeed an art. The list of flavours and fillings is pretty much endless, as is the fun you can have! This is my basic recipe for an (almost) raw vegan chocolate.
- At least one set of chocolate moulds
- 70g cacao butter, grated or chopped finely*
- 1/2 cup agave syrup, less about 1 tablespoon
- 2/3 cup raw cacao power
- Tiny pinch of finely ground sea salt
*Cacao butter melts between 34-37C, so the finer it is cut, the less heating it needs to melt. If you’re serious about being raw then I suggest making this on a hot summer day!
Here are a few ideas for fillings and flavours:
- Almonds, hazelnuts, pecans
- Orange, peppermint or ginger oil
- Raw chocolate mousse
- Cashew butter
- Shredded coconut
- Walnuts and goji berries
If you have a favourite that’s not on this list please post a comment so I can try it out!
- Place the cacao butter and salt in a metal bowl over a small saucepan with some really hot water. If the cacao is grated finely it will melt almost instantly and you won’t need to boil the water. If it is chopped more roughly then you’ll need to place the pan on a low heat for a minute or two.
- When the cacao butter is completely melted, add the agave and mix until it has completely emulsified.
- Stir in the cacao powder and stir until smooth.
- If you are making soft centred chocolates, half fill the moulds and use a small spoon to coat their edges. Place in the freezer for a couple of minutes before adding the filling and covering with the chocolate mix.
When the moulds are full, place them in the fridge to set. Without sugar and milk these chocolates are a bit softer than most commercial chocolates (which is why I call them truffles.) I usually keep my chocolates in the fridge so that they don’t melt. It also means that they disappear more slowly. Well, ok, maybe not. But hey, they’re free of processed sugar and milk, and they’re super ethical, how can they be bad?