2/18/2014

vegan dark chocolate truffles

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Everyone knows that Valentine's Day definitely means candy. Even if it's not all about candy (which, of course, it's not; for me, it's all about this cutie pie), candy definitely plays a vital part in this celebration. And not just any candy: chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.



Even though I will enjoy a Reese's Heart with the best of them, since we decided to go with a homemade celebration this year, I thought it was only fair that the homemade aspect extend to dessert, too. The thing about planning a meal right, though, is that everything has to fit together time-wise, which can be kind of hard to execute in the moment. So an easy dessert? That can be made in advance? Check and check. This truffle recipe is exceptionally simple, and can definitely be made the day before or the morning of and refrigerated until it's time to serve.


For this recipe, you'll need:

12 ounces of vegan dark chocolate (This is harder to find than you might think, since a lot of dark varieties still contain milkfat, so check your ingredients list. Equal Exchange is a good brand. If you don't give a hoot about that sort of thing, any variety of your favorite chocolate chips or bar will work.)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Put your chocolate chips (or, if you went with a bar, break it up into pieces) into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 15-20 second increments, stirring each time, in order to avoid burning the chocolate. Heating it for too long will result in a very distinct burnt-popcorn flavor, which of course nobody wants.


Once your chocolate is completely melted, stir to ensure smoothness. Whisk in your coconut milk and vanilla. Cover tightly and refrigerate for four hours, or until the mixture solidifies but is still malleable. In the meantime, you can prep your pistachios by toasting in a 350 degree oven for about ten minutes. Roughly chop and set aside for later use. In a separate bowl, add your shredded coconut and set aside.


Once the chocolate is ready, use a teaspoon (or any spoon, depending on the size of truffles you'd prefer. Ice cream scoop, anyone?) to scoop out enough for each truffle. You can roll them slightly in your palm (warning, this will be hugely messy, but fun, and you should work semi-quickly to avoid letting the chocolate get too melty) to create a slightly rounded shape, then roll in either pistachios or coconut. Or hey, if you're feeling crazy: both.



Repeat until all the chocolate has been rolled and coated and then store in the refrigerator in a sealed container until ready to serve. Seriously? That's it. It has to be the easiest dessert on earth. Super simple, really good, and surprisingly not so bad for you, either. Dark chocolate, nuts, coconut, minimal sugar. Great to keep in mind for when you're hosting friends or need something quick to bring to a gathering or a house-warming.

Want to make vegan peanut butter cups, too? Of course you do. Find the recipe here.