Everyone needs a good chocolate truffle. Especially on Valentine’s day — if only because every food blog, food section, and office break room discussion features a (hopefully) decadent dessert idea involving this particular ingredient. I tend to think it’s some sort of global conspiracy aimed at keeping us all from seriously contemplating a move to Hawaii in the otherwise grim month of February. But does it really matter? I’ll take any excuse to make something involving chocolate and cream.
I don’t have a picture today, if only because I plan on going home and making a batch tonight. I tested the recipe out back in December, when I needed to find something exciting and dairy-free for my parents, and I can assure you that it’s simple and delicious, as long as you don’t mind chopping up a block of chocolate. I guarantee it’ll make your day just a bit more pleasurable.
Oh, and while I’m at it: Happy Valentine’s Day!
Mint Chocolate Truffles
Makes about 24 truffles.
This recipe is based on Mark Bittman’s truffle recipe. I had to find a way to make it dairy free for my mother’s sake, so I used coconut milk in place of heavy cream. Even with the substitute, they tasted heavenly. The mint happens to be the variation I used, but these truffles are great because they let you play with pretty much any combination you think of. I might skip the mint and try using crushed hazelnuts in place of the cocoa powder, for example, or perhaps I’ll decide on raspberry ginger flavored tea for tonight…
- 7/8 c. coconut milk. You can use cream (as the original recipe does) if you prefer.
- 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped. I used a Trader Joe’s Pound Plus bar, which was affordable and perfectly adequate, but if you want to go all out and buy Valrhona or Scharffen Berger, I don’t think anyone will complain.
- ~3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder. Ghirardelli (which I can never seem to spell without resorting to Google) worked well for these.
- 1 bag peppermint tea. Yogi tea is my favorite.
Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl, and place the unsweetened cocoa in a small bowl. Set aside. In a small, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the coconut milk over medium heat. After a couple of minutes, when the milk starts to get hot, dunk the teabag in the milk, just as you would if you were making a cup of tea. When the milk starts to steam, remove from heat, and pour over the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is incorporated evenly into the cream.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for an hour or two, until the chocolate mix is firm. Shape a teaspoon or so of chocolate into a ball, coat lightly in the unsweetened cocoa, and place in a container or on a plate for storage. Repeat until the chocolate is gone. If you start to have trouble shaping them, you may need to chill the chocolate again, which is ok because it’ll give you some time to sample a few “for testing purposes.”
Enjoy immediately, or store in the fridge, covered, for a week. Though honestly, I doubt they’ll last that long …