These delightful little morsels came about out of a need for something sweet that wouldn’t break the no sugar pact I have made with myself for Lent (2 weeks left! How will I feel by the end of it?)
Because sometimes, no matter how good you are trying to be, you need something sweet. Just like, sometimes, you need to spend all of Sunday in your pajamas, then at bedtime have a bath and put on a clean pair of pjs. There is something liberating about spending all day in pjs as a (supposed) grown-up. It’s so wrong yet so right at the same time.
These truffles contain coconut oil, some unsweetened chocolate, cashew nuts, pistachio nuts, dried cherries, dates and a little bit of honey which were melted, chopped, pureed and mixed together before chilling in the fridge for a couple of hours, then scooping heaped teaspoon-fulls, shaping them into rough ball shapes and then rolling them in cocoa powder. Eh Voila!
Can I just take a moment to say that I think the pistachio nut is the prettiest nut. It doesn’t look a little like a brain (walnuts and pecans), it is not uniformly brown / beige (hazelnuts, almonds, cashew and macadamia nuts) and neither is it the size of a small rock (brazil nuts). It has a jade green centre covered by a thin lilac / vivid purple skin that varies in tone and shade. So so pretty. Not that there is anything wrong with all the other nuts. Life is made up of all-sorts.
Anyway, back to the truffles . . .
What you decide to mix into the chocolate / honey / coconut oil mix is entirely up to you. Don’t like dried cherries? Fine, use dried cranberries instead (you could also use dried apricots, but I think the tart quality of cherries and cranberries work well against the sweetness of everything else). Don’t like pistachios and / or cashews? No problem, use almonds or hazelnuts instead. Although I should say now that if you don’t like pistachios I am not sure we can be friends.
Maybe . . .
The coconut oil can also be substituted with butter, but I like the coconut flavour that the oil gives these. Not to mention it is better for you than butter. Just saying. These are supposed to be ‘healthier’ treats.
If you are vegan, then the honey can be swapped for a vegan honey substitute, liquid fruit sugar or golden syrup.
As for the unsweetened chocolate (cacao) I would recommend these, although a good quality 90 – 99% cocoa solids chocolate, like this one and this one, will also work.
These truffles were a big hit. Even my sister, who is notoriously fussy when it comes to nuts in things, wolfed three down in one sitting.
I had to exercise great willpower to stop at three . . .
Fruit & Nut Chocolate Truffles
- 100g shelled pistachio nuts, unsalted
- 50g cashew nuts, unsalted
- 100g Medjool dates, pureed
- 100g coconut oil
- 50g unsweetened chocolate
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 125g dried cherries
- Approximately 1 heaped soup spoon of cocoa powder, for dusting
- Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse until they are roughly chopped. Be careful not to make them too powdery. A couple of large chunks is okay. Tip into a bowl and set aside.
- Remove the stones from the dates and place in the food processor and whizz until reduced to a puree. If they seem a little reluctant to smoosh, add a splash of water. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.
- If the dried cherries are quite large, cut them in half. Set aside.
- Place the coconut oil, chocolate, honey and vanilla in a bowl. Set over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water) and stir occasionally until all the ingredients have melted together.
- Add the chopped nuts, pureed dates and dried cherries to the chocolate mixture and stir until combined and the chocolate mixture coats everything. Cover and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours, or until set.
- When the mixture has firmed up, take heaped teaspoon-fulls and roll in between your hands to form a ball (don’t worry if they are a little lumpy). Roll the truffle in the cocoa powder and place on a tray. Repeat until all the mixture has been used.
- Keep the truffles in an air-tight container in the fridge. They will last as long as you let them!
** Notes **
- Feel free to substitute the nuts and dried fruit for ones of your choice.
- Butter can be used instead of coconut oil.
- Liquid fruit sugar or golden syrup can be used instead of honey.