During the holiday season, I love to revamp holiday treats that are just as tasty as traditional recipes, if not better. Everything that comes out of my kitchen is free from any animal products making them naturally cholesterol-free and kinder to our animal friends. Plus, it’s always fun to see if anyone can guess the secret ingredients!
These particular chocolate truffles are so rich and decadent you’d never know they contained good-for-you coconut milk to replace traditional heavy dairy cream. Naturally gluten-free, they are a treat almost anyone at a holiday party can enjoy. Just be sure to enjoy them in moderation; like good-quality chocolate, a little bit goes a very long way.
Recipe: Gluten-free, naturally sweetened, vegan chocolate macaroon truffles
I’ve never been a big fan of traditional truffles, but these are lovely. The thick, creamy coconut milk provides an incredibly smooth texture while adding a hint of coconut flavour. I thought the shredded coconut would go along nicely with these truffles to bring out the coconut flavour.
Try rolling the truffles in finely chopped roasted nuts if you want to add a nutty crunch. Or try using orange extract and orange zest or peppermint extract and crushed candy cane for a fun change. Don’t like the texture of shredded coconut? Just leave it out!
2 cups dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (ensure no milk ingredients)
3/4 cup full-fat can of coconut milk (use the cream from top of can only)
3-5 tbsp pure maple syrup, or to taste
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 tsp kosher salt, to taste
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
Cocoa powder, for rolling (or finely chopped toasted nuts)
1. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the chocolate chips on the lowest heat, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn. You can use a double boiler instead if you prefer.
2. Open a can of full-fat coconut milk, and gently scrape the cream from the top of the can to make 3/4 cup. Whisk this cream into the melted chocolate. Save the rest of the milk for a smoothie if desired.
3. Stir in the maple syrup, vanilla, and salt all to taste. Whisk well to remove all clumps, as the maple syrup may harden it up again. If it does harden up just keep heating it on low and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the optional coconut.
4. Scoop mixture into a bowl and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up. Stir with a spoon to break up the hardened spots and place in the fridge for 45 minutes to firm up even more.
5. Once firm (but not frozen), shape mixture with fingers (I wore plastic gloves to avoid making a huge mess of my hands) into 1.5 inch balls. The mixture will be very sticky. If it’s too sticky, simply return it to the fridge for a bit longer. Roll balls into cocoa powder and repeat for the rest. Store truffles in the fridge until ready to enjoy. They will soften at room temperature so I don’t recommend leaving them out for long.
Yield: 17-19 large truffles
Angela Liddon is the creator of Oh She Glows — an inspiring, healthy vegan recipe website — and one of Chatelaine‘s Women of the Year 2011. Angela’s passion for healthy vegan food is contagious and she’s eager to show others that vegan (and often gluten-free) food can blow your taste buds away.