Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chocolate Tahini Truffles

Gorgeous Christmas truffles!
I've never made truffles before-- not in real (sugar-eating) life, not in acd-life. However, on Christmas day I recieved "On Food and Cooking, the Science and Lore of the Kitchen", by harold McGee, and I read the chocolate section.

I learned that ganache (standard truffle filling) is a suspension of cocoa and fat molecules within a sugar-syrup, created by combining melted chocolate and cream. For a soft ganache, the chocolate-to-cream ratio is about 1:1. For a thicker ganache (as in, truffle filling), the ratio should be closer to 2:1.

I took note of this, and figured I'd give it a shot, despite the fact that I didn't have any suitable cream. So, to sum it all up: I experimented.

I must admit, I was a very bad blogger while making these. I went a bit crazy, starting out with a couple main ingredients, and then quickly throwing in so many things by taste, that I pretty much lost track of all accurate measurements.

I started out with a sweet-potato based filling, deciding that this tuber would add volume, freshness, and subtle sweetness to the inside of the truffles-- and that I would add some cocoa, and adapt the texture to be more creamy and thick.

I began with a traditional ganache for the outer layer (coating). I melted grain-sweetened chocolate chips, and added half their volume of coconut milk... and then some coconut oil to add fat, since I wasn't using cream. And then some agave and xylitol to enhance the "sugar syrup" component.

... and then I ran away with both of them. Pretty much, I started adding tahini to make both components creamier, then needed to add vanilla to neutralize the sesame-taste, and thennn...? It's a mystery.

But here's a secret. Which I discovered, sweet-craving, kitchen-less, stressed, and food-destitute, in my eagle's-nest, secluded, dorm room, thesis-stressing senior year at Princeton University. Tahini whipped with vanilla =  creamy and delicious mousse. Crazy, I know. Especially because it works best with crummy, international-food-store, cheap Lebanese-labeled tahini. Add some cinnamon to the vanilla-only version, or add cocoa powder to make full-on chocolate mousse. Either way, it's incredibly creamy, but light and frothy at the same time. And, I figured, a great cream/volume-booster to my truffle components.

Thus, my chocolate truffles because chocolate-tahini truffles, with the "tahini" taste lost to the vanilla and chocolate and coconut and all other ingredients.

So, take this recipe as "inspiration", and use it as guidelines to make your own unique creations.


The Coating/Ganache:

1/2+ c Sunspire grain-sweetened chocolate chips
1/4- tsp coconut milk
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp ghee
1 tsp tahini
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp xylitol
1+ tsp agave

Melt chocolate over lowest heat possible, then remove from heat and add other ingredients. When it's really hot, it will be a bit too thick to really work with, so try to keep the heat low (or you'll have to wait forever for it to cool).

The Filling:

~3/4 c sweet potato (aka 1/2 large sweet potato), cooked and mashed without skin
1 tbs almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs tahini    ---> whip into the rest
2 tsp cocoa
1/8 c coconut milk 

Shape filling into balls, then dip them into coating. Then, optionally, roll them in the following powder:

 Rolling powder (optional):

Cocoa powder
Coconut flour
Shredded coconut
Almond meal
(or any combination of the above)

Place "finished" truffles on a waxed-paper lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle powder ontop, if desired. When ganache is sufficiently thick, it can be used alone to make balls of truffle, with powder sprinkled on top.

Let sheet of truffles cool in the fridge (/garage if it's cold out!) before storing/serving. Keep in fridge.


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