I AM IN LOVE with these snowball chocolate truffles, they are my favourite new creation. With simple homemade sweets it is amazing the variety of textures you can create, with such small differences in ingredients. They can put a smile back on your face in moments, what a wonderful creation to have to hand, and something I have really relied on in times of need, or, er, everyday!
It’s amazing to think how long humans have enjoyed chocolate, earliest dated findings are 1900BC by the Mokaya people of Mesoamerica, though they say that the cacao species was carried from the upper Amazon region, and so it must have been used way before this also, but the Mokaya period is date-able because they started to use pottery. The consumption of a cacao drink in pottery vessels is thought to have conferred prestige onto the giver. Drunk strong and unsweetened, with corn, wine and/or spices, it was thought to be an aphrodisiac and to give the drinker strength. Which is true; cacao is so stimulating, it’s nutritious and really makes you feel alive. Cacao is powerful, it’s special, and is special to give; it is a thing to share, to savour and to appreciate. Of course, as with the history of any cash crop, as it’s importance spread, bad capitalism ensued, and the modern cocoa industry is no less unclean. It is important to buy fair-trade cocoa or cacao, and also to recognise where it came from (at least once in a while…).
Here I mix cocoa with cacao nibs for a rich, dark, luxurious chocolate. I love the coating texture of the finely shredded coconut, and the fruity sweet and sourness of the raisins, which go so well with the chocolate and add their natural fruity sweetness. I like the snowball chocolate truffles in slightly irregular shapes, like natural nuggets. Just looking at them makes me smile, they’re so gorgeous…
- 6 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
- 5 tbsp coconut cream (canned milk - I use the solid part for this recipe)
- 1 heaped tbsp agave syrup/ coconut sugar (if wet sweetener add a little more dry ingredients)
- 15 drops stevia
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs
- 3 heaped tbsp seedless raisins
- 2 heaped tbsp or so of fine desiccated coconut
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix the ingredients in a bowl, bar the coconut oil and desiccated coconut. Gently melt the coconut oil on a low heat, when dissolved pour into the mixture straight away. Form into small balls. If mixture too sticky add a little more cocoa powder. Roll in the desiccated coconut. Best when kept in the fridge or freezer, they cool quickly and keep very well.
If you don't have stevia drops then use another natural sweetener instead like coconut sugar, which has a lovely caramel flavour.
If you would like a plain, smooth truffle then leave out the raisins and cacao nibs and roll in cocoa or cacao powder, but the raisin, cacao nibs and coconut do add their delicious fruity substance and texture.
I use Dutch cocoa powder, a process that produces cocoa that isn't acidic, which is great for me! Bournville, Green and Blacks (both fair-trade), and many other companies produce cocoa using the Dutch process, it is however far less nutritious that cacao, so I recommend combining them if you are looking for the full-bodied richness of cocoa.
Make sweets as a gift, (and give some to yourself!).
If you freeze them the raisins go like toffee... so good, and the sweets thaw quickly too, really melt in the mouth.
If you're not a raisin fan, use dates instead, they really melt into the chocolate, especially medjool, or such-like dates as they're so soft and gorgeous. but any are nice, and add a lovely texture