Mandarin Chocolate Truffles
Oh man. You guys are in trouble with this one. These Paleo truffles are so addicting. I think I’ve gained 5 pounds just from my trial batches!
The outer chocolate shell provides a slight crunch when you bite in, and the chocolate inside melts as soon as it hits your tongue. These little bites of heaven taste like they came straight from a candy shop display case, but they’re extremely easy to make and the recipe doesn’t involve tempering chocolate. Better yet, they are made of all raw, natural, and dairy-free ingredients.
I order my raw cacao butter on Amazon, but you can also find it at most health foods markets. Don’t fret about the price or think you won’t use it all. It lasts in the fridge for about a year, and you can even use it for homemade lotions or as a butter substitute in cupcakes. The aroma will overcome you when you open the bag and have your mouth watering for a delicious piece of chocolate. Cacao butter is the key ingredient that provides the ‘melt in your mouth’ characteristic of most chocolate bars.
You’ll notice that you are going to warm the cacao butter over a double boiler, and are probably asking yourself how these truffles are considered raw. You will only keep it over the heat long enough to start the melting process, so it never reaches above 100 degrees. Don’t worry though, no tempering chocolate or even a thermometer necessary for this recipe!
You can roll these in cacao powder, shredded coconut, or chopped nuts, but my favorite is the chocolate shell. Make a few different flavors of these for Mother’s Day and wrap them up in a pretty box for the beautiful mom’s in your life!
|Ingredients (makes 16 truffles)
3 tablespoons raw cacao butter, chopped
1/4 cup raw honey (I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m sure maple syrup would be a good sub for vegan!)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut butter (I love the little pouches from Artisana)
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons fresh clementine or mandarin juice, strained of pulp
1 teaspoon mandarin zest (plus additional for sprinkling on top if you choose)
dash of sea salt
Fill a small sauce pan with a few inches of water, and bring it to a boil over high heat.
Place the cacao butter in a heat proof bowl, and place it directly over the boiling water, but not touching it.
Stir for 1-2 minutes until it has started to melt, but there are still some solid pieces. Remove the bowl from the heat, then whisk in the coconut oil and honey.
Pour the mixture into the bowl of a food processor, then add the cacao powder, coconut butter, vanilla, juice, zest, and small dash of salt.
Turn on the food processor, and process for a minute or so until your mixture is smooth and thick.
Spoon the chocolate into a bowl, and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
After it has chilled, use a spoon to scoop out balls about the size of a tablespoon from the bowl.
Roll them between your palms to form smooth balls. Place them on a parchment lined tray then place the tray in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to roll them too much or the heat from your hands will melt the chocolate. Your hands will get messy!
While the balls chill again, make your chocolate coating by placing the cacao butter in a heatproof bowl set over a small pot of boiling water.
Again, whisk for 1-2 minutes until the butter has started to melt but there are still a few small solid pieces. Remove from heat, add the honey and cacao powder, then whisk vigorously to combine and make a smooth, thin syrup. If it’s too thick, you can return to the heat for 30 seconds.
Remove half of the balls from the refrigerator, then working one by one, drop them in the coating and roll them around until fully covered. Poke a toothpick into the top to pull them out of the bowl, and twist it around slightly to let the excess chocolate drip off.
Use another toothpick to help release the truffle back onto the parchment lined tray, then sprinkle with clementine zest and let harden at room temperature. Pull the other half of the balls out of the fridge and repeat the coating process above.
- If you want to make a Vegan version of these truffles, you can likely use maple syrup as an even sub. I would not use a powdered sugar substitute such as stevia in this as the honey is used to help hold it all together.
- If the chocolate coating gets too thick after rolling the first batch, just return it to the double boiler for 30 seconds or so until it thins out again.
- The coating hardens better if the truffles are cold when dipped.
- Don’t place the truffles into the refrigerator right after you dip them or they will produce condensation on the outside. Let them harden at room temperature first and once they are completely cooled you can place them in the fridge for storage.
- If you want to create the cute drizzle that you see in the photos, let the truffles harden first, then drizzle with extra coating or pipe with a piping bag. You may need to let your bowl of coating sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order for it to harden up enough to be able to hold it’s shape once piped.
- Once they have cooled to room temperature, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or in a cool dry place for 1 week.