Lately I’ve been craving these. I’m working hard this month to keep off sugars as much as possible, for my January Body Springclean Challenge! I’m only having a very small amount of natural sweeteners like fruit, dates, raw honey, pure maple syrup, yacon syrup, green stevia, and coconut sugar. That’s not so hard, but it’s the chocolate I miss most. So now and then I like to have a couple of these raw chocolate truffles to satisfy that sweet, chocolate craving… usually in the late afternoon when my energy levels are getting low. I love the silky, smooth, chocolate texture of these truffles, which is achieved by using cacao wafers (or raw cacao licor as it’s also known) instead of just raw cacao powder. The cacao wafers are made from raw cacao nibs ground up into a very smooth paste, then set into wafers. The cacao butter hasn’t been removed, so it gives just the right creamy texture for raw chocolates and bliss balls. They don’t contain any sweeteners or additives, so they are perfect for making all sorts of delicious, healthy chocolate treats! You can buy Changing Habits cacao wafers here.
I made up this recipe a couple of months ago and have been meaning to get it on the blog ever since, but time has gotten away. At Christmas time, I divided the mixture in two, and mixed one half with naturally sweetened dried cranberries (deeeeeelicious!), and the other half with some naked ginger and dried apricots. So so good.
You could mix in some roughly chopped nuts instead of dried fruit, or some raw cacao nibs for extra crunch. Or just leave it smooth and plain, and press it into a square dish and cut into small squares like fudge.
Don’t be scared of the ‘secret ingredient’ – banana! It doesn’t taste like banana – that just helps with the texture. The chocolate is so powerful it overtakes the banana. 😉 Yes, this is definitely a recipe for hard-core chocolate lovers… so beware if you’re one of those strange ‘milk chocolate’ kinda people. (Ha ha!) For me, the darker the chocolate, the better. And the good thing about dark chocolate is you only need a tiny bit to feel satisfied. So try this recipe for a deliciously healthy, naturally sweetened chocolate hit – mmmmm…
- 150g blanched almonds
- 250g cacao wafers
- 1 vanilla bean, cut in thirds
- 170g raw dates (or regular dates - chop 20 seconds)
- 50g pure maple syrup or yacon syrup
- pinch Himalayan salt
- 1 ripe banana, peeled (not over-ripe, as the flavour will be too strong)
- Extra dried fruit or cacao nibs (optional): 1 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries, or chopped dried apricots and ginger (optional); 1/2 cup cacao nibs
- Grind almonds on speed 8 for 8 seconds to make flour, and set aside.
- Grind cacao wafers and vanilla bean for 5 seconds on speed 9.
- Add dates and chop for 10 seconds on speed 9.
- Add syrup and cook for 7 minutes at 37C, speed 3.
- Add salt, reserved almond flour, and banana and mix on speed 8 until very smooth.
- If you like, mix in extra dried fruit and/or cacao nibs on speed 3, until combined.
- Either roll mixture into small balls for truffles, or press into a square dish for fudge. Place in the fridge to harden.
- If you don't have any cacao wafers, you can use cacao nibs (same weight) - mill 20 sec/speed 9, then continue with recipe. Mixture won't be quite as smooth as with wafers.
These truffles will last in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Unless you eat them first. 😉