These little mouthfuls of joy are surprisingly easy to make. Dark chocolate gets a salty umami kick from white miso paste, the easy almond caramel has a lovely soft nuttiness to compliment the bitter dark chocolate shell, and the white chocolate and raspberry provides a sweet and fruity burst of flavour. Pick one or make all three! These would make a wonderful gift (for someone else, or yourself) and are perfect for Valentine’s Day.
A chocolate based gift is always appreciated, but if you want to do something a bit special this Valentine’s Day, making your own chocolates is easier than you might think. And let’s be honest, during these pandemic-ridden times, the options for doing something special for your loved one are severely limited.
These three are just a few flavour combinations that I really love, but there are loads of variations you can try. I give some suggestions below for swaps you can make so you can really personalize your truffles or decorate them as you please.
I’ve coated these truffles in melted chocolate, which ideally requires tempering. Tempering is a method for melting chocolate where you control the cooling process, causing the chocolate to set firmly so it won’t immediately melt when you pick it up, and should be beautifully shiny. The reason for this is something to do with science but I won’t bore you with the details… because I don’t know them. This process can be a little tricky, and I have to admit I’ve never managed to get the elusive shine, and there are plenty of options that still result in beautiful truffles if you’d rather skip it – see the variations sections at the bottom of this post.
How to make vegan truffles
Each flavour of truffle uses a slightly different method, and the most straightforward are the white miso dark chocolate truffles. And if you don’t have any white miso they are even easier.
Start by chopping up half of the dark chocolate very finely – you can use a serrated knife, a grater, or a large sharp knife and cut into the chocolate on the diagonal so it flakes, then put the finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Take a can of coconut cream that’s been in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, and measure out some of the thick cream that has floated to the top. Put this in a saucepan over a medium heat and when it’s steaming hot, but not yet boiling, pour it over the chopped chocolate, and leave for 5 minutes.
If you’re using white miso straight from the fridge, measure it into a small bowl or mug and microwave on the lowest possible setting for 15–30 seconds to bring it to a lukewarm temperature. Scrape it into the chocolate, and stir everything together thoroughly so that the mixture becomes thick and glossy. If there are still a few lumps of chocolate, place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and stir occasionally until it’s completely melted. Leave to cool then refrigerate for a couple of hours, until set.
For the white chocolate, raspberry and pistachio truffles, the process is very similar, with the addition of a thick raspberry coulee. First, finely chop the vegan white chocolate in the same way as for the previous truffles. I like Sainsbury’s Free From White Chocolate, and you can get small bars of vegan white chocolate in Tesco’s and Asda’s Free From ranges. Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
Measure fresh or frozen raspberries into a saucepan and place over a medium heat, stirring frequently. Allow to bubble away until any large chunks of raspberry have disintegrated, then strain through a sieve to remove the seeds. Return the smooth syrup to the heat and continue to simmer for 2–3 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about half, then add the coconut cream. Once the mixture is steaming hot, but not boiling, pour over the white chocolate. Leave for 5 minutes, then stir thoroughly. If there are still lumps, place over a saucepan of simmering water until smooth, then refrigerate for 2 hours.
The process for the almond caramel truffles is slightly different but no more demanding. These are not technically a truffle, but they have a truffle-like texture so I don’t feel like it’s too far along the path of false advertising. In a small saucepan, measure out the coconut oil and maple syrup. Bring to a boil over a medium heat and let bubble for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it smells lovely and toasty. Whisk in the almond butter until completely smooth and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes before removing from the heat to cool. Add some flakey sea salt – smoked salt works wonderfully with the almond flavour but regular salt is delicious as well. Leave to cool, then refrigerate until set.
For all the truffles, once they have set firm, you can take them out of the fridge and mould them into roughly equal-sized balls. If you’d rather not coat them in chocolate then you can roll them in chopped nuts or cocoa powder right away.
Otherwise, roughly chop three quarters of your remaining white or dark chocolate, and melt over a bain-marie (a heat-proof bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water). Chop the remaining quarter of chocolate very finely. Once the chocolate has completely melted and has reached a temperature of 55C, tip roughly two thirds of it into another bowl with the quarter of finely chopped chocolate and return the remaining third of melted chocolate to the bain-marie. Stir the chopped chocolate and melted chocolate constantly until it reaches a temperature of around 28-29C for dark chocolate or 26-27C for white. Then stir in the remaining melted chocolate, until the mixture is completely smooth.
Roll your truffles in the melted chocolate, using a spoon, and place on a tray lined with baking paper or a silicone mat to set. If you’re adding decoration, you’ll want to move quickly before the chocolate coating sets. A sprinkle of chopped nuts works a treat, or even some freeze-dried raspberries if you have them (I did not). Some stripes of contrasting melted chocolate are also a classic options, or just running a skewer through the coating before it sets.
There are plenty of variations you can try, for a bit of personalization. The decoration is an easy place to start – if you don’t want to temper chocolate you can just roll the truffles in chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts are excellent options), or roll them in cocoa or cacao powder. You could also roll them in untempered melted chocolate and then roll them in chopped nuts – simply melting chocolate is much quicker than tempering, and the nuts mean that it’s not important if the chocolate is less shiny or melts to the touch.
For the dark chocolate truffles, white miso adds a salty hit as well as a lovely umami undertone, but if you can’t get hold of any then you can always go for a pure chocolate option, or just use sea salt. Start with a pinch of flakey sea salt and taste, adding a little more until you think it’s about right. Another option would be to grate some orange zest in with the melted coconut cream for an orange chocolate truffle – you’d probably only need half an orange’s worth for the quantities in the recipe below.
For the raspberry and white chocolate truffles, the pistachio element is largely for decoration – I love the vibrant green against the pale white chocolate. For a nut-free option you could use a sprinkling of freeze dried raspberries instead, or make one less truffle and gently melt the remaining truffle mixture, then pipe or drizzle that over the white chocolate-coated nuggets.
The almond caramel truffles can also be made with peanut butter, and coated in chopped peanuts. Indeed, you could use any type of nut butter that you like – a hazelnut version coated in chopped hazelnuts would be delicious. You could leave out the salt if salted caramel isn’t your thing, and it’s entirely up to you as to whether you use raw coconut oil, or flavourless coconut oil (refined coconut oil such as KTC or Biona odourless). I don’t mind the hint of coconut at all, but I often use flavourless just so the almond flavour really sings through.
Of course this is not an exhaustive list, but something I hope you might find useful to get you started. And even if they don’t turn out to look quite like the window display at a high class chocolatier, these are far more personal and heartfelt, will taste glorious, and after all, it’s the thought that counts.
Please let me know if you give these a try! You can comment below or use the star rating at the top of the post, or tag me on Instagram and Twitter @greedybearbakes.
Vegan Truffles: Dark Chocolate and White Miso, White Chocolate, Raspberry And Pistachio, and Almond Caramel
Sumptuous vegan truffles, three ways.
For the white miso dark chocolate truffles:
- 200g (7oz) good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
- 60g (3 tbsp) coconut cream (from a chilled can of coconut milk)
- 1 tbsp (heaped) white miso paste (at room temperature)
For the white chocolate, raspberry and pistachio truffles:
- 250g (9oz) vegan white chocolate
- 125g (½ cup) raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 40g (2 tbsp) coconut cream
- 1 tbsp pistachios for decorate, roughly chopped
For the almond caramel truffles:
- 50g (¼ cup) coconut oil
- 75g (¼ cup) maple syrup
- 75g (⅓ cup) almond butter
- ½ tsp flakey salt (or smoked salt) or 1/4 tsp fine salt.
- 100g (3½ oz) good quality dark chocolate
- 30g flaked almonds to decorate, roughly chopped
- For the dark chocolate and white miso truffles, chop 100g dark chocolate very finely (you could use a serrated knife or grater), and place in a heat-proof bowl. Melt 60g coconut cream in a saucepan over a medium heat until steaming hot but not yet boiling, and pour over the chopped chocolate. Leave for 5 minutes, then add a generous tablespoon of white miso paste and stir until you have a thick glossy mixture. If any lumps remain, put the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (ensuring the base doesn’t touch the water) and stir until smooth. Refrigerate for a couple of hours until set.
- For the white chocolate and raspberry truffles, put 125g raspberries in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, then simmer until any raspberry chunks have disintegrated. Chop 150g white chocolate very finely and place in a heat-proof bowl. Sieve the raspberries to remove the seeds, then place the smooth sauce back in the saucepan and simmer for 2–3 minutes until reduced by about half. Stir in 40g coconut cream and once steaming hot but not boiling, pour over the chopped white chocolate. Stir until smooth, then refrigerate for two hours until set.
- For the almond caramel truffles, measure 50g coconut oil and 75g maple syrup into a small saucepan and place over a medium heat until boiling. Let bubble for 5 minutes then stir in 75g almond butter. Whisk until smooth, and simmer for another couple of minutes then remove from the heat. Stir in ½ tsp flakey sea salt, taste and add a little extra if you like, then leave to cool before refrigerating for a couple of hours until set.
- For all of the truffles, once they have set, remove from the fridge. Scoop out a small amount of truffle mixture (around 15g) and roll between the palms of your hands into a ball*. You should get about 10 balls for each flavour with the quantities above. You can roll them in chopped nuts or cocoa powder at this stage, or if you want to coat them in chocolate move on to the next step.
- For each flavour, you’ll need to temper 100g of dark or white chocolate. Roughly chop ¾ of the chocolate and melt in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Very finely chop the remaining quarter and place in another bowl. Once the chocolate is completely melted, pour ⅔rds into the finely chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely smooth, then pour in the remaining third of chocolate.
- Roll you truffles in the tempered chocolate using a spoon, then remove onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper or a silicone mat. For the almond truffles, after coating I roll them in a bowl of chopped flaked almonds before placing them on the baking tray. You’ll need to move fairly quickly as tempered chocolate sets quickly, so scatter a little salt or chopped nuts on top of the truffles as you go, rather than waiting until you have coated all of the truffles. Leave for 15–20 minutes to set completely (in hot weather you may need to put them in the fridge).
*If the truffles are melting in your hands, it sometimes helps to run your hands under cold water every so often, drying them completely before you roll any more. You can put the rolled balls in the fridge while you temper the chocolate.