Monday, February 12, 2007


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UPDATE: HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY 2011! At this new post, I've posted 2 new vegan truffle recipes, with variations, that do not contain margarine or vegan butter-- one is nut butter-based, and one contains silken tofu.

You gotta have chocolate on Valentine's Day, right? Well, we certainly do! As I've mentioned before, though, I'm not much of a candy maker. But, I discovered some years ago that truffles are actually not very hard to make, and make an impressive gift for your sweetheart! Believe me, if I can do it, you can do it!

Why are chocolate truffles called truffles, anyway? These candies, based on ganache (which is generally chocolate mixed with cream to make a smooth mixture, but in this case, liqueur and vegan butter are used instead of cream), resemble the French mushroom-like fungus of the same name. And, like the original truffle, chocolate truffles also denote luxury and a sumptuous taste experience.

I make a basic dark chocolate truffle mixture with a few variations that we like-- coffee, orange, and raspberry-almond. I use appropriately-flavored liqueurs for deep flavor (and maybe a bit of buzz?) If you don't use alcohol, you can substitute a flavored syrup used for special coffees and Italian sodas (like Monin or Torani.)

You can find organic, vegan (and often fair trade) sugar, powdered sugar, chocolate, and cocoa on many online vegan grocery sites, such as:

Vegan Store (Pangea)

Vegan Essentials (A Different Daisy)

Cocoa Camino (organic, fair trade) has chocolate chips that are vegan. I use Vivani dark chocolate, or Denman Island dark chocolate, but there are others. Dagoba has a wide range for baking. Newman's Own has some vegan bars, all organic, fair trade. Check out some of the online vegan stores I mentioned above for other brands of vegan, organic chocolate and chocolate chips. There are more every year!

I use organic, fair trade Cocoa Camino unsweetened cocoa powder. Other organic cocoa powders (unsweetened) include:
Ah!Laska, Fairly Traded cocoa, Now Foods Organic Cocoa Powder, Green and Black's ( a UK brand, but available in North America), Organic Dutched and Natural Cocoa.

makes about 2 dozen

12 oz. organic vegan semisweet chocolate
1/4 c. vegan butter, softened (try my homemade palm oil-free vegan Buttah)
1/2 c. liqueur of choice (or flavored syrup for Italian coffees and sodas)
Unsweetened organic cocoa powder
blended with organic powdered (icing) sugar (equal amounts)
(Organic, vegan powdered sugars: Hain, Rapadura, Wholesome Foods, Woodstock Farms, Nature's Flavors, Florida Crystals.)

OR, instead, use ground, chopped, or slivered lightly-toasted nuts
(your choice-- could be almonds, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts or filberts, macadamia nuts, coconut, etc.)

Break up the chocolate in very small pieces. Place in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Cook until chocolate melts, stirring often. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl. With an electric mixer, beat in the Earth Balance. Gradually beat in the liqueur, beating constantly to keep the mixture creamy and smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours, til firm. With hands, roll mixture into 1" balls. Roll balls in cocoa mixture or nuts, shaking off excess.

You can place them in little candy cups, if you like-- gold foil ones are nice.

Equally divide between two pint freezer bags with zip-lock tops. Remove excess air and seal. Can Freeze up to 6 months.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per truffle, rolled in cocoa/sugar mixture):
109.2 calories; 44% calories from fat; 6.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 21.8mg sodium; 65.5mg potassium; 12.4g carbohydrates; 0.3g fiber; 1.3g sugar; 12.1g net carbs; 0.8g protein; 2.6 points.

Use orange liqueur instead of coffee liqueur and add grated zest of 1 orange. Roll in chopped nuts. Hazelnuts are nice.

RASPBERRY ALMOND TRUFFLES: Use raspberry-flavored liqueur (or syrup), and chopped or slivered lightly-toasted almonds for the coating.

COFFEE OR ESPRESSO TRUFFLES: Use Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur (or syrup) and any nut of your choice.


cv said...


These are gorgeous! Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

I certainly feel like hugging you !
You don't even have to ask ! LOL

No words to describe these heavenly truffles :) Thank you so much !

Susan Voisin said...

Bryanna, your photos are gorgeous and the recipes are making me hungry. Seriously hungry! I don't know whether I should thank you for that or not! ;-)

Sheree' said...

Fantastic Bryanna! We are celebrating our Valentines on Friday. I am going to surprise DH with these. Yum-O

Joyce said...

these look great! I cant wait to try to make them!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this informative and delicious sounding recipe. I appreciate the time you took to post photos.

PEANUT said...

I just made them a few days ago for a very non-vegan friend who is also a former owner of a chocolate shop here in Belgium where he made his own chocolates. I brought the prepared chilled truffle paste to his house along with shredded coconut, cocoa powder, white sugar powder, and walnut bits and we rolled them together in the toppings. He loved them so much he ate about 15 of them in ten minutes flat! He couldn't believe that there was no butter or cream in them. I gave him the extras so he can pass them along to other non-vegans.
THANKS for all your incredible recipes. You inspire me often.
Peanut (vegan professional cyclist)

adriennefriend said...

Thanks for this recipe, Bryanna! I made these with Kahlua for last night's Ladies' Book Club meeting and discussion of Joanne Harris' CHOCOLAT. The girls whooped and hollered over this one! Thanks so much!

(PS: I was able to successfully make a very small batch for our group of 6 by using 4 oz fair-trade Divine chocolate, 3 tsp of softened earth balance, and 1/8 cup of Kahlua).

s said...

have to make them now..they are great...

Theresa Harrison said...

wow the photos are very impressive!
im going to make them for xmas presents.
but sorry what is earth balance?
is that like a vegan margarine?

also i would like to put cherries in mine, what liqueur to you recommend?


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Theresa, Earth Balance is a vegan non-hydrogenated, non-GMO margarine that we use in North America. It's available in most health food stores and many supermarkets.

For the liqor, you could use a cherry brandy, kirsch, or cherry schnapps.

Anonymous said...

I was going to ask what Earth Balance was, as well. Presumably any non-hydrogenated dairy-free margarine will do?

Reese said...

What an amazing recipe!
How were you able to figure out the nutritional contents?
Would love to know!


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, Reese! I use Living Cookbook software to analyze the nutrient content. It uses USDA data, plus you can add data for other ingredients, using package info or info from a company's website.

Eva @ Four Leaf Clover said...

I wish I could find a vegan truffle recipe minus the substitutes. It's not that easy to find here in Switzerland plus I just tend to try and stay away from processed foods as much as possible. If you know of anything, please do send it my way!! These do look delicious, though!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

It's a pretty simple recipe, Eva-- if by "substitutes" you mean the Earth Balance (which is a non-GMO, non-hydrogenated margarine which is available in several varieties, including olive oil, organic and non-soy), which is probably not available where you live, how about trying a favorite nut butter instead?

Anonymous said...

I was going to ask about the Earth Balance as well, I live in Peru and i don´t think we have nut butter either, could it be replaiced with vegetable oil? I use vegetable oil for brownies and many other recepies but I am not sure it would work for these, as these are uncooked and the earth balance probably gives them consistency.

Frosty said...

This recipe looks delicious! I've been searching for a good vegan truffle recipe. Would it be possible to substitute the earth balance with something else? possible coconut oil + coconut butter or cocoa butter?
I'm not the biggest fan of EB.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Anonymous, you're right-- the margarine (or nut butter) would be needed for consistency. Do you have a food processor or heavy duty blender? If so, it's fairly easy to make your own nut butter. (You might even be able to use some sort of hand food mill, if it has a fine plate on it.) Almonds, cashews, pecans, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts-- all would be good.
For this recipe, I would use as little oil as you can get away with-- I think a thicker consistency would be best. But nut butter does firm up when cold.

Sound Earth said...

Wow, this sounds divine! I love making goodies like this for my non vegan friends and family. Thanks!

Eva @ Four Leaf Clover said...

Thanks so much for replying to my post, Bryanna. I used to eat Earth Balance all the time but stopped because I think I'd been told it wasn't healthy, but maybe that was just my mom's anti-veganism talking. I'll definitely have to look around for something like nut butter in the health stores around here. Thank you!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

frosty-- sorry I missed your comment and so didn't okay it until just now-- sorry! You will find some ideas below your comment. I wouldn't use coconut oil as it is not solid at room temp. Cocoa butter might work, or perhaps a combination of cocoa butter and nut butter.

Katy said...

I know you said any nut butters would work, but how strong a taste would they add? I was thinking of making small batches 3 different liquors: coffee liquor, amaretto, and bailey's. Is there one nut butter that would go with all of these, or should I just use Earth Balance? I like to have less processed ingredients in my diet whenever possible, but I also want the best truffles!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Katy, raw cashew butter would probably be the one with the least taste. But, my thinking is, these are a treat (in other words, we eat them a very few times a year), so I use the earth Balance.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

For those of you looking for an alternative to earth Balance-- see 2 new truffle recipes on my newest post:
Happy Valentine's Day!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the yummy inspiration! I'm going to make some of these this month for the holidays and post them on my blog.