Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Sweet Birthday

At first I was a little concerned about this post and spoiling the surprise for my sister...but then I remembered that nobody reads my blog, so I'm safe! As you all know, my sis is in London for the year, and therefore celebrated her birthday there, as well. Despite the distance, I couldn't well shirk my duties of sending delectable treats in celebration. I decided to get fancy this year, and make some vegan truffles (and of course, my usual very buttery shortbread, that I don't eat, but that she loves).

I was a little intimidated at first, having never made truffles, let alone vegan ones. But I found two recipes to guide me in my pursuit. For the filling, I consulted "Love, Eric" and made adjustments accordingly.

Chocolate Truffles (Filling):
16 oz dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 - 2/3 cup coconut (soy, or almond) milk
2 tbsp tapioca starch

1. Bring milk and tapioca to a low boil, when it just starts to thicken.
2. Add chocolate and fully melt. It should get pretty thick, not pudding-like. If it is, add more chocolate or a tablespoon of cocoa powder.
3. Take off the heat and add any flavorings (can also do this at the milk stage, but I wanted to make several flavors)*
4. Transfer mixture to a bowl or casserole and let cool for an hour in the fridge.

* I also made a peanut butter filling with natural peanut butter and a combo of agave nectar and powdered sugar to taste.
A chocolate Kahlua truffle...I mean, she just turned 21!

Of course, I'm a chocoholic, so I had to find a suitable chocolate shell recipe to cover my filling. "My Sweet Vegan" provided an easy base that just needed some scaling up.

Chocolate Truffles (Shell):
4 oz good dark chocolate
3 tbsp coconut milk or soy creamer

1. Melt chocolate in microwave, stirring at 30 second intervals to avoid burning.
2. Add milk (at room temperature) to melted chocolate. Add more if still too stiff to dip things in. If chocolate seizes up, add some oil (probably not enough cocoa butter in the chocolate).
3. Take your chocolate filling out of the refrigerator.
4. It should be of a consistency to scoop out tablespoons and roll them into balls. If too liquidy (more like pudding), then you can make the truffles in molds or cupcake tins (see image above).
5. Roll chocolate ball in melted chocolate until fully covered. Place on wax paper and garnish with an appropriate topping. If using molds, fill bottom with an even layer of melted chocolate. Let set. Add a dollop of filling and then cover completely with more added chocolate.
6. Freeze or refrigerate the truffles. Package or eat!

Back to front: Peanut butter, coconut, and peppermint! Aren't they perty?

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