Earlier this week, I opened up about why I hope cupid will lay off the steak this year and bring me some pink-themed Omega-3 fatty acids on my plate instead. But when it comes to the sweet stuff, my idea of romance is still dark chocolate. And for this healthy hedonist, that means vegan truffles with matcha green tea.
I tried my hand at these 5-ingredient chocolate balls a few weeks ago, not knowing that they would be consumed in a cozy fit of gluttony usually reserved for Valentine’s Day. When I make large quantities of rich treats, even if they contain “super foods,” I try to get them out of the house as quickly as possible. My friends now know that when I gift them a care package of gluten-free ginger cookies, the gesture is 80 percent selfish. They are saving me from myself.
But this little recipe experiment went down on the eve of Jonas, which meant Charlie and I were trapped in the apartment with two dozen matcha truffles, in addition to the two quarts of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream that he had sourced for our mutual sustenance. I had also managed to stock up on a vegetable or two. But our blizzard weekend is more aptly described by a marathon binge of the first two food groups (chocolate and ice cream), in tandem with a marathon binge of Making a Murderer. (Guys…I know who did it.)
When most people think of a romantic weekend of horizontal activities, they’re probably not picturing grey sweat pants covered in green powder and melted chocolate smudges. But I’m a simple girl when it comes to quality time. And if we’re not going all out with the white girl stereotypes and jetting to Paris for the weekend, there’s nothing I’d rather do than curl up with a cute bearded man, in cozy PJ’s, with a tray of homemade dark chocolate truffles resting on my chest.
If you’ve been wanting to make your own candy for while, truffles are the place to start. No thermometers. No fuss. In fact, they’re embarrassingly easy. For these vegan versions, you simply combine finely chopped dark chocolate (I like using 70 percent cacao, but make sure it says vegan if you’re a stickler) with coconut milk, matcha green tea, and coconut oil (I like this brand). If you have a more serious sweet tooth, a little maple syrup can take it up a notch. Zap the mixture in the microwave until completely melted and smooth, and then chill until solidified again. The coconut milk and oil lightens up the chocolate and makes it extra creamy once you roll it into balls.
If you want to keep things plain Jane, you can omit the matcha from the vegan truffles and just use it as a coating. But I love the hint of earthy green tea flavor that runs through the chocolate. It just gives them that extra somethin’ somethin’. For more variety, I also rolled mine in black sesame seeds and toasted coconut. Get creative with your toppings though. And don’t be afraid of a little coarse sea salt for good measure.
Sadly, I don’t think there’s a blizzard scheduled this weekend to make holing up and eating your weight in chocolate a more acceptable survival tactic. But if that’s your idea of romance, you do you gurl. At least if you make these matcha dark chocolate truffles there will be some antioxidants involved. Right?
From one healthy hedonist, to another,
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (get a FREE jar here)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tablespoon matcha powder
- 10 ounces dark chocolate (70% cocoa), finely chopped
- Black sesame seeds
- Toasted coconut
- In a heat-proof bowl, microwave the coconut milk, oil, maple syrup (if using) and matcha powder for 30 seconds, or until the coconut milk bubbles. Stir in the chocolate and place a bowl or lid over the top of the bowl to lock in the heat. Let rest for 5 minutes, then mix until smooth. (If there are still chocolate lumps, zap for 10 more seconds in the micro. I had to do this twice).
- Place the bowl in the fridge until the chocolate is firm, about 3 to 4 hours. (Dana over at Minimalist Baker has a great tip: stick a knife through the center of the chocolate mixture and make sure it comes out clean).
- Using a melon baller or teaspoon, portion the chocolate and roll in your hands to form smooth, round balls. The colder the chocolate is, the easier it will be to roll. Pop the bowl back in the fridge every 5 minutes if you need to. Also, keep a bowl of water handy for your chocolatey paws!
- Arrange your toppings on separate plates and roll your balls in them, pressing to adhere. For the matcha, you can also just use a sift (looks prettier this way).
- Return to the fridge to firm up further, about 20 minutes. Or store them for later—they last up to one week!
If you don’t have a microwave, have no fear! Simply heat your milk in a small saucepan. If there are still lumps, refill the saucepan with an inch or two of water and bring to a boil. Pop the bowl on top (it shouldn’t be touching the water)—voila a makeshift double boiler! Stir until the chocolate is smooth and then remove the bowl.
Check out these other great dishes from Food Network’s #ComfortFoodFeast
Creative Culinary: Chocolate Pecan Tart from Chef François Payard
The Hungry Traveler: French Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart
Dishing with Divya: Rock Truffles
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Easy Chocolate Fudge – 2 Minute Microwave Recipe
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Devil Dog Cupcakes
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Homemade Chocolate Sauce
Red or Green: Chocolate Spice Bark With Sea Salt
The Mom 100: Chocolate Banana Cake
Taste with the Eyes: Chocolate Pots de Creme with Passion Fruit
Healthy Eats: 5 Chocolatey Reasons to Stay in This Valentine’s Day
Swing Eats: Nutella Panna Cotta
FN Dish: 5 Chocolatey Treats Better Than a Box of Store-Bought Truffles