Cranberry and date chocolate truffles are a dreamy, delicious and dairy free bite. Made with nuts and coconut flour, they're packed with good fats and fibre for a healthier version of a chocolate truffle.
As we dive into the thick of the festive season there's always some reason to be indulging in a treat. These cranberry and date chocolate truffles are a great addition to your holiday chocolate line up, whether as a healthier sweet snack or maybe as a dessert petit four option. (Really, I think they're yummy enough to be enjoyed year round, but the cranberries do give them a festive feel!)
You can make these truffles using a variety of nuts, as long as the weight is equivalent to that specified below. I tend to use walnuts, cashews and Brazil nuts when I make these, simply because I can buy this mix in bulk quite easily which is really economical. It's sold in my local health food store as a mix of broken nut pieces - these bags of broken nuts are much cheaper and they're perfect for making things like this!
For a little extra indulgence, I love coating these cranberry and date chocolate truffles in dark chocolate. They're totally much more like a dessert when you do this and SO GOOD! My tip for dipping the truffles in the melted chocolate is to use a skewer (metal or wooden, either is fine). Stick the skewer firmly into the truffle ball and voila, you have something to hold on to while you coat the ball. I've also put in an option for adding a teaspoon of orange extract to the truffles. I think this complements the flavours really well but it's not essential if you don't have it or don't like citrus with chocolate. Either way these cranberry and date chocolate truffles are super tasty!
Cranberry and Date Chocolate Truffles
- 300 grams medjool dates (approximately 20 dates)
- 300 grams mixed raw nuts (I use a mix of cashews, walnuts and Brazil nuts but you can use others e.g. pecans, almonds, hazelnuts and/or macadamia nuts)
- 40 grams cacao powder or cocoa powder* (about 1/3 cup)
- 70 grams coconut flour (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tbsp honey or other liquid sweetener of choice**
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tsp orange extract - OPTIONAL
- 1 cup desiccated coconut and/or
- 1 cup ground almonds (or other nuts) and/or
- 1 large block dark chocolate
- 45 min
- 45 min
- Place nuts in your food processor and pulse a few times until they're broken into small pieces.
- Add the dates, coconut flour, cacao (or cocoa) powder, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and orange extract (if using) to the food processor bowl and process until the ingredients break down and start to come together as a sticky dough. Some of the nuts will still be visible and look like a fine crumb flecked through the dough; this is normal and you don't need to keep blending until it all disappears.
- Towards the end of the blending process, add in the dried cranberries. Once the cranberries are in, just pulse a few times until the cranberries are broken up a little but are still visible in pieces. (So make sure not to add the cranberries until the mixture is quite well combined).
- Scoop out heaped teaspoons of the mixture and roll into balls. Roll them immediately in your preferred dry ingredient (desiccated coconut, ground almonds, etc) or if you're going to coat them in chocolate, set them onto a tray lined with baking paper (you'll coat them all at once after you've finished rolling).
- The truffles coated in a dry ingredient and now done and you can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge, or pop them into the freezer for a longer life.
- To coat the truffles with chocolate, first place the tray of un-coated truffles into the freezer for at least an hour. (This is so the chocolate will set really quickly and easily when you coat them.) When the truffles are almost finished chilling, melt dark chocolate over a double boiler (place a glass bowl over a saucepan of water that's gently simmering on the stove; do not allow the bowl to touch the water). Once completely melted, remove chocolate from the heat. Get the truffles out of the freezer and one by one, coat in the melted chocolate and then put back on the lined baking tray for the chocolate to set. You might need to melt the chocolate again as you go.
- You can also decorate the chocolate coated truffles with some crumbled nuts, seeds or coconut; sprinkle the toppings on as soon as the ball is coated so they stick to the melted chocolate.
- These truffles will easily last two weeks in the fridge, or you can freeze them if you'd like to keep them a few months.
*You can use cacao powder or cocoa powder in this recipe. Cacao powder is not as “processed” as cocoa powder in that cocoa is usually heated and roasted longer (cacao does undergo some processing). But as long as you’re using 100% cocoa powder it’s not a bad thing to use in this recipe; it depends on flavour preference. I find that cacao (because it is not roasted as extensively as cocoa) has a darker, richer/more bitter flavour. Cocoa powder will give you more of a typical lighter “chocolatey” flavour. If you like you can use a little of each! This article on Cacao vs Cocoa by One Green Planet has some more information.
**If you’d like to keep this recipe vegan, use brown rice syrup, maple syrup or coconut syrup instead of honey.
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