These truffles are Decadent with a capital D. Dark and chocolatey, moist and very adult with the flavour of a good single malt whisky running through them. Just what Santa ordered.
‘Tis the season for truffles, after all. As if we really needed an excuse.
There’s a certain truffle recipe in New Zealand that is full of nostalgia and probably represents the true taste of a chocolate truffle to most Kiwis. It’s basically chocolate, butter and icing sugar with a splash of rum. I, along with the rest of the general population of New Zealand, have probably eaten my weight in these truffles over the course of my lifetime. They’re delicious, but sickeningly sweet and there’s nothing redeeming about them in any way – as far as health goes.
So I set out to make a decadent truffle that could rival the tried and true, but that had some nutritional benefit and eliminated most of the refined sugar. These whisky truffles are rich, soft and chocolatey, moist and boozy as heck, in other words – the perfect treat for hard working Santas the world over.
These truffles are made with dried apricots, cashews, almonds and sunflower seeds as the main ingredients. They’re vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free (other than what you find in the whisky), and they also contain protein, fibre, iron and vitamins A and C. Not half bad considering they’re totally amazing, and eating one doesn’t even remotely feel like a healthy thing to do. Mission accomplished.
For the sceptical – these don’t really taste like apricots, or any of the nuts. They just taste amazing.
And a sidenote for the grammarists out there: Whiskey or whisky? Serious question.
The difference between whiskey and whisky is simple but important: whisky usually denotes Scotch whisky and Scotch-inspired liquors, and whiskey denotes the Irish and American liquors. (Source).
Consider yourself informed. In this recipe I used a good peaty single malt Scotch whisky and the result is close to perfection, in my opinion. By all means use the whisky or whiskey of your choice, and if whisky isn’t your thing you could use rum or brandy. Or even a fino sherry. Now that would be stunning. If for some reason you don’t want boozy truffles, then you could replace the 3 tbsp of liquid with cold coffee or orange juice.
You’ll need a food processor for this recipe.
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder or cacao
- 3 tbsp coconut oil melted if solid
- 3 tbsp single malt Scotch whisky (I used Glen Ranoch)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 150 g good quality dark chocolate optional - for dipping the truffles
- Put all ingredients except for the dark chocolate into the bowl of your food processor.
- Whizz until the mixture is smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. Small flecks of nuts are fine, but you want a soft (not chunky) mixture here.
- Roll teaspoonfuls into small balls and refrigerate to firm up.
- The truffles can be served nude, dredged in more cocoa powder, or chocolate dipped.
- If you're going to dip them in chocolate, chop the chocolate and put it in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely smooth and liquid.
- Working quickly, use a bamboo skewer or fork and spoon to dip and roll the truffles in the melted chocolate then place them on baking paper or a silicon mat.
- Refrigerate until completely firm, then remove from baking paper and store in a sealed container in the fridge.
- Serve directly from the fridge as these will soften at room temperature.