Recipe Reprinted with permission from: Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, by Fran Costigan, ©2013, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group
Makes About 30 (1-inch / 2.5-cm) Truffles
Classic chocolate truffles are sinfully indulgent, melt-in-your-mouth, bite-sized confections made from ganache (an emulsion of chocolate and heavy cream). Truffles sometimes include butter, as well as spices, coffee or tea, liqueurs, nuts, and even fruit purées for flavor. Vegan truffles, also based on ganache, are just as luxurious, velvety smooth, and indulgent—but not sinful. A variety of nondairy milks replace the heavy cream and no butter is added. And here is the best part: After making and tasting hundreds of truffles made with nondairy milks, I am convinced they taste more intensely chocolaty than their heavy cream–based cousins.
8 ounces / 227 grams dark chocolate
(70 to 72%), finely chopped
3 ⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons / 210 ml unsweetened organic almond milk
2 tablespoons / 26 grams organic granulated sugar
1 ⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon / 5 ml pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons / 10 ml mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil
A few pinches of flaked sea salt, for coating and serving (optional)
Dutch-process cocoa powder for coating (optional)
Add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl and set aside while you heat the milk.
Pour the milk into a small saucepan. Add the sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, whisking a few times, to a low boil.
Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate all at once. Rotate the bowl so the chocolate is completely submerged. Cover the bowl with a plate and let stand undisturbed for 4 minutes.
Add the vanilla and olive oil and whisk from the center out only until smooth and glossy. (If the chocolate is not completely melted, refer to page 36 for instructions on using a water bath to melt the chocolate.)
Keep the bowl of ganache at room temperature while you test the final consistency. A properly made truffle ganache is firm enough to scoop and shape but still tastes creamy. Dip a teaspoon into the ganache, set the coated spoon on a small plate, and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. After chilling, the ganache on the spoon should be smooth and firm but still taste creamy. It is unlikely, but if the glaze is too firm, add a tablespoon of room temperature milk and repeat the test. Add a second tablespoon if needed.
Cool the ganache in a shallow dish at room temperature for 30 minutes. (The ganache sets up fastest and most evenly in a 9-inch / 23-cm glass pie pan or similar dish.) Refrigerate uncovered until the surface is no longer soft, then place a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ganache, covering it completely, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until very firm. The ganache can be refrigerated at this point for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
Make The Truffle Centers
Line a shallow container with parchment. Remove the ganache from the refrigerator. Use a spoon to scoop out 1-inch / 2.5-cm pieces of ganache and another to push the ganache off the spoon into the container. (If you prefer more uniform truffles, use a 1⁄2-tablespoon scoop.) When a half dozen or so are made, roll and press the pieces into irregularly shaped rounds. Repeat until all the ganache has been used, washing and drying your hands as needed. (If at any time the ganache becomes too soft to shape, refrigerate until cold and proceed.) Cover and refrigerate the truffle centers in layers separated by parchment paper for 15 to 25 minutes before finishing with the cocoa coating.
Finish The Truffles
Choose one of the following three methods from the chapter introduction (page 36) to suit your time or taste: roll in cocoa powder and flaked sea salt, coat in melted chocolate and cocoa powder (the hybrid method), or enrobe in tempered chocolate. Place the coated truffles in the refrigerator to set for 30 to 45 minutes. Sprinkle the truffles with a few grains of flaked sea salt, if you like, just before serving.