By now it is no secret that I am a chocoholic. Don’t believe me? Just look at all these chocolate recipes.
As you probably know by now, if I can find a way to make chocolate desserts healthier and still taste delicious, I am all over it.
A chocolate truffle that melts in your mouth is one of the most coveted desserts. They are so rich and decadent, who can resist them? As mouthwatering as truffles are, heavy cream and refined sugar aren’t exactly healthy.
These vegan tarragon and merlot truffles, however, are filled with healthy ingredients.
Let’s do this!
It all starts with a base of raw pecans and almonds. Using raw nuts is a great way to make any dessert healthier. You are getting healthy fats, such as Omega 3s. Nuts also offer a ton of fiber and protein to give you energy. These truffles are naturally sweetened using sticky medjool dates, which are like the glue that holds everything together.
The truffle dough is flavored with notes of licorice from the fresh tarragon and complex merlot wine. These subtle flavors combined with the dark chocolate will rock your world!
Of course, it wouldn’t be a truffle without some chocolate. You can either use cocoa powder, or for added health benefits you can use cacao powder. If you’re not familiar with cacao powder, it is raw, unprocessed, directly from the cacao bean. In contrast cocoa powder, which we usually use for hot chocolate or baking, is processed and cooked. Therefore cacao powder retains all of the amazing healthy benefits that the cacao bean has to offer, such as antioxidants, fiber, protein, magnesium, and iron.
Can these babies possibly get any better?
Yes. Yes they can. We are going to melt a little dark chocolate, dip our little truffle balls into the pool of chocolaty goodness, top them with a sprinkle of chopped nuts, cacao nibs, or cacao powder. Let them set up to create a soft chocolaty shell. Yum!
I just know you will love these truffles. They are rich, decadent, chocolate-y, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. I promise that you won’t miss the cream one bit.
A chocolate truffle that tastes as good as it looks, while providing lasting energy and a clean conscience. My work here is done.
- 1 cup raw, unsalted pecans
- 1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
- 10 to 12 medjool dates, pitted (If dates look dry soak them in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain from water before you use them)
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅓ cup fresh tarragon, chopped
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons merlot wine
- FOR CHOCOLATE SHELL:
- 1 ½ cups vegan dark chocolate bar, broken up
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- FOR TOPPING: (optional)
- Cocoa or cacao powder
- Chopped cacao nibs
- Chopped raw pecans/almonds
- Add the pecans and almonds to a food processor. Process until the nuts have turned into a
- medium-coarse meal. Transfer the nuts to a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside.
- To the food processor add 10 pitted dates. Process until a ball has formed.
- Add the nuts back into the food processor and process until most of the nuts and dates are mixed together. Use a spatula to scrape the sides as needed. Add the cacao/cocoa powder, sea salt, and tarragon. Process until most of the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Next add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of merlot at a time. Process until the mixture is very sticky and well combined. This is the point where you may need to add another date or two, if the mixture looks dry.
- If you are having a difficult time getting the dough well incorporated I found it helpful to remove the dough from the food processor into the mixing bowl and spoon half of the dough back into the food processor at a time. The dough should be mostly smooth, dense, and pretty sticky.
- Place the dough into the mixing bowl and chill the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes. This makes the dough easier to work with so your hands don’t get as sticky.
- After the dough has chilled scoop about a tablespoon of the dough and roll it into a ball. Place the dough ball on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all of the dough has been rolled into balls. You should have about 22 to 24 balls.
- Place the balls back into the freezer for 10 minutes.
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE SHELL:
- While the dough is chilling heat up your chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir the chocolate frequently. Be careful not to overheat or burn the chocolate; you want to heat it gently.
- Use a toothpick or fork to skewer each truffle ball and dip it into the chocolate. Use a spoon to help coat the truffle completely in the chocolate. Tap the truffle on the side of the container a few times to allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Place the coated truffle back onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Top with a sprinkle of cacao/cocoa powder, chopped nuts, or cacao nibs.
- Repeat this process until all the truffles are coated. Allow the chocolate shell to set at room temperature, or in the refrigerator.
- Serve immediately or store at room temperature for 1 week, or in the refrigerator for an extended life.