Indulge your sweet tooth with these delicious, yet healthful, homemade truffles.
Cupid may make an appearance this month, but extra pounds don’t have to. If you’re seeking impressive-yet-nutritious sweet treats, look no further than these chocolate mint truffles. They’re the creation of chefs Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg of gourmet vegan food company Spork Foods, authors of Spork-Fed: Super Fun and Flavorful Vegan Recipes from the Sisters of Spork Foods (St. Lynn’s Press, 2011) and hosts of vegan cooking classes in West Hollywood, California.
Engel and Goldberg—who indeed happen to be sisters—are determined to spread the word that vegan dishes like these don’t have to be boring. “Hand-rolling your own chocolates is gratifying, fun and yes, a little bit messy,” acknowledges Engel. “If you have kids in the house, get them to pitch in with the rolling—it’s a good time for all!”
But the truffles don’t just taste delicious: cocoa powder contains about 8% antioxidants by weight, and mint is considered a powerful digestive aid and anti-spasmodic because of its antioxidant-rich oils. “These are the perfect after-dinner dessert,” says Goldberg. “You can kick back after your meal, nibble on these truffles and know you’re indulging in something that’s healthful and pure!”
The chefs encourage customization too: Try out different varieties of mint such as chocolate mint, peppermint or spearmint, and get imaginative with the coating by reaching for finely shredded coconut, chopped almonds or organic powdered sugar.
Chocolate Mint Truffles
1 1/2 cups vegan dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. peppermint extract
6 leaves fresh mint, finely chopped
dash of sea salt
2 Tbsp. organic cocoa powder, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
Fill a 2-quart pot with two inches of water, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place a glass or metal bowl on top of pot to create a double boiler. Add chocolate chips and melt, about 3-4 minutes. Add coconut milk, peppermint extract, mint, sea salt and 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, and incorporate until mixture is uniform. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate (two hours to overnight). Remove from fridge and leave bowl on counter for 5-10 minutes to soften. To roll truffles, place remaining cocoa powder in a shallow bowl. Scoop out gumball-size dollops of mixture, roll into balls between palms and coat in cocoa powder or other toppings of choice. Yield: 13-15 truffles.