Many people seem to think that going vegan means giving up on some of the more decadent foods out there, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just as there are sumptuous vegan cheeses and pates for those who like savory and salty foods, there are some spectacularly gorgeous vegan desserts out there as well. These vegan chocolate truffles are as decadent and luscious as they are ethical, and you can add a variety of different ingredients to make signature truffles of your own.
Vegan Chocolate Truffles
This recipe will make 3 to 4 dozen truffles, depending on how large you roll yours.
- 16 oz (2 cups) semi-sweet vegan chocolate, finely chopped (best to use a scale if you’re measuring chocolate chips or chunks)
- 1 cup coconut cream (not coconut milk; you have to use the thick coconut cream or else this will turn into pudding)
- 1/4 cup Earth Balance, or other vegan butter substitute (optional: it makes for a creamier truffle, but isn’t necessary)
- Crushed pecans/walnuts/almonds/pistachios/hazelnuts, vegan icing sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate shavings, cinnamon sugar, toasted shredded coconut, candy sprinkles, or anything else you might like to roll your truffles in to finish them.
STEP 1: Heat up a double boiler, or place a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water on your stovetop. Add the chocolate and cream to the heated bowl (or upper section of the double boiler), and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until it has all melted evenly. Remove from heat. Add the Earth Balance (if desired) and stir until combined.
STEP 2: Cover your bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until the mixture is very cold and set but still pliable.
STEP 3: Line a couple of baking sheets with waxed or parchment paper, and set them aside.
STEP 4: Use a pair of teaspoons to scoop out a ball of truffle mixture, and then roll that around in your hands until it’s nice and round. At this point, you can either leave the truffle as it is, or use some tongs/spoons to roll it in one of the toppings mentioned above. Whether you decide to leave them plain or coat them with a topping, place them on the baking sheets to set.
STEP 5: Repeat with all the other truffles, and chill until you’re ready to serve them. These truffles can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, so if you’re prepping them to give away as gifts, it may be a good idea to pre-package them, and then keep them chilled. I’ve even gone so far as to freeze them if I was giving them to someone who lived a few hours’ drive away.
Blackcurrant: Add 1 1/2 tablespoons cassis liqueur during the first step.
Earl Grey: Steep 2 Earl Grey tea bags in half of the coconut cream (heated, but not allowed to boil), then let cool to room temperature. Mix that together with the remaining half-cup, and follow the recipe as usual.
Candied chestnut: Use only 12 oz of chocolate, and add 4 oz of finely chopped candied chestnuts after removing the chocolate mixture from the heat.
You can actually use any favorite liqueur to create different truffles: just add between 1 and 1 1/2 tablespoons of it to the melted chocolate as mentioned above, depending on how strong you’d like the flavor to be. You can also be creative about adding fillings to the truffles—try rolling the truffle mixture around a toasted hazelnut and then rolling it in crushed hazelnut dust, or use a maraschino cherry as the filling and then roll the truffle in pure cocoa powder so you get an interesting balance between bitter cocoa and sweet cherry. You can add powdered instant coffee to the first step as well, and then top a finished truffle with a bead of melted chocolate and a dark chocolate espresso bean, or add a bit of grated orange zest and some orange essence for a citrus flavor.
If you’re creating a variety of different truffles to give away as gifts, it’s a good idea to use the different toppings to differentiate between flavors. It may be a good idea to roll hazelnut-filled truffles in crushed nuts, for example. An assortment of truffles with a variety of coatings on them makes a beautiful gift, especially if they’re placed in a decorative box.
An avid permaculture gardener, locavore, and novice (but enthusiastic!) canner, Lana Winter-Hébert joins Inhabitat after spending the last decade working as a writer and event guru for non-profit/eco organizations. In addition to her work with this site, she writes features and blog posts for Vegan Cuts, Green Pigeon, and several event planning websites based in London, UK. Currently, Lana divides her time between writing, and doing collaborative projects with Winter-Hébert: the design studio she runs with her husband. Best described as “endearingly eccentric”, she spends any spare moments wrestling with knitting projects, and devouring novels by obscure Czech writers. A Toronto native, she has recently chosen to leave that splendid city in favor of a tranquil lakeside nook in rural Quebec, where she and her Sir co-habitate with two hand-raised sparrows that live in their writing-desk.