Raw cacao truffles
My love for truffles started in Paris, where they weren't exactly dairy free (or easy on my stomach), but I enjoyed them so much that I was willing to endure the digestive repercussions in exchange for little pillows of heaven that melted chocolate all over my tongue. I don't know if you're aware, but truffles are wildly addictive. And practicing self control around them is damn near impossible. In fact, it's frowned upon in most parts of the world. (That's not even remotely true.) So, when the mister picked up a couple of bags from our favorite Chocolatier on Rue Mouffetard, I knew it was going to be Trouble. With a capital T.
One morning, before he could wake to shoot me serious looks of disapproval, I tiptoed across the cold tile floor and dug through Thom's backpack until my hands landed on the crinkly bag of truffles. I untied the silky ribbon, carefully opened the noisy bag, and popped a truffle into my mouth. I devoured it right there, in the dark. In my underwear. It was so good that I decided to take the bag and go sit on the edge of the bathtub. (Why the bathtub? Well, we were renting a studio and it was the only place I could escape to eat the truffles without being caught.) I sat there, thinking about how I could get used to a life of fresh baguettes and truffles, and before I knew it, I had eaten through half the bag.
It was then that I decided it'd probably be best to stop mindlessly shoving truffles into my face, and so I returned the bag to Thom's backpack. By a coup de pot, he didn't even notice the half eaten bag of truffles until a few days later. But when he did, he went and bought another and let me shamelessly savor the remains of the bag I ate through that early morning. As any good man would.
Notes: These truffles pale in comparison to the Parisian variety, but they're a nice substitute when you want a taste of that rich, chocolate flavor without all the fuss. The truffle batter is going to be very, very soft. Maybe sticky, even. But don't worry, it's supposed to be like that. You'll freeze the truffles before you roll them into perfect, little balls, which makes them a lot easier to work with. I also left my almonds a little more coarse than I normally would, but I recommend grinding them into a fine meal if you want the truffles to be super smooth.
RAW CACAO TRUFFLES
2 cups raw almonds
1/4 cup cacao powder, plus more for coating
1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
12 medjool dates, soaked for 15 minutes
4-6 tablespoons raw nut milk (or water)
In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the almonds, cacao powder and salt into a fine meal. Add the dates and pulse until combined. Add the milk and pulse until a batter starts to form. Using a small cookie scoop, drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and freeze for 25-30 minutes. Remove from freezer and roll into round balls, then coat with cacao powder. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week, or the freezer for long-term. Serve at room temperature.
Yield: approximately 24 truffles