It’s St. Nicholas Day in Germany today, as tradition goes, German children put their freshly polished Winter boots out the evening of the 5th and St Nicholas pays a visit over night to fill the boots with chocolates, clementines and nuts . Now there is no St Nicholas tradition here in England but there is no Christmas without chocolate and orange – it’s just a must and an utterly delicious combination to say the least! So, as part of Irma’s Christmas series I would like to dedicate this recipe to my nephew Keno and niece Marisol ! Alles Gute zum Nikolaus und Viel Spass mit Irma’s quick and easy chocolate and orange truffles.
Using 100% chocolate powder and coco nibs gives these little balls of deliciousness a real depth and richness in flavour and colour. Chocolate is rich in flavonoids and there is some evidence that chocolate itself increases the absorption of these, isn’t that brilliant (1) ? So, eating some high quality chocolate is the way forward. The things we do to keep up with our antioxidant intake, right ? 🙂
Just remember the one thing : moderation and quality are key when it comes to chocolate, you want to chose your organic variety with a high chocolate percentage – what’ s not to love about that ?. I hope you enjoy Irma’s version of chocolate and orange truffles.
Chocolate & orange truffles – makes 16
1 cup of organic dates
1 cup of fresh coconut cut into smallish pieces ( or rehydrated desiccated coconut-simply soak in fresh spring water for 2-3 hours or over night) , pecan also work a treat
1 cup of almonds soaked for 2 – 3 hours or over night ( ground almonds or blanched almonds also work well)
1/2 cup of macadamia nuts
1/2 cup of walnuts or roast chestnuts
1 tbsp of chia seeds; for extra chocolate flavour and crunch add 2 tbsp of raw coco nips
1/2 vanilla pod ( or a tsp of vanilla extract )
Zest of one organic orange;
1/2 cup of raw chocolate powder
Making truffles is the easiest thing on the planet, all you need is a good food processor and you are ready to go. There only a little bit preparation with pre-soaking the almonds and you need to cut the coconut into small pieces, so they are easier on the food processor.
Soak the almonds in filtered water, once soaked, drain and peel them. Soaking the almonds is important as it makes it not only easier to peel them, it also softens them which aids their digestion . The skin is a protection for the almond, it is quite bitter and contains enzyme inhibitors, so pleas don’t skip this point . You can also get already peeled almonds and soak those over night, drain the next day and use.
If you are soaking desiccated coconut , make sure you drain it well before adding it to the mix. For extra chocolate flavour and crunch add 2 tbsp of raw coco nips. The next step is to scrape the vanilla out of the vanilla pod, then put all ingredients in the food processor and mix until you get the consistency below.
Now, using a tea spoon, scoop out equally sized portions to make balls, rolling them with the palms of your hands . The next and last step is to coat the balls in raw chocolate powder, just rolling them back and forth and around until well coated. My aunt treated me to delicious 100% Valrhona 100% chocolate powder, which I used, it’s just amazing and looks and tastes very yummy. The truffles are still quite soft, so it is best to put them in the fridge for a couple of hours. Keep refrigerated in an air tight container and consume with one week.
Happy Christmas Chocolate Orange Season !!
(1) Murray et al (2013) The Encyclopaedia of Healing Foods, Piaktus of Hachette UK