New World Truffles

You probaby have enough time on your hands these days to make truffles, those round, wonderful, little balls of chocolate that are easier to make than you would think. Canadian friends sent me a recipe years ago. It fell by the wayside, but they were kind enough to send it again, probably to encourage me to return to Cooking in Mexico.

The original recipe, Cacao Wow, is from the Vallarta Tribune, an English language newspaper in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and created by Shakti Baum, the former executive chef at Xinalatal Yoga Retreat, and now with a cooking school in the Houston area. It includes chipotle chile, cacao beans, and cinnamon. I upped the Mexican flavors by adding ground coffee beans, vanilla, and ancho chile powder. All six of these ingredients are from the New World, as well as the cane sugar.

Cinnamon sticks were freshly ground in the coffee grinder, as were the cocao beans and home-roasted, organic coffee beans. Bittersweet chocolate is called for, which I don’t have on hand. Somehow that was overlooked when stocking up for the coronavirus quarantine. But I did have organic Mexican cocoa powder, cocao butter and coconut oil, the three ingredients that make emergency chocolate. I realize that few pantries are stocked with cocao butter, but mine is, so if you try this recipe, I hope you have bittersweet chocolate, but the truffles are just as delicious made with emergency chocolate.

New World Truffles

  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (OR emergency chocolate: 3/4 cup/156 grams coconut oil melted with 6 ounces/170 grams cocao butter, plus 3/4 cup/ 75 grams cocoa powder, and sweetened to taste)
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml rice milk or other milk
  • 2-4 tablespoons/30-60 ml chipotle liquid from canned chipotle chiles
  • 1-2 teaspoons/3-6 grams ancho chili powder (or to taste)

Truffle Coating

  • 1/4 cup/25 grams very finely ground coffee
  • 1/4 cup/25 grams ground cocao beans, roasted or raw
  • 2 tablespoons/52 grams unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon/8 grams ground cinnamon
  1. Melt bittersweet chocolate (or emergency chocolate) over a double boiler. Add rice milk or milk of choice.
  2. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until stiff, but still soft enough to spoon out.
  3. Blend coating ingredients.
  4. Working with one tablespoonful at a time, roll quickly between your hands, then roll in the coating mixture.
  5. Store in the fridge, though best at room temperature for eating.

Truffle Coating

  • 1/4 cup/25 grams ground coffee
  • 1/4 cup/25 grams ground cocao beans, roasted or raw
  • 2 tablespoons/52 grams unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon/8 grams ground cinnamon
  1. Melt chocolate (or emergency chocolate) over a double boiler. Add rice milk or milk of choice.
  2. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until stiff, but still soft enough to spoon out.
  3. Blend coating ingredients.
  4. Working with one tablespoonful at a time, roll quickly between your hands, then roll in the coating mixture.
  5. Store in the fridge, though best at room temperature for eating.

Notes ~

Many are unaware of the dark side of chocolate, that much of the chocolate from west Africa is harvested using child slavery. Hershey’s, Nestle and Mars can’t say their products are slave-free. Chocolates and cocoa that are labeled free trade and/or organic are good indications that they are not harvested with child slave labor. Here’s a list of ethically harvested chocolate. Chocolate and cocoa from Central and South America, as well as from Mexico, do not use child slavery.

Cinnamon, too, has a secret, though not a dark one. The ground cinnamon generally purchased in the U.S. and Canada is not true cinnamon. True cinnamon is Ceylon cinnamon, Cinnamomum verum. Sticks of this cinnamon are softer, and can be broken up easily to put in a spice grinder. See photo above. Common cinnamon, the usual type in the little spice bottles, is Cassia Cinnamon, Cinnamomum cassia, also called Cinnamomum aromaticum. It is cheaper and considered a lower quality. Sticks of this cinnamon are almost impossible to break up to put in a grinder without resorting to a hammer, and then probably too hard to be ground. The common cinnamon of Mexico is true cinnamon, aromatic and flavorful, a difference that grows on you. Look on your spice bottle to see if it gives the botanical name of the plant as Cinnamomum verum. If not, it is most likely not true cinnamon. Simply Organic ground cinnamon, available at natural food stores, is true cinnamon.

© 2009-2020 COOKING IN MEXICO ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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