Dark Chocolate Seville Orange Truffles (with Avocado)

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Dark Chocolate Seville Orange Truffles (with Avocado)

I remember making truffles years ago, but only once or maybe twice a year because they were so rich.  Traditional truffles are made with butter or cream to make them so smooth and creamy, with the incredible texture that only truffles have.  If you love truffles, this recipe is going to change your life.

Avocado, which is today’s butter, oil, cream, cream cheese, and mayo substitute, couldn’t be more popular.  Avocado is used to replace fat in all kinds of recipes from brownies, pudding and cheesecake to the ever popular avocado toast.  When combined with dark chocolate in these truffles, it makes a rich, decadent, heavenly dessert that is delicious yet healthy too.

Avocado and dark chocolate are very heart healthy foods. Avocado is made up mostly of fat, but predominantly  heart healthy monounsaturated fat, which can help reduce cholesterol. It is also high in antioxidants and is nutrient rich. Flavonoids and  phytonutrients in dark chocolate have anti-inflammatory, anti-clogging, and antioxidant properties all of which benefit the heart. Much of the fat in chocolate (cocoa butter) is heart healthy as well.  When choosing chocolate, try to find one with seventy percent cocoa or more.  Making truffles with dark chocolate and avocado for your sweetheart is a wonderful way to express your love but also protect their heart.

Dark Chocolate Seville Orange Truffles

Makes 24

1/2 cup hazelnuts

140 grams dark chocolate

1/2 ripe avocado (70 grams)

6 tablespoons Seville Orange Marmalade

pinch salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

Pre heat oven to 300 degrees.  Place hazelnuts on an oven tray and roast for about 10 to 15 minutes, until fragrant.  Remove from oven and with oven mitts, rub hazelnuts together to remove skins.  Let cool.

While nuts are roasting, place 1/2 avocado in food processor and pulse.  Add marmalade, salt, vanilla and process until smooth.  While this is working slowly melt chocolate in a medium size heat proof bowl and let cool slightly.  Slowly add avocado mixture to warm chocolate and stir to combine.  Let cool and if mixture is too runny to make balls, refrigerate or freeze to firm up.

Pulse hazelnuts until fine or until desired texture for rolling truffles in.  Place in shallow bowl or plate.  Spoon truffle mixture onto nuts and roll until coated.  Store in the refrigerator.

 

Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake

 

Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake
Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake

It is so exciting to make this cake, but hard to wait until it is finally set and ready to unveil.  I was anxious to see all the layers.  It is so pretty!  I love this mix of pinks and purples with bright red strawberry sauce, and just a little dark chocolate. Perfect for Valentine’s Day.

The key to creating clean layers is to freeze each layer well before pouring the next so that the colours don’t blend together.  I added some fresh raspberries and did a fun swirl pattern on the top layer by spooning drops of the strawberry sauce and using a toothpick to swirl them about. It only takes a few ingredients to make this healthy dessert: berries, yogurt, a little honey, dark chocolate and fruit spread.

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Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake

Fruit spreads add sweetness and intensifies the fruit flavour and colour.  They are made without pectin.  Some brands are made without added sugar, and are a healthier choice than jam or jelly. Fruit spreads tend to be chunkier in texture and have a more spreadable consistency. Check the ingredient list and look for one that contains only fruit.

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Dark Chocolate Heart and Flower Scribbles

To add an extra special touch to decorate the plates we made some chocolate hearts and flowers.  Melt pure dark chocolate, pour into a parchment cone, snip the end and draw your shapes onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.  Pop them into the freezer and they will be firm in only a couple of minutes. I saved this part for an after school activity because I know the kids love it. If you want to try it there are lots of tips and tutorials on line such as this video.

Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake

Raspberry Layer

1 cup frozen raspberries

2 tablespoons Raspberry Spread (All Fruit)

1 cup Greek yogurt, plain, unsweetened

Blueberry Layer

1 cup frozen blueberries

2 tablespoons Blueberry Spread (All Fruit)

1 cup Greek yogurt, plain, unsweetened

Strawberry Layer

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup Greek Yogurt, plain, unsweetened

Strawberry Sauce

2 cups frozen strawberries

3/4 cups water

1 tablespoon honey (optional, depending on how sweet your strawberries are).

Directions: In a medium saucepan combine frozen fruit and water and cook covered on low until strawberries are soft and mushy.  Remove from heat and purée with an immersion blender until smooth.  Return to heat and cook down until desired consistency.  Add 1 tablespoon honey (or more or less) depending on the sweetness of the berries and your preference) and let cool.  Prepare loaf pan by lining completely with parchment paper. In food processor or blender, process frozen berries, Greek yogurt and fruit spread.  Pour info prepared pan and freeze for at least 30 minutes.  Rinse out food processor and repeat with other berries and preserves, freezing in between layers for at least 30 minutes. After the final layer, freeze until solid, about 4 hours.  Because I was adding in the strawberry swirl to the top layer I did not add as much fruit to the top layer and also did not add any of the fruit preserves.

To serve, remove from freezer and let sit out for approx 10 minutes before slicing.  Drizzle with strawberry sauce and decorate with chocolate hearts or flowers.

 

 

Homemade Chocolate with Raspberries

Homemade Chocolate with Raspberries
Homemade Chocolate with Raspberries

Ever since I saw a video of this simple recipe on my Instagram feed I couldn’t wait to try it.  But in the midst of holiday traditional baking and festivities I didn’t get to it until New Years Eve.  It comes together so quickly, literally, it takes 5 minutes to prepare and then sets in the freezer for an hour.  It is amazing, with just the right amount of sweetness from maple syrup, tartness from the raspberries wrapped in smooth, silky, rich chocolate that you have made yourself.

I have been experimenting with making chocolate for a while.  Various recipes using cocoa butter, coconut oil, honey, cocoa powder etc with varying results.  I like that this recipe includes some nut butter and nut milk and makes a soft chocolate that is a delicious fudge like dessert. A perfect sweet treat that is easy to vary based on seasonal fruit or what ever combination you like.

Although my family tells me they could eat this everyday, it is luxurious enough for special occasions.  When liquid it would pour nicely into molds, such as hearts for Valentine’s Day or other shapes for other special days. Packaged up in a special box, what a lovely gift it would be.

This recipe was featured in the January 2016 #weshouldcocoa challenge at Tin and Thyme and Lovely Appetitie.

Homemade Chocolate with Raspberries

100 grams cocoa butter *

1/4 cup maple syrup

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 tablespoons cashew butter or other nut butter

1/4 cup coconut milk or almond milk

fresh raspberries

Prepare small cookie sheet or pan by lining with parchment paper.  In a small saucepan melt the cocoa butter with the maple syrup.  When melted whisk in cocoa powder until well blended.  Add nut butter and coconut milk and whisk until combined.  Pour onto parchment paper and spread out a little (I simply tilted the pan to spread evenly)  Sprinkle with fresh raspberries and freeze for one hour.  Cut into pieces and serve.  Store in the refrigerator.

*For those in the Metro Vancouver area, cocoa butter is available at Galloways.

This recipe is from feedfeed as part of Edible Holiday Gifts.  https://feedfeed.info/edible-holiday-gifts