Christmas chocolate truffles

These raw chocolate truffles are a delight to make and bursting with the warming flavours of December and all the excitement it brings. I remember creating the recipe for my book during the hot summer months and longing for advent to be upon us so I could taste them in their true festive context. Well, now December is racing around us and I am sharing them here just in time, caught at home with a cold and willing it to pass so that I can get up and make some batches to take home to my family next week.

The recipe itself is super straightforward and once you invest in cacao butter, it comes in handy for all sorts of delicious cacao-based and natural beauty recipes so don’t be shy to buy some in bulk and keep it in the cupboard.

It is up to you how spicy you want to make the mixture; I like a lot of orange for that homely citrus flavour, while cloves can come on a little strong so it’s best go easier on them. And as for ginger, it’s such a star ally, the more the merrier in our camp.

If you’re vegan, you can try using maple syrup instead of honey; it will be  little runnier (and perhaps sweeter) so best to add it slowly as you can always keep adding but once it’s in, you can’t take it away.

Makes 10 truffles

Ingredients:

40g cacao butter

35g coconut oil

3 tbsp honey

5 tbsp cacao powder, plus extra to dust

1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger

2 tbsp finely grated orange zest

1 tbsp orange juice

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to dust (optional)

1/2 tsp ground ginger

5 cloves, crushed with a pestle and mortar

a pinch of sea or pink salt

Place the cacao butter and coconut oil in a  heatproof bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water until melted (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Remove from the heat, add the honey and whisk well until thoroughly mixed.

Add the cacao powder, fresh ginger, orange zest and juice, mixing thoroughly again before adding the ground spices and salt. Adjust any flavours to taste and then place the mixture in the fridge for five to ten minutes to set, until it forms a buttery consistency.

Roll into balls and dust with a little cacao powder (and ground cinnamon if you like) before serving, chilled. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Images: Rahel Weiss, The Naturalista

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