Saturday, November 12, 2011

scented vegan truffles: a sensory experience

Scent: orange, vanilla, coconut, chocolate.

Texture: silky, melt in your mouth.

Flavour: see scent…all that and more.

Sound: can you hear the groans of pleasure, followed by, “holly f*ck give me more”?

For those who thought vegan food was all mung beans and healthy goodness, I give you the most luscious morsel to have graced my senses in living memory.


Vegan truffle redux
(Quantities for an experimental batch of about 20 truffles)

300 gm organic coconut oil
The rind of one organic orange
1 –2 vanilla pods
600 gm good quality dark chocolate (I used an organic 70% block of couverture)

Add coconut oil to a small pot. In this part of the world, it’ll be solid rather than free flowing. Wash and dry your orange. I used a Valencia as it was the freshest around at this end of the citrus season. As you’re using the skin of a highly sprayed crop, it’s worth buying organic. Carefully peel or zest the orange, avoiding the pith. Split your vanilla pod(s) open. Add the peel and vanilla to the coconut oil and melt over a low heat. Once melted cover with a lid, turn off the heat and leave to infuse in a warm place for about 24 hours. You should have a heavenly scented oil that after some time solidifies again.

The next day, or whenever the mood takes you (you can store the infused oil in the fridge for a couple of weeks if need be), chop your chocolate finely then whiz in the food processor. After a few blitzes if should be the consistency of breadcrumbs. Now heat the oil til it melts, strain through a sieve and pour onto the chocolate in the food processor bowl. A couple more whizzes and you’ll have a divine smelling, melted chocolate mixture. Poor into a tub, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, til solid.

Now comes the fun part. The melon-baller method is a lot less messy than rolling with your hands (read my previous effort if you’d prefer the rustic version). Set out some good quality cocoa powder in a bowl, grab the melon-baller and a couple of teaspoons and get ready to go. On a warm day you may need to do this in batches if the mixture starts sticking to the baller. Just pop the truffle mix back in the fridge for 15 minutes.



Scoop some truffle mix, dunk it in the cocoa and toss it around with a couple of teaspoons, til coated. Repeat…again and again and again…

Sight:


a real food photographer would dust them with more cocoa to cover the teaspoon marks and arrange them on a pretty plate…but hell, life is too short to play with chocolate on such a hot day

Cook's notes

While my previous vegan truffles were moreish, the infused coconut oil version took them to a whole new level.

Obviously you can have fun infusing the coconut oil with your favourite flavour combinations. I’d originally chosen cardamom instead of vanilla but they were old and had lost too much of their essential oils.

Go easy. These are so rich. Savour the flavour, aroma and texture. More than one or two in a sitting could leave you feeling a little queasy.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Clyde said...

Ha ha...you finished them. Well done!

That little supply should last you a few days.

Have had my little cooking experience for today via pancakes....yummmm. Tomorrow is my bacon (locally made), eggs and crumpets day....double yummmmm!

I agree that Vegan/Vegetarian food can be so yummy. Apart from the above meat mention I am one. Meat should be something appreciated occasionally and the animal respected IMHO. Maybe society will get there one day?

I live in hope anyway.

2:34 pm  
Blogger Cindy said...

I have all the ingredients at home to do this, and hours in which to do it! Perfect timing, AOF.

3:54 pm  
Blogger Reemski said...

Now tell me; I thought coconut oil was bad for you, due to super high saturated fat? But now suddenly seeing lots of recipes featuring it. I'm confused!

6:23 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Clyde those good old fashioned pancakes sound lovely. Does the bacon come from happy free roaming pigs?

Cindy, can't wait to see what flavours you concoct in your truffles.

Reem, no where in this post did I claim these were "good" for you :) A treat is a treat is a treat :) I love the flavour of coconut oil (especially in a stir-fry) but any oil once heated tends to create free radicals ie bad guys, regardless of the oil used.

6:42 pm  
Anonymous Lucy said...

oh.

my.

GAWD.

i ate them - all too quickly - and was not at all compelled to share, this afternoon. they are exquisite; the flavours hold up really, really well, and they m-e-l-t. totally wonderful. and vegan!!

7:51 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Now that's what I call a product endorsement :) Thanks Lucy, glad you enjoyed them and they withstood transit on such a warm day.

7:59 pm  
Blogger Johanna GGG said...

sounds delicious - love the idea of the infused oil - and finally a great use for a melon baller!

12:53 pm  
Blogger Lesh said...

wow wee! super decadent, and super smooth I would imagine. Love the scents. Hm...wonder if I can get hold of an organic orange...are they out of season yet?

9:46 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

I made them a couple of weeks ago and there were still a few oranges left that passed the sniff test. I'd originally planned to do it with lemon myrtle. Any herb or spice or peel with a high volatile oil (smell) content should do. Perhaps "christmas spices" like nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon? Am not usually a vanilla kind of person but the vanilla was seriously good. Oh and I must by a fresh batch of cardamon pods!

9:53 am  

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