Saturday, March 10, 2012

OMG! You Must Be Kidding! Dark Chocolate Truffles

Today is Angela's birthday, so let's all eat chocolate!

OMG! You Must Be Kidding! Dark Chocolate Truffles

You may be wondering about this name . . . well, when you taste these delicious, smooth, creamy, dark chocolate truffles you will utter OMG!  But when you read the ingredients you will say YOU MUST BE KIDDING! 

These delicious, smooth, creamy, dark chocolate truffles literally melt in your mouth and at the same time are deceptively healthy!  They are virtually sugar free, low in fat, high in antioxidants, beta carotene, fiber, vitamins, minerals as well as anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents.  They balance your blood sugars, protect you from many cancers, reduce inflammation in your cardiovascular system, lower your LDL cholesterol levels, balance blood pressure and so much more! 

The sweet potato base is the key to the smooth texture and sweet flavor.  Baking either garnet or jewel yams in a covered dish, concentrates the natural sugars while the flesh becomes very light and creamy.  Thoroughly pureeing them is the next step to ensure that all the fibers have been completely broken down, leaving a luscious, smooth base to create your delicious candies! 

Because you are starting with a sweet puree, it takes very little additional sweetener.  You can use dates, agave, grade B maple syrup, stevia or raw honey to amp up the sweet factor to your own taste.  Personally, I like to use a combination beginning with whole powdered stevia.  This sweetener has some definite advantages to all other sweeteners – it’s a natural support for the pancreas, it has no inflammatory agents and adds no calories.  However, I am the first to say that I don’t care for its flavor, so I am very judicious in the amount I use.  I want enough to create a sweetness without imparting any flavor. 

If any additional sweetener is necessary dates are the best option if you want a completely sugar free truffle, but they take a little more work to make them into a sweet paste.  Begin by removing all of the papery outer layer of skin and the pit.  Work the meaty part of the date into a paste with the back of a spoon.  Then combine it with a half teaspoon of coconut oil or palm shortening until completely smooth.

However, if you would like to take an easier route, a teaspoon or two of raw honey, agave nectar or brade B maple syrup are also great options.

Since cocoa is virtually fat free and so are sweet potatoes, a bit of added fat both improves the texture of your truffle and adds valuable essential fatty acids.  The best option is coconut oil, but it does impart a coconut flavor.  So if you want to avoid that palm shortening is a great option for a neutral flavor.  Both of these fats contain healthy medium chain fatty acids.

As you can see, these are not your average truffles . . . and you can also understand how they got their name!  I can guarantee you that you will become addicted to experimenting with this basic recipe!  I already have ideas for 10 more flavors – I guess I’ll be baking some more sweet potatoes!

OMG! You Must Be Kidding! Dark Chocolate Truffles
You may be wondering about this name . . . as these delicious, smooth, creamy dark chocolate truffles melt in your mouth you will utter OMG!  But when you read the ingredients you will say YOU MUST BE KIDDING!  These chocolaty treats are potentially the most nutrient dense dessert you could ever imagine . . . they are truly sugar free and filled with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and yet they taste like a decadent dark chocolate truffle!  Who could ask for more?
Yield – 2 dozen truffles

3/4 cup garnet or jewel sweet potato puree
2 rounded tablespoons cacao powder + extra for coating
3 dates 
1/8 teaspoon whole leaf stevia powder
1 tablespoon palm kernel shortening
1/2 teaspoon high quality vanilla

Bake sweet potatoes in a covered baking dish at 350 degrees until very soft.  Cool slightly and remove skins.  Place in food processor or VitaMix. 

Remove papery covering and pits from dates.  Chop and then work with the back of a spoon into a paste.  Add to sweet potatoes and process until very smooth.

Force sweet potato/date mixture through a fine wire mesh sieve to remove any fibers.

Combine all ingredients and mix until very smooth.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until quite firm.  Scoop out 1 teaspoon truffle mixture, form into a ball, roll in cocoa powder or finely chopped nuts.  Place into individual candy papers and refrigerate in an airtight container. 

Happy Birthday to my amazing daughter, Angela!

Dr. Mom

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