I was first introduced to these delicious little gems last summer while cooking for a First Descents trip in Hood River, Oregon. My co-chef in the kitchen had just learned how to make these at the culinary school she attended. I made sure to write down the recipe before she left and have been making them for every retreat since then.
These are made with a combination of dates and prunes, (or you can call them dried plums if the word "prune" just makes you think of your Grandmother). It is important to use really good cocoa powder here because there are only 5 ingredients total, so the cocoa powder really makes a difference. Make the recipe at least 5 to 6 hours before you want to serve them as they need to completely firmed up in order to have that "truffle-like" texture. Serve them straight from the freezer too.
I have been doing this recipe in larger batches, about 4 to 6 times the recipe for groups of 25 to 30 people. I think you can do this times 1 or 2 for a smaller group (or just you). They will keep in the freezer quite well, so dont be afraid to make a little extra. The mixture will work better in the food processor if you decide to double the recipe.
Healthy Chocolate Truffles
1/4 cup prunes, pitted
1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
3 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp maple syrup, grade b
6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1. Place prunes and dates in a bowl and cover with hot water for 10 minutes. Drain.
(*Note, this helps to soften the fruit. I left these once for 2 hours and the truffles ended up being way too soft, as the fruit soaked up too much moisture. So 10 to 30 minutes good, but dont go longer than that)
2. Start the food processor running and drop prunes and dates one at a time through the feed tube, until all the fruit is in. Scrape the processor bowl as needed for the fruit to be completely broken down and smoothish.
3. Add the almond butter, maple syrup and cocoa powder and continue running the processor until mixture is smooth.
4. Place mixture in a small bowl, and place in the refrigerator for an hour. The mixture will be quite warm from the food processor and too sticky to work with. Check after an hour that you can pinch off a piece and roll it into a ball. If it is still too warm, wait another hour.
5. To set up your truffle rolling station, have a clean counter with your bowl of truffle mixture, an empty plate or small baking sheet lined with parchment paper, another large clean plate for the finished truffles, and then fill a small bowl with water. (It helps to dip your fingertips into the water before rolling each truffle to keep them from sticking. This will still be a slightly messy process though.)
Place the shredded coconut on another plate, and set it to the side.
Get your hands a little wet and then with a small spoon, scoop some of the truffle mix and put it in your hands. Gently roll into a ball with both hands and place on the parchment lined plate or sheet. Keep the balls on the smaller side, about an inch to and inch and a half big. Keep rolling until all the mix is used, wetting your hands as needed.
*It is ok if the balls are not perfectly round, you will roll them again with the coconut.
Go wash your hands, dry and then begin rolling those balls into the coconut, getting a light coating, and then place them on the empty large plate. Continue rolling until all truffles are coated. Place plate in the freezer for at least 2 hours.