I don't generally promote secrets in relation to Valentines Day, I mean, honesty is the backbone of a good relationship right?! But when it comes to chocolates, I think we can make an exception. These fudgy, rich treats are so good, easy to make, inexpensive and better for you than straight up ganache truffles.... so I almost don't want to tell you what the secret ingredient is because it's strange, and you're likely to freak out. But here goes...the secret ingredient is black beans. Yes I know that sounds disgusting, I thought so too before I tried these. If you know me at all, you know that I am not shy about sweets, and while I might sneak greens into my pasta sauce or quesadillas, I don't generally try and mess with veggies or beans in my desserts...(unless we're talking red bean mochi...then I'm all over it!). But trust me, these are so good, and you will have no idea there are beans in them!
I discovered this recipe when I was planning a chocolate making class for Valentine's Day last year and a friend mentioned that she had eaten an amazing chocolate truffle in Costa Rica made of black beans, cocoa, and coconut oil. I did a little research, found a few recipes and started to refine this one to share. Before I discovered this technique, I had often made raw cacao truffles using dates, nuts and cocoa (or raw cacao). These are delicious and a great healthy version for a chocolate treat as well, but they are expensive to make, and still very high in sugar (even though they are a natural sugar from the dates), so I was excited to have this wonderful alternative! You can flavor these with any thing you like: a little rum, finely chopped candied ginger, cinnamon, espresso powder, crushed freeze dried raspberries....the sky's the limit!
Happy Valentines Day! I hope you feel a little loved while enjoying these!
Check out our Valentines Show on The Heart of Community Building w/Farmer, Artist, Activists Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm and Naima Penniman of Climbing PoeTree - It's rich and love filled too!
VEGAN DARK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
1 – 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp raw sugar (or more depending on how sweet you want it)
6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla
Any flavorings you like, added to taste (dried cherries or apricots, liquor, espresso powder, citrus zest, dried spices, etc...)
Melted Chocolate, 12 oz + 1T coconut oil (optional)
Cocoa or Cacao powder
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, puree black beans, coconut oil, maple syrup, and sugar until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and puree again for 1 minute.
Add the remaining ingredients and puree until combined. Scrape down the sides and puree again until the entire mixture is completely smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness and add any flavor additions you like.
If mixture is too soft to roll into balls, chill for 20 minutes. If it is firm, scoop 1 teaspoon-sized truffles and roll into balls with your hands. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Finish truffles with desired coating. For dry coatings like cacao or nuts, put ¼cup or more in a small bowl or plate, and roll each truffle in it until it is coated. To enrobe in chocolate, melt about 12oz of chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Using a fork or toothpick, dip each truffle in chocolate, shaking off extra and placing each truffle on a lined baking sheet to cool. For an extra touch, you can sprinkle a bit of any flavoring you used on top for decoration. A tiny piece of candied ginger, or a sprinkle of cinnamon can look very elegant and give a hint to what's inside.
Place the truffles in an air tight container and store at room temperature for 1 or 2 days, in the refrigerator for 1 week, or freeze for 3 months.