I never celebrate Valentine’s Day in any particular way, but I do like to give and receive thoughtful, handmade gifts and Valentine’s Day is just as good an excuse as any. Given how well my last year’s truffles went down with you and my other half, I have decided to revisit that recipe and put a new spin on it.
This year’s truffles are a tiny bit vain, to be honest. Even though it was the taste and texture that were my main consideration, this time I was a little obsessed with making them look a little bit more dressed-up for the occasion!
Following the success of using beetroot to make my meringue kisses blush, I’ve decided to give my truffles a beautiful pink coat of dried beetroot powder. I must say that I love the end result. What do you reckon? Don’t they look a picture?
For those of you who belong to the ‘I hate beetroot’ camp, don’t fret – this velvety pink exterior has little bearing on flavour profile of these bad boys. And those of you who love this amazing vegetable, keep your eyes peeled as I already have another beetroot-inspired truffle idea…
handful of almonds (optional), very finely chopped
2 medium beetroots, peeled (or store-bought beetroot powder)**
Set the oven to 80°C / 175°F. Line a baking tray with a piece of baking paper. Slice the beetroots super thinly and arrange them on a baking tray. Ideally they should not overlap, but they will shrink in the oven pretty quickly, so if you have trouble fitting them all in overlap them a little. Bake for about 2 hours, they should be dry to the touch when done. Once you take them out of the oven they’ll crisp up a little more.
Grind dried out beetroots to a fine powder in your coffee grinder and sift before using to make sure you get rid of any larger, unground pieces.
Take an unopened 100 g bar of chocolate and hit it against your work bench a few times so that the inside breaks up into small pieces. Take the remaining 25 g you will need for this recipe and chop it finely with a knife. Place the entire 125 g of chocolate pieces in a large glass bowl together with coconut cream / milk or almond milk.
Place the bowl over a pot of water (make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl) and bring the water to a gentle simmer. Simmer gently, without stirring, until all the chocolate has melted.
Once the chocolate melts completely, take the bowl off the heat and whisk it into the coconut cream with a wire whisk. Mix in (one by one) maple syrup, amaretto and coconut oil stirring after each addition.
If you are adding chopped almonds for extra crunch, add them into the chocolate mixture once it cooled down (but not hardened) completely or else they will lose some of their crunchiness.
When the mixture cools down, cover the bowl with cling film and leave it in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) until it has hardened.
Scoop out a teaspoon of the thickened mixture at a time and roll into balls.
Roll them in beetroot powder.
*If you want the truffles to be creamier use coconut cream (or at least full fat coconut milk). If using almond milk, homemade is best as it has higher fat content (commercial ones tend to have very little almonds and lots of water). Having said that, I tried making this recipe with a commercial milk with 5% almond content (Isola Bio brand) and results were still very good.
**If you don’t want to make your own beetroot powder, but want the truffles to have a lovely red colour, you can buy ready made freeze-dry raspberries and grind them into a powder instead. Raspberry powder will impart a bit of sourness so you may want to mix it with a bit of icing sugar first.