Happy weekend everyone. Is it just me that got completely caught out by the fact that Valentines Day is just over a week from now? I am not someone who cares about it much, to be honest, but as a recipe developer that’s a major slip up. I blame the pandemic and the fact that all the days merge into one really looooong day when you spend too much time in the same routine and the same surroundings without any meaningful break.
Luckily for me, and for you, I did have a suitable recipe finalised already, so I was fairly relaxed when I realised my error. On the day of shooting, however, I did get stressed when I went to look for my testing notes. I could not find them anywhere and I vividly remember writing them down. I checked all of my and Duncan’s notepads (which I apparently have a tendency to steal and ‘litter’ with half-baked recipe ideas 😉 ) and I could not find any that resembled this recipe at all. I checked my computer notes and nothing. Arggh…
My saving grace was the fact that this recipe is simple and has only a handful of ingredients and because I did write them down at some point (it will crop up when don’t need it anymore), the quantities got etched in my memory with one exception but I just quickly retested that before the photoshoot so phew, ‘disaster’ averted.
I dedicate these marzipan truffles to my partner in crime, Duncan, who absolutely loves marzipan. He was squealing with joy (like a cute piglet) when I first came up with these. He is the best husband I could wish for yet I often wonder how incredible it is that we ended up together given that we grew up at the opposite ends of the globe, in very different circumstances. He makes me laugh, he puts up with most of my weirdness, he is kind and loving and always offers surprising (because of his comedic exterior) wisdom when I’m feeling overwhelmed and lost. He deserves all the marzipan truffles in the world and, at the risk of sounding a bit soppy, I do feel so lucky to have him in my life!
I hope you have a marzipan loving someone special in your life too, even and especially if that person is YOU. Self-love, in my experience at least, is harder to earn than someone else’s. You know yourself inside out, warts and all, and it’s these less shiny parts of yourself that need love (or at least graceful acceptance) as much as those that you are fine to share with the world before you can feel truly at peace with yourself. I’m still working on this and since I’m beginning to feel like this post is descending slowly into incoherent rambling, I shall sign off here saying I hope that these truffles will bring you or / and someone else you love joy.
- 60 ml / ¼ cup maple syrup
- 30 g / 2 tbsp cashew or almond butter (or other nut or seed butter)
- 2½ tbsp / 35 ml amaretto OR almond extract + plant milk*
- 150 g / 1½ cups finely ground almonds / almond flour
- 100 g / 3.5 oz vegan dark chocolate (70% cacao solids)**
- 15 g / 0.5 oz vegan white or dark chocolate shavings (optional)
- Place maple syrup in a small pot on a low heat, measure out your cashew butter and have it ready.
- Bring maple syrup to a gentle simmer (about 2 minutes). Allow it to darken in colour a little (1-2 minutes) and when it starts to bubble vigorously, take off the heat and whisk in cashew butter. Whisk until completely dissolved and smooth, you can return it to the stove (on a low heat) to help it melt.
- Take off the heat, whisk in amaretto, then stir in almond flour until you get a homogenous mixture. Once the mixture is too thick to use a spoon, knead it with your hands for a few minutes to make sure everything is neatly incorporated.
- Allow the mixture to cool down completely before rolling into balls between the palms of your hands. I made 18 truffles weighing 15 g / ½ oz each. Refrigerate the truffles while you melt the chocolate to firm them up.
- Melt chocolate very slowly in a mixing bowl over a water bath (make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl!)
- Using a fork, coat each truffle in the melted chocolate, transfer to a grease paper-lined tray / plate and allow the chocolate to set.
- Once the chocolate coating is no longer warm but still unset / wet, you can sprinkle them with white chocolate shavings for decoration. Place in the fridge for the chocolate shells to harden.
- Store in an airtight container, in the fridge. These truffles should keep for 3-4 days.
**For refined sugar-free truffles, use chocolate sweetened with a sweetener.