Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Feisty Truffles

Ah yes. Finally the last vegan wine-tasting recipe. About damn time, but what can I say? We stirred up some goodies for the party. But anyways...

Ah, truffles truffles truffles. The manna of the gods, when it comes to wine parties. I knew I had to make these for dessert as they are too yummy not to have at a wine party. I originally wanted to try out a recipe for truffles from The Millenium Cookbook, but my grocery store didn't have bittersweet chocolate bars that were vegan, and again, I was too lazy to try tracking them down.

So instead, I used the tried and true recipe from the PETA Celebrity Cookbook that I'd used on prior occasion. This time though, I fiddled with flavors a whole lot more. And what fun!

  • 12 oz. vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 8 oz. vegan cream cheese

  • 3 cup vegan powdered sugar

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder

  • Cayenne pepper

  • Orange zest

  • Vegan oreos

  • Walnuts

  • Vanilla extract

  • Almond extract

Step #1: Whip the vegan cream cheese into a smooth frothiness in your food processer. Gradually add the powdered sugar until completely mixed. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips somehow or another (double-broiler, pot, microwave). Add the chocolate to the food processer and pulse until completely blended. Divide the mixture into four equal parts to make these four types of truffles.

Step #2: Refrigerate--you will want the mixture to sit in your fridge for at least an hour to harden before trying to mold any truffles.

Some of the following truffles will require that you add stuff to the mix BEFORE Step #2 (refrigerating them), and others only require rolling them in stuff *after* Step #2, so just read the directions closely.
  • Orange truffles: These I botched up and had to end up adding cocoa and sugar to in order to firm them up some. So instead of giving you the long version, I'll give you the short, which is basically what I should have done but didn't, and what you should do instead.

    After Step #1 is complete, add in about 2 t. of orange zest to 1/4 of your total truffle mixture, then refrigerate. I was worried that the consistency would be weird due to the zest (which is why I thinned them out too much by attempting to use orange juice instead) but it won't be. Trust me. I added zest to them after botching them up originally, and you can barely sense a consistency change. Alternatively, you could probably use some sort of orange liquor, but you'll have to figure that one out for yourself.

    Finish by rolling in some unsweetened cocoa powder, mostly so they don't stick together and get goopy.

  • Nutty truffles: Before Step #2, mix about 1/4 t. of almond extract in with 1/4 of the the truffle mix. Refrigerate. After an hour, remove the truffle mixture, roll the truffles, and then coat them in smashed-up walnuts.

  • Oreo truffles: Before Step #2, mix about 1/4 t. of vanilla extract in with 1/4 of the truffle mixture. Refrigerate. After an hour, remove the truffle mixture, roll the truffles, and then coat them in smashed up Oreos.

  • Cayenne pepper truffles: These were my favorite of the four flavors, and the most unique as well. Party-goers were suspicious initially, but after trying them out, I could tell that other folks also enjoyed these the most out of the bunch as well.

    After you've completed Step #1 and Step #2 and this 1/4 of your truffle mix has been sitting in the fridge for an hour or so, roll out your truffles. To pepper them, roll a truffle in a *wee* bit of cayenne pepper and then spread it out all over the truffle by rolling them around between your palms for a few seconds. Then roll them in some unsweetened cocoa powder.

    I was a bit worried that they'd be too spicy, but folks loved them. The cayenne was a very understated flavor that caught up with you as a cute little afterthought a minute or so after you finished chowing down on them. And it was a good little jolt, a fun little jolt, a not-too-fiery little jolt. Kind of like a bit of cayenne in your hot chocolate.

    My tip would be to make a trial one for yourself and try it out before figuring out how much/little cayenne pepper to roll them in. If your lips burst into flame and you end up running around the kitchen, trying to remember where the fire extinguisher is, you'll probably wanna lay off on it a little.

Folks liked these. A lot. They're simple to make, and they're definite crowd-pleasers.

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