Chocolate truffles

Chocolate_truffles_1
✓Low-carb ✓Gluten-free ✓Grain-free ✓Cow dairy-free (use goats cream)

This beautifully presented box of hand made truffles was created by Chloë Watson for her fiancé on Valentine’s Day. The recipe couldn’t be easier, transforming an already fit-for-the-gods food – chocolate – into a melt-in-the-mouth sweetmeat. Truffles are distinguished from other chocolates by the addition of cream, which gives them a silky smoothness whilst reducing the overall sugar load. The higher fat content makes them suitable for a low-carb high-fat diet with the possibility that they could even be enjoyed as part of a ketogenic diet (see below).

Dark chocolate has a host of well documented health benefits and should be considered a genuine food (i.e. providing worthwhile nutrients) compared to other ‘candy’. Maximising the nutritional benefits means choosing a bar with high cocoa solids so that the sugar level is kept to a minimum. Typically 72% chocolate will have twice as much fat (cocoa butter) as carbs (added sugar). If you go to 85% that ratio raises to 4:1 or 5:1 and is therefore ketogenic. Here is the recipe, which was hitherto a closely guarded secret:

Recipe for 10 truffles, by Chloë Watson
Note: box above contains 4 different flavours, ten of each

50g Chocolate (72% or above cocoa solid, plain chocolate)
25g Double cream (she uses goat’s cream, only available at Waitrose)
1 heaped tsp Butter, salted or unsalted to taste (or goat’s butter in this case)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence (the Nielsen Massey brand was used here)

Melt the chocolate over a low heat, and add in the other ingredients as soon as the chocolate is all melted. Add in your flavouring of choice and mix thoroughly:

Flavouring suggestions:
Coffee – 1tbsp instant coffee prepared with 1tbsp boiling water and cooled (adjust as necessary to make the coffee granules dissolve)
Ginger – 2tsp ginger tincture (for those who don’t have tincture, ginger flavouring or puréed ginger should suffice)
Mint – 2tsp mint extract
Rose – 2tsp rose essence
The quantities can be varied to taste, the above strength produces mild but delicious flavours, not super strong ones.

Chill the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours, then remove and use a spoon and clean hands to fashion truffle balls out of the mixture. Chill again briefly on a tray. Roll in grated chocolate or cocoa powder and place in the presentation box. They will keep out of the fridge, but the aromas may mingle somewhat over time if they’re kept near one another and warm (the rose and mint truffles were placed in adjacent rows and their flavours merged a little when they were left out of the fridge for a while), so refrigeration is advised.

Macronutrients for ten truffles:
Using 72% chocolate   P: 4g  C: 15g    F: 45g  (Ketogenic ratio: 2.3)
Using 85% chocolate   P: 5g  C: 8.5g   F: 47g  (Ketogenic ratio: 3.5)

Alternatives

If you can’t be bothered to make your own truffles or simply don’t have time, then I would recommend Booja-Booja’s Dark Ecuadorian Chocolate Truffles – the lowest carb version in their range, with a ketogenic ratio of 2. They use organic raw chocolate and are gluten, soya and dairy-free. Instead of cream they use coconut oil – an excellent alternative. Just take care – the rest of their range is frighteningly tempting but higher in sugar!

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