Betsy DiJulio ~ Many dairy-free truffle recipes call for making a cashew cream of equal parts cashews and water which I find WAY too thin. These recipes also typically use melted chocolate which is luscious, but fairly high-fat. So, I make my vegan truffles recipe with cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Try them–you’ll LOVE them. Plus, they are ultra quick to prepare and shape, though the mixture does need to chill for about 2-3 hours.
For the nuts, you can use raw cashews or roasted and lightly salted cashews. The former will give you a sweeter end result, while the latter will produce a truffle with a slight “roasted” flavor and you will be able to taste the salt, but salt and sugar together is a happy marriage.
These truffles are, of course, perfect sweets for the sweet on Valentine’s Day that you can dress up with assorted coatings and elegant candy cups or mini-baking cups. But, don’t feel you can only indulge on special occasions!
- 2 cups cashews halves or pieces (raw or roasted and lightly salted; if the latter, the truffles will have that “roasted” flavor and you will be able to taste the salt, but salt and sugar together is a happy marriage)
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup water plus up to 1 tablespoon more
- Optional: ½ teaspoon flavoring or extract of your choice, e.g. vanilla, rum, hazelnut, etc.
- Coating: cocoa powder, colored sugar, very finely chopped nuts, etc. (I used red sugar for the one in the photograph)
- 24 mini-paper colored and/or patterned liners (I purchased mine at a craft store)
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
- Place all ingredients, except paper liners of course, in the bowl of a food processor. Process for a few seconds and then scrape the sides of the bowl. Process the mixture for several minutes or until very smooth, scraping the sides as necessary. Add the additional 1 tablespoon of water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed to prevent stressing the motor of your food processor, as this is a very thick mixture.
- Scrape it into an airtight container and chill for 2 to 3 hours or until it is firm enough to handle very easily. (The motor of your food processor working will have caused the mixture to warm slightly.)
- Scoop the mixture into 1-inch balls (I use a small scoop for this task), rolling each one between your palms quickly to shape, and placing it on the prepared baking sheet.
- Return the sheet to the refrigerator if necessary before coating the candies.
- Pour the desired coating into a small bowl, quickly roll each truffle in it to cover completely, and place it in a mini-paper liner.
- Store the truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Package as desired.