kitsch and excuses to bake, who needs more?

by Isobel

I don’t care what you all say, Valentine’s Day is great. It gives me an excuse to use obscene amounts of glitter glue, cover my floor in tiny scraps of paper from cutting out paper hearts, and make tons of delicious goodies to deliver to my friends. What more could one want out of a holiday, really?

I decided to get adventurous this year and try to make my own truffles. First I made some raw truffles from a recipe, which turned out well but are not really truffles. Delicious nonetheless (walnuts and dates rolled in coconut). As for the chocolate extravaganza (which is of course a major part of Valentine’s Day), I adapted a regular non-vegan liquer truffle recipe to my own liking and was so pleased with the result that I was giggling. I kid you not, there were witnesses.

Cashew-Pomegranate Truffles (~36 pieces)

10 oz dark chocolate (at least 74%), chopped

2 Tbsp earth balance (or other nonhydrogenated margarine)

1/4 cup soy creamer

1/2 cup cashew butter

2 Tbsp brown rice syrup

1/4 cup pomegranate molasses

10 oz dark chocolate, chopped fine (for coating)

3-4 cups roasted, salted cashews (for coating)

(1) In a medium, microwave safe bowl, place 10 oz chopped chocolate and the earth balance. Microwave for 40 seconds, stir well. Return to microwave for another 30 seconds, stir well. Repeat until chocolate is fully melted (DO NOT BURN). (2) In a saucepan over medium heat, combine soy creamer, cashew butter and brown rice syrup. Heat, stirring, until well mixed and simmering. (3) Pour mixture into melted chocolate. Stir slowly with a spatula, starting from the middle of the bowl and working outwards, until well mixed. (4) Stir in pomegranate molasses. (5) Pour mixture into an 8×8 inch baking dish and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. (6) Using a melon baller (or spoon if you need), make balls of the ganache, until everything in the baking dish is used up. Place ganache balls on parchment lined baking sheets and return to fridge for another hour or so. (8) Meanwhile, place cashews in the food processor and pulse until ground to very small pieces. Pour into a pie pan or baking dish with sides and set aside. (7) Using unpowdered latex gloves, roll each piece into an even(-ish) ball and replace on sheet. Return to fridge. (8) Using a double boiler (or a bowl in a pot of rapidly simmering water), melt 10 oz coating chocolate. If possible, keep the melted chocolate at about 94 degrees F (use a candy thermometer).

(9) Coat the ganache: Use a slotted spoon to scoop up the melted chocolate, then roll a ball of ganache quickly through it to coat. When covered (but not totally melted), roll truffle through cashew pieces to coat. Let rest at least 30 seconds before transferring back to the baking sheet to be refrigerated. Repeat until all the ganache is transformed into truffles. (10) Store in an airtight refrigerator until you are ready to dole out some chocolate love – these keep best in the fridge but are most tasty at room temperature.

Also, you can do fun things with the leftover coating chocolate. I poured mine into a silly icecube tray:

 

And on another note…chocolate sandwich cookies with pink vanilla-almond filling:

Anyway…happy Valentine’s Day 🙂 I hope everyone has gotten plenty of glittler glue and chocolate goodness in their lives today.

 

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