Time is gonna take so much away
but there’s a way that time can offer you a trade.
You gotta do something that you can get nicer at.
You gotta do something that you can get wiser at.
You better do something that you can get better at
‘cause that’s the only thing that time will leave you with.
— Jeffrey Lewis, Time Trades
Some part of me wants to throw away everything and make truffles for a living. I’d experiment with strange flavour pairings like cherry and bergamot, or coconut and cumin. Each day would be scented by increasingly exotic combinations, like living in the wet dream of a perfume fetishist.
On soulful afternoons, I’d pass the time arranging truffles in a mosaic of paper cases and packing them in brown paper boxes. I’d finish the boxes with raffia or organzas ribbons, tied in increasingly quixotic knots. My truffle making fantasy takes on a certain Frenchness, its colours cast in the rustic pastels of Chocolat, or the rich reds of Amelie.
I can’t help think of the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Did any part of Jiro regret his steadfast devotion to mastering the art of sushi making? Would I regret a life similarly devoted to truffle making? Life offers so many possible existences. We can sample so very few, choose to master even fewer.
Perfect post-exercise snacks, the fudgy texture and rich flavour of these wholesome truffles will please dessert-lovers and healthy eaters alike.
For best results, use soft, high quality dates, like the Medjool variety. These truffles are best stored in the refrigerator, and are at their most chewy and delicious when served a little cold.
- 120 g Medjool dates, pits removed (¾ cup, about 7 large dates)
- ½ cup walnuts (~65 g)
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder (or raw cocoa powder)
- 2 tbsp dessicated coconut
- ½ tsp natural vanilla essence
- Pinch of salt
- Chopped nuts of choice (~2 tbsp per 5 truffles)
- Cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder) (~1 tbsp per 5 truffles)
- Good quality dark chocolate, minimum 60% cocoa content (25 - 50 g per 5 truffles)
- Chopped walnuts (garnish)
- Blend all ingredients (except coatings) in food processor until they form a ball of thick dough.
- Roll dough into small balls.
- Serve plain, or try out one or more of the coatings described below.
Coating 1: Chopped nuts
- Roll each ball in chopped nuts until thoroughly coated. Brush off any loose nuts. This is easiest when truffle balls are a little soft and warm.
Coating 2: Cocoa Powder
- Lightly roll truffles in cocoa powder until thoroughly coated. This works well with either warm or refrigerated truffle balls.
Coating 3: Dark Chocolate with Walnut Garnish
- In a small bowl, over a pot of boiling water, melt some dark chocolate.
- Using a toothpick or skewer, dip each ball in the chocolate until it is thoroughly coated. (This is easiest with truffle balls that have been refrigerated). Use a spoon to coat any hard to reach areas.
- Place each truffle on a greaseproof paper covered plate or sheet pan, and garnish with a piece of chopped walnut.
- Refrigerate until chocolate has hardened.
Replace walnuts with another nut. Pecans? Almonds? Hazelnuts?
Stir dark chocolate chips into the truffle mixture.
Try rum, peppermint extract, orange zest or another flavouring in place of vanilla essence.
Think up your own truffle coatings, for example dessicated coconut, white or milk chocolate.
For chocolate-coated truffles, experiment with different garnishes. Dried cherries are tempting.