These date and cacao truffles are so special … so yum … that they are elegant enough to serve to guests after a dinner party! And if you are not having dinner parties, then make them just because … because they are so good.
Oh, and by the way, according to Dr. Michael Gregor, despite their high sugar content, dates are fantastic. No adverse effects on blood sugar or weight, plus dates have beneficial improvements in triglycerides and antioxidant stress levels.
In addition to the benefits of dates, cacao is the number one source of magnesium of any food on the planet, as well having the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world.
So, eat these little balls of delight and know you are giving yourself a super healthy treat. (Oh, and wowing your friends!).
I will confess that I made the truffles in the photographs in the summer and used dried raspberries instead of the orange zest described in this recipe. I wanted to check that they were just as fabulous as I remembered, so I made this batch with the orange juice and zest. Honestly, I can’t choose between the two. So, if you have some dehydrated raspberries, use an once or two instead of the orange zest.
Time: 30 – 40 minutes
Makes: about 20 – depending on the size of the balls!
8 onces, 240gm pitted dates
2 1/2 teaspoons cacao
2 onces, 50gm chopped almonds
Grated zest and juice of a large orange
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Extra cacao for finishing the truffles
What to do
Put the pitted dates and orange juice in a saucepan, add enough water to just about cover the dates.
Bring to a boil and simmer without a cover for 5 – 8 minutes, until the dates are quite soft. Stir the dates around in the pan so that they all have the opportunity to soften in the liquid. The liquid will reduce almost completely. Set aside to cool.
Place the almonds in a food processor and chop until the almonds resemble course breadcrumbs.
Add the cacao, orange zest, vanilla extract and cooled dates to the food processor. Blend well, adding more liquid if needed, until the mixture resembles dough and begins to ball up in the processor.
Taking about a teaspoonful at a time, roll the mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter. I put a drop of oil on the palms of my hands to make the creating of the Date and Cacao Truffles a little easier. If the mixture is too soft, pop it in the fridge to get cold, and the process of creating the balls will be easier. (It is a messy job, so be prepared to rinse your hands every now and then).
Sieve some cocoa onto a a large plate and roll the Date and Cacao Truffles around in the cocoa until evenly coated.
Store in the fridge. I promise they will not be there for long!