Wednesdays is our Guest Blogger Series day, where we showcase a wonderful Paleo and real-food blogger. We hope you enjoy the new view points and unique content; if so, we encourage you to show these guest bloggers your support by visiting their blog and social media links at the end of this post!
This week we’re visited by Tessa of The Domestic Diva. Tessa writes a family-friendly blog that highlights her love for experimenting in the kitchen. As someone who has struggled with food allergies, she is committed to creating recipes for those with dietary limitations.
Chocolate is one of those grey areas in the Paleo world. Most conventional chocolate has sugar and soy. Many have chosen to use the darkest chocolate possible (like me) in moderation, but making your own Paleo chocolates is actually quite easy!
They key players are: fat (cocoa butter is the most authentic), cocoa powder, and some sweetener. I have used honey/coconut nectar, stevia, and palm sugar all with success. They each have their own flavor profiles, and palm sugar needs to be dissolved in the warm fats to disappear.
The amount of sweetener I have used in these is quite low. I like my chocolates pretty dark! It is totally acceptable to add additional sweetener to match your preferences! Too much additional liquid sweetener will make for a very soft and melt-y end product however, so do not get too carried away!
In these luscious truffles, I wanted to marry dark chocolate and tart berries, but using fresh berries with all their water content would be tricky.
Enter freeze dried berries. These bad boys are easy to whir up into a fine powder in a blender and they pack a concentrated flavor punch! I recently used them to create a Raw Strawberry Macaroon like Hail Merry’s new flavor, yum!
Dark Chocolate Truffles
- I use my own homemade coconut butter for this ($4/2 cups, apx), but you can also find it well-stocked grocery stores, or online.
- Freeze dried raspberries are carried at Trader Joe’s, and I also get them online.
- Cocoa butter is literally the fat from the cacao bean. It has a strong, deep, chocolatey flavor that is key in great homemade chocolate. It is important that you buy a variety that is specified as food grade. I find it is much cheaper online than in the stores, I get mine here.
- I like to use a high quality cocoa powder. Some of the commercial varieties leave a lot to be desired. I never realized how much it impacted the chocolate taste until I couldn’t find my favorite kind and bought what was available…HUGE difference. My favorite (that I have tried so far) is Dagoba.
- 1/4 cup (2 oz) melted cocoa butter + 3 tablespoons for coating (see link above for what I use)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil + 3 tablespoons for the coating
- 2 tablespoons coconut butter
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened + 3 tablespoons for the coating
- 1 bag freeze-dried raspberries, blended into a powder and sifted to remove seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey or coconut nectar (to taste) + 1 tablespoon for coating
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- In a small saucepan over low heat, gently melt 1/4 cup cocoa butter and 2T coconut oil.
- Once liquified, whisk in the coconut butter until smooth.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in remaining ingredients (remember to sift those seeds out first so as NOT to have that seedy crunch!)
- Taste the mixture and add more salt or honey if you like.
- Pour into a bowl, place in the fridge to solidify (about 30 minutes or so). (If you are doing the rectangular or molded chocolate route, poor this warm mixture into your molds now and skip to step 7!)
- When the mixture feels cool and ready to handle, remove and begin your molding. To keep my hands clean, I used a small cookie scoop. Additionally, you could roll the mixture into bite-sized balls with your hands!
- Place back in fridge to firm up again while you prepare the coating, as necessary
- For the coating: in the same saucepan over low heat, melt the remaining cocoa butter and coconut oil.
- Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder and honey.
- Taste and add more sweetener if you like.
- Using a toothpick or skewer, impale those waiting truffles and dip into the waiting coating. If you like your coating thicker, you will want the coating to cool a bit to thicken. I prefer my coating thin, so I start dipping right away.
- Let all the extra coating drip back into the bowl, and place on a Silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet to cool.
- Once solid, you can either drizzle some additional coating over the tops to dress them up or store them as is in an airtight container. These will hold at a cooler room temp (sorry South-westerners!), but I choose to store them in the freezer.
About Tessa Simpson
When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, her journey has taken many twists and turns! She does lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free for her son. In between there is a little bit of everything for everyone. REAL food is a passion, and great food is a must! You can read more about her story here.