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Simple Vegan Chipotle-Chocolate Truffles and Only Children: Different but the Same

Update: I’ve been informed that cocoa and coffee are both processed with high heat. Therefore, these truffles are technically not ‘raw.’ That said, you can use raw cacao and replace the coffee with with equal parts water.

If you live in America, and you’re an only child, chances are you’re kind of an anomoly. Growing up, I didn’t know a lot of kids who didn’t have at least one sibling. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me, “So, what’s it like being an only child?” I’d probably be living in my Tuscan villa right now. Are you out there? Only children? Kinfolk?

I’m sorry to say but I don’t know how to answer that question. It’s like asking someone, “So, how does it feel, to have brown hair?” or “But how does it FEEL to be a woman?” Different people seem to have different reactions to finding out that I am an only child. Some people act as though I must be inherently different from them. Other people think it’s awesome and tell me they can’t stand their brother/sister. Others, still, look at me as if they just found out I have cancer. But isn’t it terrible? So lonely and deprived of such a HUMAN bonding?

I admit that I’ve gone through phases when I wished I had a sibling (but mostly an older brother, despite the fact that my mom kept assuring me that it just wasn’t possible). But for most of my life, I’ve been getting along just fine. Things are good. Yup, it’s just me. My family took road trips when I was a kid. And I didn’t fight with my siblings in the backseat. I listened to my Discman and made up stories in my head. Good thing THAT phase is over! When I started school, none of my teachers could compare me to a better or crappier blood relative. When I got married, I didn’t have to choose an obligatory maid of honor or best man. Everything that feels normal to someone who has siblings feels normal to me. I guess our normal is slightly different, in certain circumstances.

Which brings me to truffles. The traditional ones are made with cream and butter, but as I learned from chocolate making class this weekend, there are lots of ways to make chocolate candies (our instructor and owner of Benchic Chocolate makes his with honey!). When I first spotted these ‘truffles’ on beautiful healthy cooking blog, Green Kitchen Stories, I was intrigued. Mostly because I have never been fond of the terms raw and vegan when it comes to diet. I’ve eaten at a few raw and vegan places and, truth be told, much as I love vegetables and healthy eating, I was kind of unimpressed. Reading through the comments on GKS, though, it was clear that these vegan truffles were pretty amazing. I had all of the ingredients on hand, so I decided to give them a try.

A few minutes later, I had 12 very truffle-looking all-natural confections. The big test would be Matt. I watched his face carefully as he bit in. Here’s what I will tell you about these ‘truffles’: their consistency is incredibly truffle-like, creamy and reminiscent of traditional ganache. The flavor, too, is intensely chocolate-y. This is a treat MADE for chocolate lovers. Despite not containing ANY sugar, these truffles get their sweetness from Medjool dates and don’t beg for any more. I decided to go the adventurous route and flavored mine with chipotle chili powder and coffee.

In fact, for those of you who subscribe to the Pairings Box, you might recognize this flavor combination. Your January box came with a recipe for Chipotle Chocolate Cake AND Organic Chipotle Chili Powder. If you haven’t made the cake (which is gluten-free!) already, you must. And if you have some leftover chipotle chili powder, use it to make these truffles. Then, tell me what you think.

Vegan Chipotle-Chocolate Truffles
adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
*makes 12 ‘truffles’

100 grams of raw hazelnuts
12 pitted Medjool dates
1 tablespoon of coffee
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder*
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
4 tablespoons of cocoa powder, plus more for rolling

*January Pairings Box Premium ingredient

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture starts to come together. If the mixture seems very dry, add a tiny bit of water (no more than a drop or two at a time) through the feed tube.
2. Refrigerate the mixture until cold (about 10-15 minutes). Then, use a cookie scoop to form 12 truffle balls. Roll some of them in cocoa powder (or finely chopped nuts, if you wish). Serve with coffee, wine, or port. Store in the refrigerator.

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Musical Pairings: The National – Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers + Vegan Chipotle-Chocolate Truffles

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • I like this recipe a lot, it is one of my favourites. I`ve tried it yesterday and it was very good, my husband just loves it, thanks a lot for sharing.

  • These sound amazing – I work out at a gym that recommends the Paleo diet and gluten-free snacks are hard to come by! I can’t wait to tell the girls at Crossfit all about this for our post-workout pick-me-up!

    Catherine @ The Spring

  • That’s awesome! Thanks, Catherine! I don’t know much about the Paleo diet, but this is definitely a delicious gluten-free snack that I think is pretty guilt-free. I will be making these on a regular basis.

  • I’m loving the insight about being an only child. I have a couple friends who are only children or are planning on only having one child. As someone who is on the final stretch of her first pregnancy, this is vital information. πŸ™‚ I agree that the term “raw” doesn’t typically activate the salivary glands, but there are some exceptions. This definitely seems to be one of them.

  • I love these truffles! They look like the whole food “brownie bites” and I’ve been itching to make some. My husband was an only child and I think he had it made (& he agrees too).

  • I think a lot of people think that having an only child is something negative, and I think it’s kind of unfortunate/unfair. I’m happy to shed light on the fact that life’s not so bad being an only πŸ™‚

  • Thanks, friend! These are the simplest desserts I think I have ever made. I am still amazed that the only sugar they contain comes from the dates. Also, the intense chocolate flavor is just that..intense. Fun to hear your hubby is an only child, too!

  • Kate

    I’m confused as to how cocoa and coffee fit into the “raw” paradigm. Both are processed with high heat after harvest.

  • I’m not a raw food expert, so I stand corrected that these are not 100% raw (I do believe there are raw forms of cocoa out there and you could omit the coffee and replace it with water). That said, I’ll go ahead and update the post.

  • Great post, Kasey! I am the oldest to my two younger brothers, so I appreciate your insights into growing up as an only child. I know what you’re talking about when it comes to reactions from others, though. I always get an astonished look and “what’s it like?” every time I tell people I was born on Christmasβ€”like it’s an accomplishment or something. Ha!

    Your truffles look delicious, too. I worked at a raw, vegan restaurant over the summer and I know how good that type of desserts can be. I like recipes like this (and the fudge I posted recently) because they don’t require any impossible ingredients or techniques. Cacao powder is really delicious in smoothies, too, by the way.

  • I think people have a hard time realizing that every day is just another day. That’s funny, though. So I initially posted these truffles as ‘raw’ but was informed by a commentor that they’re not (due to the addition of cocoa and, more specifically, cocoa). I take it neither of those ingredients were used at the raw restaurant you worked at? I think the bottom line is they are healthy and delicious, and I agree, I love when I come across a recipe (like your fudge!!) that I know I can make right away. πŸ™‚

  • I’m an only child!!! But yes one of the only ones (is that a pun?) and I wanted a big brother or twin sister so badly… NEARLY as badly as you’ve now made me want these truffles – YUM! Agree with you about raw food too. Love kale but not raw restaurants.

  • I will go for chocolate in any form, and I love the addition of chili powder. Love this post on being an only. I have a “little” sister, who is now grown with a baby (but she will always be little). πŸ™‚

  • I will go for chocolate in any form, and I love the addition of chili powder. Love this post on being an only. I have a “little” sister, who is now grown with a baby (but she will always be little). πŸ™‚

  • I am so into this! I love truffles but sometimes all that dairy does a number on my tummy. (Hope you’re having a ball in SLC!)

  • Love your candor about being an only child. People are so silly. WTF is normal, anyway? Side note… I’m at my parents for a few days and spotted the chili powder on the counter from the pairings box. These will happen. Stat.

  • Kelsey, I think normal is just whatever is normal to you πŸ™‚ But I totally agree – it’s silly! Normal is relative. I love that your parents get the Pairings Boxes! We were so honored that you decided to gift them! Make the truffles (and the cake, too!!). xoxo

  • Thank you, darling! SLC is super fun so far, but I wish you were here!! xoxo

  • I bet your little sister will always be a baby to you πŸ™‚ Yay for being chocoholics! xoxo

  • I wanted a twin, too! I don’t know how I thought it was possible, but somewhere I got the idea stuck in my head πŸ™‚ You won’t regret making these truffles…trust me! xo

  • I for one always thought only children were freaks of nature. Just kidding πŸ™‚ As a self-professed chocoholic, this recipe looks like the perfect way to temper my sugar addiction. I’m excited to try it!

  • What a great idea! I just made mexican chocolate & kraken rum truffles using cashew cream. I will have to try your chipotle chocolate truffles next… yummy!

  • We used raw cacao powder, which you can find at health food stores, at the raw restaurant. I like the raw cacao powder because it has a richer taste and more antioxidants, though there’s not a huge difference in taste between raw cacao and regular cocoa powder. The funny thing is that we served coffee and tea (neither are raw) because people wanted it. Frankly, I think the “all raw” concept is unrealistic and straight-up silly. Your truffles and my fudge are easy, healthy and tasty and that’s what matters to me!

  • love these! Great meeting you at Alt Summit

  • Great to meet you, too!

  • Ohhhh those sound AWESOME!! Would love to know if you have a recipe.

  • Hehehehe. I really think this is a recipe any chocoholic would appreciate – vegan, raw or not!

  • Gibbypower

    to make these more “raw” use cacao nibs, a coffee grinder will turn them into a fluffy dust

  • Thanks for the tip!

  • I’m an only child too! When people find out, they’re usually shocked. I get a lot of “I never would have guessed!” or “wow, you don’t seem like an only child at all!”. I don’t know why it’s so shocking. What? You don’t have a sibling and you turned into a nice normal and socialized person?! yes… I am not a feral cat. haha

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