mocha truffles

Chocolate truffles, so named because of their resemblance to truffle mushrooms, originated in France in the late 19th century, and the rest of the world soon caught on.

These rich truffles are made with a coffee-chocolate ganache filling coated with chocolate and cocoa powder. I'm proud to say that several testers have told me these are better than any non-vegan truffles they've had.

The coffee granules deepen the chocolate flavor here, but they can be left out. The Grand Marnier is also optional, or you can replace it with another liquor such as bourbon or rum.

Makes about 16 small truffles

4 oz (115g) dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup coconut cream (the thick top layer in an unshaken can of coconut milk)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier

2.5 oz (70g) dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Place 4 oz chopped chocolate a medium heatproof bowl. Combine coconut cream, maple syrup, and coffee granules in a saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, then remove from heat and add the chocolate, stirring with a spatula until smooth. Stir in liquor and pour into a bowl. Chill for about 1 hour.

Scoop with a small mellon baller or roll into small balls about 3/4" in diameter.

In a sealed container, refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Put the cocoa powder in a bowl. Melt the remaining 2.5 ounces chocolate in a double boiler. Turn the heat off but leave the chocolate bowl on top of the hot water pan so the chocolate doesn't harden while you're working. With one hand, smear melted chocolate all over each of the ganache balls, then drop it in the cocoa powder and roll with the other hand. Place on a plate or strainer to release the excess cocoa powder, and let sit at room temperature to harden before serving.

To store, place in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 week, but let sit at room temperature at least 1 hour before serving.