Saturday, January 5, 2008

Vegan Truffles

(This post is dedicated to my friend, Charlie, the most enthusiastic vegan in San Diego)

So, you've probably heard me say it before: Being a true foodie through and through, I'm not a fan of dietary substitutions. While I can understand and appreciate tofu and gluten, what's the purpose of mock meats? Did ANYONE think Olestra was really a good idea? And it's taken me a long time to come to terms with sugar-free sodas (how else can a chocolatier keep his girlish figure?). Lastly, if you come into the cafe, don't ask about sugar-free chocolate. Some things just weren't meant to be.

So for a long time when a vegan would ask me about non-dairy truffles, I would grimace and point them to a dark chocolate bar instead. But a few weeks ago I found an interesting recipe for a coconut milk-based dulce de leche and, of course, my first though was "Ah ha! Vegan ganache!"

Ganache, as some of you might know, is definitively part heavy cream and part chocolate (and sometimes butter). And it's that super creamy fattiness that makes a truffle so decedent and delicious. Sure, there are other vegan truffles and bon-bons out there, but most use vegetable oil instead of the cream. Yuck! No one wants an oily truffle!

So let me introduce you to my two newest creations, and while they aren't exactly truffles, they sure are tasty, and without pretending to be something they aren't. Salted Coconut Milk Caramel and Double Coconut Milk Caramel are pretty satisfying, have no dairy in them at all, and, for the record, are considerably more healthy than the other truffles in my line-up (but who's counting calories?)

Both are made from all 60% dark chocolate and a coconut milk dulce de leche ganache. The first is topped with a ginger and coriander-infused sea-salt and the latter is topped with toasted coconut threads. If you're a fan of my signature Lavender Sea-salted Caramel, then don't miss its coconut milk cousin!


Charlie said...

Hooray!! I'm a star! Thanks for the shout out! I am SOOOOO excited to enjoy your new vegan creations!! After hearing many raves for your salted caramels, I can't wait to try them!

Did I tell you about my old vegan roommate who was obsessed with coconut oil? She, and lots of others, are convinced that it has healing properties and can even cure AIDS!

PS Mock meats are like fake fur! One may like how meat tastes (or how fur looks) so it's a way to enjoy it without the killing!

Jennywenny said...

mmm. They look good. I had great success with cashew nut butter. I've also just come back from a trip to the bay area with the milennium cookbook tucked under my arm, so I'll let you know if there were any other ideas!

Anonymous said...

OK now I have a reason to come by and get my chocolate on! As a vegan of almost a decade and lover of all things cocoa, I've sampled many kinds of handmade and mass produced vegan truffles. Coconut-based "substitutions" (aka: reinventions, improvements, upgrades) have always been my favorite, so I'm really excited to try your truffles. Thanks to Charlie for inspiring these, and to Eclipse for making them!