Sunday, September 05, 2010

August 28, 2010: Espresso & oat truffles

On the weekend Michael and I helped a friend move house.  She's an almost-neighbour that we swap cat-sitting favours and keep spare keys with; we're sad that she's moving further away from us but very happy that she's found a gorgeous house and terrific gardening space to call her own out in the country.  Not everything went to plan but we got the job done and the picnic lunch I prepared the night before became a celebratory dinner, eaten on the floor in Jos' grand new living area and washed down with champagne.  We started with silverbeet calzone and then moved on to cheese, fruit and these espresso and oat truffles.

The truffle recipe is from Green Kitchen Stories and seems to be inspired by a Danish Christmas sweet that I'm unfamiliar with.  I'm just keen for new no-bake treats that make use of the ingredients that are typically in my pantry. (And I've just decided, whilst perusing other such recipes in our archives, that they deserve their own label.)  These ones get their bulk from oats and coconut, sweetness from dates and a smooth truffle texture from coconut oil.  Everything gets blended up in the food processor and then rolled into balls - it couldn't be simpler.  I found the mixture too sloppy once processed so I added a little extra coconut and oats to the original quantity and gave it a little time in the fridge to allow the coconut oil to firm up.

I would have preferred these to be a little sweeter but Michael loved them just as they are.  A week later we're both thoroughly enjoying a second batch that substitutes rice bubbles for the oats, has a smidge of agave nectar for sweetness, and is much stronger on the coffee aroma.  They're definitely a worthy addition to the no-bake treat rotation - simple to prepare, using common pantry ingredients and amenable to substitutions for taste and convenience.

Espresso & oat truffles
(based on a recipe at Green Kitchen Stories)

15 fresh dates (or soak dried dates in water for half an hour and drain)
5 tablespoons rolled oats
3 tablespoons dessicated coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 shot espresso, cooled
extra dessicated coconut and/or rolled oats for rolling

Use a food processor to mix together the first 8 ingredients. Taste the mixture and adjust the flavour to your liking.

If the mixture is too mushy to be rolled, refrigerate it for 15-30 minutes so that the coconut oil solidifies. When the mixture is ready, roll it into balls and coat them in coconut or oats. Refrigerate the balls further before eating.

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