Raspberry-Filled Truffle Cups (vegan, sugar free, grain free, gluten free)

Heads up, this recipe is fantastic.  My roommate and I made this tonight; it took about an hour but what a good way to spend a relaxing Friday night!  I’ve had this one printed for at least half a year but never made it because I thought it would take a long time.  These are ready in under an hour, and are absolutely to die for.  While I usually try to stay away from agave nectar because there’s some controversy with its GI level, it works so well for desserts that need something sticky to keep them together.

I keep mine in the freezer because they’re really good chilled.

Raspberry-Filled Truffle Cups (vegan, sugar free, grain free, gluten free)

from Diet, Dessert and Dogs (http://dietdessertndogs.com)

The trick to the oozy raspberry center is a single, naturally sweet frozen berry, which then softens inside the truffle cup as it defrosts.  The chocolate coating on its own may be less sweet than you’re used to (akin to an 85% cacao chocolate bar), but combined with the very sweet coconut filling, the total effect is sublime. If you are okay with a wee bit of sugar, you could always use semisweet chocolate instead (or chips), for a sweeter coating.

Chocolate Base and Coating:

2 ounces (70 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2 Tbsp (30 ml) unsweetened carob powder or flour

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp (20 ml) coconut oil, preferably organic

20-30 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid

Filling:

1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp (60 g or 2 oz) natural almonds with skin, lightly toasted

1 cup (85 g or 3 ounces) shredded unsweetened coconut

2 tsp (10 ml) coconut butter or coconut oil

1/4 cup (60 ml) agave nectar

1 Tbsp (15 ml) pure vanilla extract

1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt

8-10 whole frozen raspberries (keep frozen until ready to use)

Prepare the chocolate: Line a mini muffin tin with 10 metallic paper cups. (You can use the paper cups without the muffin tin, but the tin offers extra support so the cups keep their shape.)

In a small, heavy-bottomed pot. melt the chocolate, carob powder and coconut oil over very low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth.   Remove from heat.

Using 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) per cup, pour chocolate onto the bottom of eight of the paper liners and spread it to cover.  Pop the muffin tin in the freezer for about 5 minutes to firm up the chocolate.

In the meantime, make the filling:  In a food processor, whir the almonds and coconut until you have what looks like a coarse meal. Add remaining ingredients except the raspberries and blend until the mixture comes together resembling a sticky dough.

Using about 1-1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) per truffle cup, scoop out some mixture and form into a rough ball.  Make an indentation in the middle and push one frozen raspberry into it, then mold the mixture around the raspberry into a ball.  Repeat until all the mixture is used.  If you have more than 8 balls, coat the bottom of the extra paper liners with chocolate as needed (and freeze these as well before filling).

Place one coconut ball inside each paper liner, covering the bottom but taking care not to touch the sides (you may need to roll the “dough” into more of a cylinder shape so its sides don’t touch the liners).  Using 1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) of chocolate per cup, pour the melted chocolate over the coconut balls, starting in the center and rotating out to the edges, allowing the chocolate to flow down the sides and fill the paper liners.

Place the tray back in the freezer for another 5-10 minutes until the chocolate coating is firm.  If you have extra chocolate, you can use it to drizzle swirls, loops, or other decorative designs on top of the truffle cups.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.   Will keep, covered, in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Makes 8-10 truffle cups.

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