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Bali. Chocolate. Truffles.

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I am in Bali right now and I am the happiest kid on the block.
Its magical here.
The nature is stunning, the food is deeply nourishing & flavourful, the Balinese are some funny folks that surprise me every single day with their cheeky humour and the people I am surrounded with are just amazing inspiring souls.

I am really happy here and I want to share with you some stories about my favourite topic in the world.
Today’s post will be all about raw cacao, balinese chocolate and truffles (incl. a recipe).
I can’t even tell you how much I am already loving this.

I have worked with raw cacao products (powder, beans, nibs, butter) for the last 3 years now but this is definitely a whole new world being in the land of cacao, vanilla, coconuts & palm sugar.
A match made in heaven!
This week I will have a private tour at Big Tree Farms, the biggest bamboo factory in the world where they produce one of the best raw cacao and coconut blossom sugar I have ever tried.
I am working on recipes with their products and meeting more and more people who are helping to spread organic, plant-based and raw food here in Bali without being too dogmatic about it (you can order a scrambled egg burrito alongside a green juice, chia seed pudding and decadent gluten-free chocolate cake).
I love places like that and if you ever make it to this beautiful island please check out my friend’s amazing all raw cafe Alchemy in Ubud, Watercress & Bali Buda in Canggu and Down to Earth in Seminyak.
Accommodation wise I warmly recommend Swamis & Uluwatu Surf Villas – the nicest people & one of the best surf spots on the island!

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Back to chocolate…

I got a little tired and bored with the old school raw truffles aka cacao, date & nut bombs and I was craving smooth and soft textures, fingerlicking-meltinyourmouth chocolate and just a little more refined sweets for an afternoon treat (or for breakfast. and before bedtime. so basically anytime of the day).
I discovered some really good Balinese chocolate (surprise, surprise) and I will make an effort to try my truffles with their 69% dark chocolate the next days.
You can of course use any dark/bittersweet chocolate you like (minimum 70% I would say but I prefer 85%. Green & Black’s, Valrhona, Callebaut and Taza are the best out there in my opinion).
Dark chocolate really shouldn’t have anything else other than cacao mass/liquor, cacao butter and some kind of sweetener on the ingredients list (and optional salt & vanilla for extra flavour) but many times there are cheap & useless additives such as soy lecithin, vegetable fat or milk powder added so make sure to check the label first and stay away from them.
I would recommend using plain dark chocolate at the beginning and playing around with additional flavours in small quantities if you ever get bored (but rolling them in different toppings already adds more character to it.)

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This is a pretty simple recipe with just 3 ingredients (or a few more if you chose to make the “special” version) but some important steps that should be followed precisely to avoid a big sweet mess.
Check out this video from one of my favourite food heroes starting minute 9:17 (I tweaked & altered the recipe a little bit)

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Simple Truffle recipe

300 g of the best dark chocolate you can find (see my favourite brands above)
215 ml (1 cup) of full fat coconut milk
2 Tbsp coconut oil
pinch of salt
optional: 1 tsp vanilla extract

Special edition

300 g (10 oz) bittersweet chocolate
3 Tbsp (vegan) butter
120 ml (1/2 cup) coconut milk
60 ml (1/4 cup) brandy or strong (cold-brewed) coffee
pinch of salt

For the simple version:
Finely chop the chocolate and set aside in a heat-proof bowl.
In a small pan heat up the coconut milk and take it off the stove just before it starts to boil.
Pour over the chocolate and let it sit for 2 minutes.
Add the coconut oil, salt and vanilla extract if using and stir with a whisk until combined.
Pour in a square baking dish and put in the fridge for about 4 hours.

For the special edition:
Finely chop the chocolate and heat it up with the butter in a bain marie just until they start to melt.
Separately heat up the coconut milk (don’t boil it!)
Pour over the chocolate and let it sit for 2 minutes.
Add the salt, brandy or coffee and stir until combined.

For both versions:
With a melon baller or ice cream scoop that has been dipped in hot water, scoop out small portions (don’t have to look perfect yet) and put them on a tray lined with parchment paper.
Chill for another hour.

chocolate tempering

Remove the truffles from the fridge and put on some gloves if you don’t like to get your hands dirty (thats actually my favourite part besides eating).
Form balls and place them back on the tray but leave them outside.

Meanwhile melt more dark chocolate (roughly 200 g) over a bain marie and prepare your station with coatings of your choice. The classical version is just cacao powder (make sure you use either raw or natural cocoa powder – NOT dutch-processed) but you can also try toasted coconut, roasted chopped nuts, a mix of superfood powders like maca, lucuma, mesquite and a pinch of salt or some cinnamon sugar.

When the chocolate is melted dip the truffles, remove with a fork, shake off excess chocolate by tapping on the edge of the bowl and rolling them in the cacao or coating of your choice. Leave them there for a minute before transferring them on a plate or container for storage (they can be kept outside if its not too hot otherwise leave them in the fridge. They will be good for about 2 weeks – never happened in my house though).

I hope you guy are on a serious truffle mission now and you enjoy them as much as I did. And still do.

 

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