Have you ever seen the movie “Chocolat”, with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche? The first time I watched this movie was many years ago, during French class in high school. As it was in French class, we watched it in French, and it never occurred to me that the movie was dubbed. I have always been wondering how Johnny Depp could be so fluent in French, hahaha. Anyways, as far as this recipe goes, I can for sure say that these orange, chocolate & chili truffles have been inspired by this wonderful film.
In the movie, the main character Vianne Rocher shakes up the rigid morality of a small village in France, with her magical chocolate she sells in her chocolaterie. I will never forget the moment she stirred in a pinch of cayenne pepper in a steaming cup of hot chocolate for old lady Armande Voizin, who suffers from diabetes. I was mind blown. Chili and chocolate? “Is that even a thing?!” I thought. I never would have guessed. But that idea, chocolate infused by a subtle hint of chili, just never seemed to let me go.
So here we are, a few years later, and the idea of combining chocolate with chili has remained in my head. Now with Valentines Day just around the corner, I thought I’d bring this idea back to life. Valentines day and chocolate go hand in hand together anyways, and why not get things spiced and fired up with an extra hint of chili ;)? In this recipe, I don’t only combine chocolate and chili. I also decided to add an extra dimension of orange, as I feel the three aroma’s combine really well together! To me, they’re like a match made in heaven. BUT, Valentines Day or not, these truffles can of course be enjoyed any time.
(makes +/- 18 truffles)
• 100 grams of pecans (or substitute for any other nut/seed you have)
• 200 grams of dates (without pit), around 22 dates, and a bit more than 1.5 cups packed
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil
• 1/3 cup of cacao powder
• 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
• Squeeze of an orange (not too much or the mixture will become too wet!)
• Orange rind (preferable from an organic, unwaxed orange)
• Pinch of cayenne or chili powder
• 80 grams of good quality dark chocolate (I used a vegan 92% one)
• Cayenne or chili powder
• Sea salt (optional)
Mix the pecans in a food processor until you have a course flour. Add the dates, coconut oil, cacao, cinnamon, orange juice + rind and a small pinch of chili or cayenne. Briefly blend until combined (the more you blend it, the smoother the texture of your truffle filling will be. You should now be able to roll about 18 balls out of the mixture. After rolling the balls, let set in the fridge for 10-20 minutes, or until firm.
Just before the balls have firmed up, melt the chocolate in a water bath on the stove. Roll in your balls until fully covered, and place on a plate. While the chocolate is still liquid, add a small pinch of chili or cayenne on each truffle. You could also add a tiny amount of sea salt.
Let firm up in the fridge, until the chocolate has hardened.