Making truffles at Christmas time is a bit of a family tradition. My mom got my sister and I started when we were little and it was always so exciting to make them and have a good reason to get covered in chocolate (we even have a cat named Truffles).
A few years ago I switched to making them with coconut cream but the taste is almost exactly the same – it’s pure nostalgia and such a lovely holiday treat. I always make some to gift to friends and family (it’s free from the major food allergens so usually a safe gift).
If anything, I’ve had more compliments on my vegan chocolate truffles than on the standard heavy cream ones I used to make. It’s not that they’re healthier, necessarily, as truffles are inevitably high in fat, but this is certainly a very low-sugar recipe and a little healthy fat is good for you in small doses! Small as in truffle-sized.
This is a winter or holiday inspired flavour with fresh ginger, and orange zest, and it’s a lovely combination.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Truffles are easy to make dairy-free and vegan with barely any difference in taste and texture. The method is so simple, and people are always happy to get a little jar or box of truffles.
- You need just 5 ingredients: including the add-ins! The base is simply chocolate and coconut cream, plus a hint of vanilla to boost the chocolate flavour.
- Truffles make the best gift: while cookies are up there, of course, everyone loves truffles and they feel a bit more luxe than cookies.
- They’re just fun to make: there’s nothing better than getting your hands covered in chocolate while making such a delicious treat.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Add-ins: the orange zest and ginger are optional, and you can leave one or both out. Other nice add-ins are spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
- Chocolate: I use semi-sweet chocolate (55%) but you can do a darker chocolate if preferred. Use one you like the taste of as is. Don’t go any lighter than 50% though.
- Coconut cream: there is no substitution for coconut cream in this recipe. I haven’t tested with other options like cooking creams.
Step by Step
1. Heat the milk: use a saucepan to heat the milk, then pour over the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl.
2. Whisk: wait 30 seconds before whisking into a smooth, glossy mixture.
3. Add-ins: add the orange zest, ginger, and vanilla.
4. Mix: whisk again to incorporate, then chill fully.
5. Shape: scoop the chilled truffle mixture and roll into small balls.
6. Coat: roll the formed truffles in cocoa powder and store.
These are truffles that are meant to be rolled in cocoa, not dipped in chocolate, so they may seem a little harder to roll than you might be used to. They can’t be too soft or else they simply lose shape altogether.
Make sure you’re using full-fat coconut milk, or coconut cream, and only use the cream scooped from the top of the can. If yours isn’t really separating, refrigerate it beforehand – that usually ensures that the cream will separate and solidify.
If the milk isn’t hot enough to melt the chocolate and you end up with pieces after whisking, simply set the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Heat, whisking regularly, until the remaining chocolate is melted.
Storage and Make Ahead
Storage: place the coated truffles into a container and refrigerate for up to one week.
Freezing: these freeze well, in an airtight container, for up to a month. They can be frozen longer but the flavour starts to deteriorate after a few weeks.
Make Ahead: if you want to make them ahead of time and freeze, just thaw them in the fridge and re-roll in cocoa before packaging as gifts or serving. The truffles tend to absorb a bit of the cocoa the longer they sit so doing that will just ensure that they’re still pretty when they’re gifted.
- Shape twice: for perfectly round truffles, roll them once, then freeze, then roll again before coating in the cocoa powder. I never bother with this (truffles are meant to look like truffles, after all) but you may prefer it.
- Chill fully: truffles take time and can’t be rushed – the ganache mixture must chill completely before rolling. This might mean overnight so plan ahead.
- Don’t whisk immediately: for the best texture and look, it’s key to let the hot milk melt the chocolate before mixing it.
More Chocolate Desserts
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Vegan Chocolate Truffles with Orange and Ginger
- 150 grams full-fat coconut cream scooped from the top of a can of coconut milk
- 200 grams dark chocolate finely chopped, or drops/chips
- Zest of an unwaxed organic orange
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger finely grated
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder or 1/2 teaspoon extract
- Place the chocolate into a heat-safe bowl and set aside. Heat the coconut cream in a small saucepan until simmering, then pour it over the chocolate.150 grams full-fat coconut cream
- Let the milk sit with the chocolate for about 30 seconds, then whisk to combine.200 grams dark chocolate
- Add the ginger, orange zest, and vanilla, and whisk to mix again.Zest of an unwaxed organic orange, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
- Let the truffle mixture cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating. Chill for at least four hours, or until hard enough to scoop and chilled through.
- Add some cocoa powder to a bowl and set aside. Use a teaspoon to scoop small pieces from the cooled truffle mixture.
- Roll the pieces in your hands to form rough balls, then place in the cocoa powder. Coat each truffle in cocoa.
- Place the coated truffles into a container and refrigerate for up to one week. These freeze well for up to a month.
This post was originally published in December 2017. It has been updated with improvements to the recipe and new text and photographs as of December 2020.