Bittersweet Cashew Cream Truffle Squares

Bittersweet Cashew Cream Truffle Squares

 
This three-ingredient, one pot, luxuriously creamy Bittersweet Cashew Cream Truffle Squares recipe is incredibly quick and easy. It's the perfect vegan treat for Valentine's Day. (Dairy-free & gluten-free)

This three-ingredient, one pot, luxuriously creamy Bittersweet Cashew Cream Truffle Squares recipe is incredibly quick and easy. 

Valentine’s Day

The February 14th love fest known as Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s Day) most often includes a good dose of chocolate. As a chocolate lover who cares about health, quality, and ethics, I choose high-percentage, ethically sourced chocolate that tastes good to me right out of the package. You may have to do some research to see what chocolates you like and do not–not the worst homework to do–but you must use the percentage of cocoa listed in the recipe. This percentage is found on the package of chocolate, 65, 70, 72%, and so on. You will find a list of chocolates that are slavery-free chocolates at FoodIsPower.org. Food Empowerment Project keeps the list up to date.

Bittersweet Cashew Cream Truffle Squares

Now, if you are like me, you don’t want to be stressed or exhausted from making a wow-of-a-dessert following a wow-of-a-meal on February 14th, I highly recommend the following quick and easy, three-ingredient, one pot, luxuriously creamy recipe that makes excellent, creamy chocolate truffles. When I started this blog post, it was to showcase the Bittersweet Cashew Cream Truffle Squares in my cookbook Vegan Chocolate.  If you’ve made my others recipes for chocolate truffles, you will notice that unlike the ones that are made with other various commercially available non-dairy milks, or even juice in the case of the Chocolate Orange Tahini Truffles, here you do not pour the hot liquid over the chocolate. Instead, the Basic Thick Cashew Cream used in this recipe is first warmed gently over low with very finely chopped chocolate in the pot. Smaller particles of chocolate are necessary to ensure that the chocolate will melt quickly into the warm liquid, resulting in a smooth ganache with minimal stirring.

Why would I take a tried and true and popular recipe and revise it? Well, as I see it, this is not revised, but rather I can now offer a variation using homemade oat milk for people who don’t want to use nuts for any reason.

Testing Homemade Oat MilkOat Milk

What happened was I have been obsessed with making oat milk. I have a good recipe for oat milk made with steel cut outs here. But, I have been looking for a way to make the oat milk less mucilaginous. You may have learned that homemade oat milk thickens when heated or even becomes ‘slimy’ when heated. It does get thicker in the same way cashew cream does. This does not apply to commercially available oat milk, like Oatly, for example. What I did over the last few days was to make lots of oat milk using a few different formulas but all with rolled oats What I learned is that the best ratio for making oat milk is 1 parts oats to 6 or even 7 parts filtered water. I experimented with soaking time (it matters), rinsing and using fresh water to blend (it doesn’t seem to matter), and blending time ( it matters).

My tests and results will be the subject of next week’s blog post, and of course, I will add a Valentines Day recipe.

For today, please enjoy this Bittersweet Cashew Cream Truffle Squares recipe. I’ve made a fresh batch today.

Bittersweet Cashew Cream Truffle Squares

Bittersweet Cashew Cream Truffle Squares

Fran Costigan
This three-ingredient, one pot, luxuriously creamy chocolate truffle is incredibly quick and easy. However, unlike truffles made with other nondairy milk, the Basic Thick Cashew Cream used in this recipe must first be warmed gently over low heat with very finely chopped chocolate or, better yet, chocolate that has been powdered in a food processor. Smaller particles ensure that the chocolate will melt quickly into the warm liquid, resulting in a smooth ganache with minimal stirring.Makes 30 to 36 (3/4-inch) Square Truffles
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 36 Truffles

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup / 240 ml Basic Thick Cashew Cream (recipe follows)
  • 7 ounces / 198 grams dark chocolate, 72 to 72%
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 ml pure vanilla extract
  • For coating: melted chocolate or Dutch-process cocoa powder

Instructions
 

  • Pour the Basic Thick Cashew Cream in a small saucepan and set aside.
  • Chop or break the chocolate into pieces, then process in a food processor until powdered. (Alternatively, chop the chocolate very fine on a cutting board.) Add the chocolate to the cashew cream and cook over very low heat, stirring slowly and constantly with a silicone spatula until the chocolate is about two-thirds melted, about 1 minute.
  • Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and continue to stir gently until the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is smooth. Stir the vanilla into the ganache.
  • Line an 8 x 8-inch / 20 x 20-cm pan with parchment paper large enough to hang over the sides. Spoon the ganache into the pan and smooth the top. (You want to make a block of ganache that is 1⁄2 to 1 inch / 1.3 to 2.5 cm-thick.) Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours until firm and then transfer to the freezer. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight until quite firm.

Make the truffles

  • When the ganache is firm, remove from the freezer. Lift the block onto a cutting board with the help of the parchment paper. Square the edges with a sharp knife and cut the block into squares. Work with half or even a quarter of the block at a time, keeping the rest refrigerated. (If the ganache gets too soft to cut, just refrigerate until chilled and firm.)

Finish The truffles

  • To enrobe the truffles in melted chocolate
  • Remove the centers from the refrigerator about 5 minutes before enrobing. The centers should be chilled but not icy cold or the coating might crack.
  • Pour the melted, or melted and tempered, chocolate into a deep bowl. Drop a chilled truffle center into the chocolate, and use a chocolate dipping fork to make sure it is submerged. Use the fork to remove the truffle. Hold it over the bowl to allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl, and wipe the bottom of the truffle gently on the side of the bowl. Place on parchment close together but not touching. Repeat with the rest of the centers. Dip a fork in the melted chocolate and wave over the truffles to create a decorative drizzle. Alternatively, spoon chocolate into a small pastry bag. Cut a very small tip, and squeeze chocolate lines onto each truffle. Refrigerate briefly to allow the coating to harden.

To dust the truffles in cocoa powder:

  • Pour the cocoa powder into a fine mesh strainer and lightly sift the cocoa powder over the truffle squares. (If the squares are very cold, the cocoa may not adhere. If that happens, allow them to soften slightly for a few minutes.)
  • You may also coat them in melted chocolate and the dust with cocoa powder (a.k.a the Hybrid Method) in Chapter 2 of Vegan Chocolate. Refrigerate the finished truffles until set.

Notes

Recipe reprinted from Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, by Fran Costigan (Running Press). Photo ©Kate Lewis
Keyword vegan truffles
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Vanilla Pastry Cream

Basic Thick Cashew Cream

Fran Costigan
Cashew Cream is a valuable base ingredient that stands in for dairy cream in a variety of ways, and is used both uncooked and cooked. Refrigerate Cashew Cream for up to two days, or freeze it in ice cube trays so that the right amount is always available for quick defrosting (see Note on keeping). Notes: To make the smoothest and best-tasting cashew cream, start with soaked whole raw cashews. If you want to speed the soaking process, use boiling water. The cashews will be soft enough to blend in one hour. If using a high-speed blender, the Cashew Cream will be thick and smooth in minutes. If using a standard blender, blend the nuts in batches, processing longer. Stop the blender a few times to clean the sides of the container. The small amount of guar gum added is highly recommended to make the richest tasting cream, and one that does not separate.Makes About 1 3 /4 cups / 420 ml
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 5 ounces (about 1 cup) / 142 grams whole raw cashews, rinsed and soaked 3 to 4 hours or overnight
  • 2 /3 cup / 160 ml water, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml agave syrup or pure maple syrup, Grade B or dark amber
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 ml pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon guar gum

Instructions
 

  • Drain the cashews in a strainer. Put the rinsed nuts into a blender (I use a Vitamix) and add the water, agave or maple syrup, and vanilla. Blend, starting on low, and quickly increase the speed to high. Blend for about 1 minute until the cream is perfectly smooth.
  • If you are using a standard blender, stop the machine and push any pieces of unblended cashews down into the cream; blend for an additional minute.
  • With the motor turned off, add the guar gum directly onto the cream, making sure it doesn’t land on the sides of the container. Blend on low for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to high and blend for 1 minute. Pour and scrape the cream out of the blender while it is warm, it is very thick.

Keeping

  • Pour the cream into a container, cover, and refrigerate for up to three days or freeze for up to two months. I freeze cashew cream in silicone ice cube trays, defrosting only the amount I need and giving the defrosted cream a good whisk before using. Store the frozen cubes in a zipper-lock bag until needed.

Notes

Recipe reprinted from Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, by Fran Costigan (Running Press). Photo © Kate Lewis.
Keyword cashew cream
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Comments

Leave a Reply