This unusual, slightly chewy chocolate confection that goes together 1-2-3 is good anytime, but is especially nice to serve after a Middle Eastern or Moroccan meal. To make the liquid part of the recipe, fresh orange juice and finely minced orange zest are cooked with tahini, which is a paste made from sesame seeds, and a small amount of agave syrup. While this truffle ganache is not perfectly smooth, the truffles taste creamy, and the coating of lightly toasted sesame seeds provides color contrast and crunch. Note that raw tahini is slightly sweeter than the roasted kind, but either can be used. I’ll be bringing a platter of these easily made, brightly flavored truffles to a New Year’s Eve party.
Chocolate Orange Sesame Truffles
Makes 20 to 24 1-Inch Truffles
- 4 ounces / 113 grams dark chocolate (70 to 72%), finely chopped
- Finely minced zest of half a medium organic orange
- 3 tablespoons / 45 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml raw or roasted tahini, stirred
- 3 tablespoons / 26 grams natural sesame seeds, lightly toasted, more as needed
- Put the chocolate into a small heatproof bowl.
- Mix the orange zest and juice and agave in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat just to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the tahini, whisking vigorously. The mixture will thicken immediately. Do not be concerned if it looks broken or curdled. It will smooth out as you whisk. Simmer the mixture for 30 seconds until it is shiny and smooth. Remove from the heat.
- Wait about 30 seconds until the mixture is no longer steaming and pour it over the chocolate. Cover the bowl with a plate. Wait 1 minute and then stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Remember: the ganache will not be perfectly smooth.
- Cool to room temperature, stirring a few times with a silicone spatula.
- Spoon into a small shallow container and refrigerate uncovered for about 2 hours until the ganache is firm. The ganache can be covered and refrigerated at this point for up to 1 week.
Make The Truffle Centers
Remove the ganache from the refrigerator. Use a spoon to scoop out 1-inch pieces of ganache and another to push the ganache off the spoon into the container. When half the ganache has been used, roll the pieces into logs about 1 inch long, washing and drying your hands as needed. (If at any time the ganache becomes too soft to shape, refrigerate until cold and proceed.) Cover and refrigerate the truffle centers for 15 to 25 minutes to set for before shaping and finishing with the sesame seed coating.
Shape and Coat The Truffles
Put the sesame seeds in a small bowl. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons / 18 grams on the bottom of a shallow container. Put a few logs at a time into the bowl of sesame seeds and roll until lightly coated. Pinch the ends to form the oval quenelle shapes. Place the finished truffles in the refrigerator to set for 35 to 45 minutes. Serve at room temperature.
Note: When I am pressed for time, I simply score the firm ganache into squares, then cut all the way through. Lift the squares right into the seeds and coat.
Keeping: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days or freeze up to one month. They defrost in minutes.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, by Fran Costigan, (Running Press 2013).