Chocolate and Olive Oil Truffles
This will probably be a new one for you but chocolate tastes wonderful with olive oil. Seems unlikely right? Actually, it kind of makes sense. Many olive oils are slightly herbal with green notes and a peppery finish and this works really well when set against the sweet, often fruity notes found in chocolate. Try this - drizzle some of your favourite extra virgin olive oil over a bowl of decent quality chocolate ice-cream. It's delicious. Crumble the tiniest amount of flaky salt on top and serve as the ultimate dinner party dessert that literally takes you 1 minute to pull together.
These truffles are beyond moreish but actual pretty virtuous. Almond butter, maple syrup, cocoa powder, a pinch of salt then, extra virgin olive oil. What really makes this treat special is rolling them in cocoa nibs. Having that bit of crunch takes these truffles to the next level and means you'll probably reach for another. Nibs, like cocoa, are actually kind of superfoody. They are packed with essential minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and copper. Magnesium, in particular, is a really important one as it's needed for over 300 different enzyme reactions in your body but lacking in many people’s diets. So, don't feel guilty about that second one.
The sweetness in this recipe comes from maple syrup and, really, not that much of it. This way you don't get the tooth aching sweetness that often comes from chocolate treats. This, my friends, is an altogether much more grown-up affair - perfect with after-dinner coffee but handy for that midafternoon pick me up. I also box them up as gifts and at this time of year you could do a lot worse than make a double ration and have them stashed in the freezer ready for boxing or nibbling.
Olive Oil Chocolate Truffles
1 small jar Smooth Almond Butter (170gr)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Good Quality Cocoa Powder
1/3 cup Maple Syrup
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil - A Picual will give you lovely Peppery notes while an Arbequina is mellow and fruity - your choice
1/2 teaspoon Flakey Sea Salt
150gr Cocoa Nibs
Cocoa Powder for dusting
Put all the ingredients, bar the nibs and cocoa powder for dusting, into a bowl. Beat by hand or with an electric mixer until smooth. Cover and place the mixture into the freezer for about 40 minutes until firm but not rock hard. Take out of the freezer and, using either a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon or a regular teaspoon, form about 30 truffles using your hands to finish them off.
Roll the truffles in the cocoa nibs and finally, dust with cocoa.
Return to the freezer to harden up a little then serve.
I keep these stored in a box in the freezer and all they need is about 2 or 3 minutes to soften slightly before serving. Of course, I have been known to bite into them while still completely frozen - but only in emergencies!