Friday, December 7, 2012

Homemade Gifts: Dairy Free Chocolate Truffles

Are you ready for a challenge?  I’m not going to even try to pretend this recipe is simple or quick.  But guess what?  You’ll end up with some amazing chocolate truffles that you jut can’t buy in any store- free of dairy, soy, additives and sugar.  Priceless right?

I first made truffles 3 years ago for Christmas.  I decided everyone was getting truffles (multiple flavors no less) and so I ordered an 11 pound block of some very good chocolate and proceeded to make about 200 truffles (not a joke).  Perhaps I should have started on a smaller scale, but that’s not how I roll.  They were a success and everyone loved them, but I didn’t want to see another truffle for a long, long time.

I’ve gotten over my aversion to truffles now but I’d like to suggest starting on a smaller scale.  These aren’t difficult to make, they just take a little time and patience.  You’re also going to get covered in chocolate- it’s an occupational hazard.

If you’re not familiar with the anatomy of a truffle, let me walk you through it.  At the center of this little ball of goodness is ganache: a mixture of cream, chocolate and flavoring (optional).  Each little ganache balls is coated in a harder chocolate coating.  Sometimes, they are even dipped in extra cocoa, nuts or other delicious additions.  Pretty simple right?

You could easily start these with a premade chocolate bar however I wanted my chocolate dairy, sugar and soy free so I decided to make my own.  Since I’m already making the ganache it is one more simple step to make the chocolate first.  You'll need to order some food grade cocoa butter.  I got mine from amazon, it was organic and pretty reasonable.  Other than that, you probably already have everything you need: cocoa powder, vanilla, honey and coconut milk.

These make a lovely gift for the sweets lover on your list.  I don't have any shortage of people wanting truffles!  These are also an excellent treat to keep around the house this time of year.  Instead of indulging in mystery chocolate at all of those holiday parties, enjoy one of these.  You can partake in the holiday treats and not put anything toxic in your body!

Dairy Free Chocolate Truffles

1 ½ cups Cocoa Powder
½ lb Cocoa Butter (about 2 ½ cups)
½ cup raw honey
1 ½ tsp vanilla
¾ cup coconut milk

optional coatings:
extra cocoa powder
coconut flakes
diced nuts

Weigh out cocoa butter.  If you don't have a scale, you can estimate it with ½ cups of cocoa butter.

Place cocoa butter in double broiler and melt.

Remove from heat and stir in cocoa, honey and vanilla.

Whisk together until smooth.

Remove melted chocolate from pan, cleaning sides with a spatula.

You will end up with between 2 ¼ and 2 ½ cups of chocolate, set this aside for  the moment.
Add coconut milk to pan and warm.

Add all but ¾ cup of melted chocolate back to pan with coconut milk.

Reserve the remaining ¾ cup of chocolate for coating- you can leave this sit out (it will harden).
Stir together chocolate and coconut milk until smooth.

Remove from heat and cool for 3-4 hours in the fridge.

Allow filling to sit on counter for 1 hour to soften. 

Scoop out balls of ganache with a melon baller or small spoon.  I have no such desirable melon baller so I used a teaspoon.

For a smooth ball, roll the ganache between your hands.  If you don’t mind it lumpy, more power to you!

Place each ball on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Place the ganache balls back in the fridge for 20 minutes or more.

Re-melt your remaining chocolate on very low heat.  Don’t get it too hot or you will burn yourself!

You want it barely melted.  I’ve found it works well to remove the chocolate from the heat when it still has a few chunks and then stir until they melt.

Before you get crazy chocolate covered hands, decide if you are going to coat your truffles with anything. 

If so, get it ready in bowls so everything in your kitchen isn’t covered with chocolate fingerprints (this isn’t a crime scene).

Smear chocolate between palms and roll each ganache ball until coated.  I attempted to take more pictures of this part but my camera got chocolate all over it (much like the parchment paper above) so I gave up.

Stick the balls back in the fridge for 5 minutes to get the first layer solid.

Now, give each ball a second coat so they won’t break!

If garnishing, dip or sprinkle your coatings on each ball after its second roll in the chocolate.

I made four types: plain, cocoa dusted, coconut and almond.

Now, if you can bear to part with these, put them in a little box and gift away!

Or keep a few for yourself.  You deserve it after all that hard work!


  1. These sound wonderful and I love that they are dairy free! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday. Please come back Sunday to vote.

  2. Hi! I am one of the hosts of Foodie Friends Friday and a contributor to our e-magazine Daily Dish ( and I was wondering if I could use this recipe and picture for an article I am writing on Candies to make for Christmas. I would make sure there is a link back to you. Thank you Marlys (my email

  3. How neat! I love that they are dairy free. They look so beautiful! Awesome job.

    Visiting from the barn hop :)

  4. I was just telling my hubs that we need to make truffles again! YUM! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)
    I hope to see you again this week!

    Stop by this week to see if you were the winner of the Sugar and Spice Prize pack! We had a super great variety of recipes and entries this week!

    Cindy from

  5. These look amazing! We've made truffles with homemade chocolate and coconut oil, and while delicious the coconut oil can be little strong. I can't wait to try these and check out your blog some more too... yum! Thanks :)

    1. I agree about the coconut oil. You'll also find that the shell on these won't melt like with coconut! It's definitely worth ordering some cocoa butter.

  6. hi...lovely...what is the shelf life of these truffles...isnt coconut milk dairy>>

  7. hi...lovely...what is the shelf life of these truffles...isnt coconut milk dairy>>