Monday, February 14, 2011

Almond Goji Berry Truffles


Happy Valentines Day! I wanted to share this luscious truffle recipe made with goji berries. The filling is a deep red color covered in dark chocolate. What could be better on a day like today? Oh, and it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare!

I shared this recipe last Monday at my gluten-free dessert cooking class. Our goji berries were very dry so we decided to soak them for about 10 minutes in warm water. The filling turned to a watery mush! It was a great learning experience for me and the whole class! We started over with a fresh batch of very dry goji berries and it worked out. I was planning on saving this recipe for the next cookbook I'm working on right now, but I just couldn't resist sharing it with you today.

Dried Goji Berries

My recipe testers have given me feedback on this recipe and one of them told me recently that she used raw almond butter which didn't hold the filling together very well and they turned into flat rounds instead of balls. I use a lightly roasted creamy almond butter when I make them. Having fresher, chewier goji berries also changed the outcome. Coconut nectar is thicker than maple syrup so this can also slightly change the outcome. I used maple syrup in the truffles pictured here, though I normally use coconut nectar, which is very thick. If you don't eat these all within a few days, feel free to freeze them and take one out at a time when a chocolate craving arises!




Almond Goji Berry Truffles

Goji berries are a truly remarkable superfood. Ounce for ounce goji berries contain more vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots, and more iron than spinach. They also contain over 20 trace minerals and 18 amino acids! These beautiful truffles contain a flavorful red filling and a rich chocolate exterior, making them a special treat for a Romantic Valentine’s Day evening.

Filling:
1 cup dried goji berries
½ cup creamy almond butter
¼ cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
1 teaspoon almond flavoring

Chocolate Coating:
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla, optional

Place all ingredients for the filling in a food processor fitted with the “s” blade. Process/pulse for a few minutes until ground and sticky. Roll filling into small balls and set onto a plate. They will feel oily. For some reason the oil from the almond butter begins to separate every time I make these. Once they are covered in chocolate no one will notice it.

Place a piece of parchment paper onto a large plate, set aside for your finished truffles.

In a small saucepan add the ingredients for the chocolate coating. Use a double boiler or place the saucepan into another slightly larger pan filled with a few inches of water. If you don’t do this, the chocolate with burn and become unusable.  Melt over very low heat, stirring, until the chocolate is completely melted. Turn off heat and immediately drop the first truffle into the chocolate, gently swirl the melted chocolate over it using a spoon. Lift up and place onto the prepared plate with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining truffles.

Once you are finished, place the plate with the truffles into the freezer to set the chocolate for about 30 minutes. Once set, remove truffles from plate and place into a sealed glass container and store in your refrigerator for up to a week. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com



More Valentine's Day Recipes:

Valentine's Day Recipes from Other Bloggers:
Gluten-Free Chocolate Dessert Waffles from Kim at Cook it Allergy-Free
Almond and Spice Bean Pie from Kelly at The Spunky Coconut
Chocolate Raspberry Bars from Nancy at The Sensitive Pantry
Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Balls from Hallie at Daily Bites


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31 comments:

  1. So beautiful! Happy Valentine's Day!

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  2. I don't like using chips because of the emulsifiers used. I like to use dark baking chocolate instead. Do you think that will make a difference in the outcome?

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  3. That looks amazing! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  4. What a festive and striking treat! Have a wonderful Valentine's Day. :)

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  5. Anon - I use Dagoba Chocodrops which are 73% cacao. There are no emulsifiers. Ingredients are: organic dark chocolate, organic cane sugar, organic cacao butter. Dark baking chocolate would also work great! :) You can also use bittersweet chocolate and add a little coconut oil and liquid stevia to sweeten it if you don't want the small amount of cane sugar in the dark chocolate drops.

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  6. Yum! I can't wait to raw-ify these with some coconut oil chocolate:)

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  7. These look amazing and so good for me too! Happy Valentines Day you two.

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  8. Gorgeous and oh wouldn't I love to have some of these in the freezer? Happy Valentine's Day, Ali and Tom, and all the kiddos! :-)

    xo,
    Shirley

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  9. They look amazing! So professional looking too.

    They'd be a great recipe for this month's Go Ahead Honey- Love potions and Charmed foods. It's all about superfoods that nourish our body and soul, and these are pretty packed with superfood ingredients.

    If you'd like to contribute it, just let me know.

    xx x

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  10. These look and sound divine.
    Will have to experiment w/ carob chips instead. Thank you for sharing now, even though it was intended for your book, that was very generous.
    Peace & Happy Valentine's Day,
    Elizabeth

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  11. These taste like they would be bad for you! But they are good for you - yay! Thanks for a great recipe! Happy Valentine's Day!

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  12. These look fantastic! Bookmarked for a later try ;-)

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  13. Ali, those are absolutely gorgeous!! What a perfect looking treat!! I cannot wait to try these!!
    And thanks so much for sharing my waffle recipe too, by the way.
    Happy Valentine's Day!! Knowing Tom, I am sure he spoiled you rotten! ;)

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  14. Wow, these sound like a perfect treat Ali. I love putting gojs in my shake but haven't tried them in anything else. I guess it's time!

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  15. I've read about goji berries and how they are a superfood, but haven't tried them yet. Going to the health food store tomorrow, maybe they have some at a good price.

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  16. Will you be offering any more cooking classes soon???

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  17. these look and sound divine! i wish i saw this BEFORE valentine's day!

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  18. HOLY COW - Those look incredible!! Want to send me some? Haha.

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  19. Wow, these look great! I am always looking for a new almond or Almond butter recipe since my husband and I have a small almond orchard and I eat a lot of almonds. I love getting your new recipes and if you are ever looking for truly raw almonds we're at homegrownalmonds.com ! Thanks, Rebecca

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  20. These look amazing. Indulgent, but not overly so.

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  21. This recipe is really fantastic! I've made it a couple times now and have gotten excellent feedback. I used 100% chocolate and sweetened with a little stevia and coconut sugar. Thanks so much for this recipe!

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  22. Great recipe! I'm gonna try it really soon as I'm always looking for new ways to eat goji berries (among my fav superfoods!).
    Thank you for sharing this.
    I wrote an article on the health benefits of goji berries, check it out and let me know what do you think. I would really appreciate it!
    http://www.theironyou.com/2011/05/lets-talk-about-goji-berries.html

    Peace
    Mike @TheIronYou

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  23. I put the gogi filling/balls in the freezer on a cookie sheet while the chocolate melted. They maintained their shape just great, I also added a pinch of sea salt and used maple syrup. So terrific, thank you!

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  24. Does anyone have any insight into what I am doing wrong with these? The filling is great. When I melt the chocolate in the bowl (in a pan of hot water) with the syrup (I've tried twice with two kinds of chocolate) it clumps up and becomes kind of a sticky mess. I was able to kind of smear it all over the truffle, but the end result wasn't terribly aesthetically pleasing. They are quite yummy though :-).

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  25. Wow, these look amazing, I will be making them for valentine's day!!

    Hi Jennifer L, I read your comment and am going to offer my 2 cents. I think that maybe your double boiler method is causing you the problems you mentioned. I am guessing a drop or two of water (from the vapor when you lift that bowl from the double boiler) might be getting into your chocolate and causing it to seize (clump up).
    Try microwaving your chocolate in 30 seconds increments mixing every time in order to make sure the chocolate also stays properly tempered.
    Another thing might be the "syrup" you mentioned to be adding to the chocolate, Did you add it at first or after the chocolate was melted? Adding liquid to melted chocolate is tricky as chocolate is finicky and seizes really easily.
    DO you need to add syrup to your melted chocolate?
    I hope this helps. Sorry if I am talking too much here. I just wanted to help you out!
    I have made a few mistakes with chocolate myself, so I know how frustrating it can be. Plus I worked at a chocolate shop for two years making truffles and all things chocolate, so believe me when I say chocolate is finicky and also that I know how you feel. Chocolate is a wonderful medium to work with and I love it, but it can be frustrating at times!
    Ana

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  26. Thanks for a fabulous recipe!!! I made them and everyone loved them, including my toddler! Can I suggest mixing the Goji berries alone first to as finely chopped as possible. That way you mix the cashew butter less and it releases less oil :)

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  27. These are delicious! Made these as a belated v-day treat. I don't do cane sugar, so used your suggestions - melted 2oz (3/4 cup) chopped unsweetened chocolate with 1 Tbsp of coconut oil (probably could have been less though), 3 Tbsp maple syrup and ~8 drops stevia and some vanilla. Worked great! (Had leftover chocolate, so coated some raisins too. Yummy!) I'm curious if these will work with dried cranberries too, since goji berries are so spendy. I'll let you know if I try it. Thanks Ali!

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  28. I see that nobody has made a comment for quite some time, but I just had to write about my experience with this recipe! well i absolutely love them and have made this multiple times now. i dont add anything to the chocolate though as I ended up wasting 6 cups of chocolate chips the first time i made it! the extra ingredients didnt seem to agree with it no matter what i did. but i recently tried a variation of it that also turned out so delcious! I replaced the almond butter with peanut butter, the goji berries with coconut, the almond extract with 1/2 coconut 1/2 vanilla, and added 3 medjool dates to make it more sticky and moist since coconut is much drier than goji berries. So so good!

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  29. Thanks for a nice recipe!!! I think my husband will like it. Goji berries protect against Alzheimer's disease by protecting the neurons in the brain against beta amyloid protein. This deadly protein is associated with Alzheimer's.
    Goji berry juice

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Thanks, and as always, Happy Cooking! Ali & Tom