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Vegan Chocolate Truffles
I love my chocolate correspondence with people from all over the World. I meet great people and also learn something new every day.
I've been talking with Keith Luke in Hawaii about gourmet chocolates and he developed a Vegan Chocolate Truffle recipe which I've included below. Thank you Keith for the great recipe. I'm sure the vegans in our readership are delighted with your effort.
One of the questions I get asked most frequently is where to find good chocolate in bulk for making your own bonbons and confections. I alert people to the fact that most medium-large cities have bakery and restaurant supply companies that distribute chocolate to restaurants and bakeries. This is a good place to start. Also a lot of chocolatiers and small chocolate shops make the chocolate they use available in bulk for the home cook. We did this from day one at au Chocolat and it was a very important service. I am glad to see that more chocolate shops are catching on. If you don't have any luck with either of those local alternatives, you can also buy lots of great chocolate on the Internet. Click here to see our Gourmet Chocolate page for a list of chocolate suppliers/distributors who sell retail.
I got a very interesting e-mail from Edith and Helen Hepp who were here in Vancouver on the Cuisines of Vancouver tour that I led for the American Institute of Food and Wine and the Smithsonian Institute. They found the Shallon Winery in Astoria, Oregon that makes Chocolate Orange wine. Chocolate Orange wine's label states that the product is an orange whey wine with natural flavors such as chocolate added -- an exquisite marriage of chocolate and orange with no artificial flavorings or emulsifiers. Whey, the liquid portion of milk remaining from the manufacture of cheese which contains most of milk's minerals and water-soluble vitamins, is used in the wine making process. Edith and Helen found that their Chocolate Orange Wine also works great as a topping for ice cream or angel food cake. They likened it to a liquid Grand Marnier Truffle in a glass enclosure. Thanks to Edith and Helen for the tip. A note on Edith and Helen -- they are a very, very delightful mother-daughter team that travel extensively together each year.
Keith Luke's Vegan Chocolate Truffles
10 ounces the best unsweetened chocolate you can find
(Keith confirmed that Nestle, Hershey and PatisFrance get their lecithin used to help emulsify chocolate from soy)
4 ounces tofu, pureed
4 ounces soy milk
1/2 tbsp soy margarine
1/2 tbsp glucose syrup
Chop chocolate into small pieces and soften/melt the chocolate in a 2-quart mixing bowl in a microwave oven or over a double boiler. Keith found that when working with small quantities of soy milk, he had to soften/melt the chocolate to get a smooth ganache. There just is not enough heat in the soy milk to melt all the chocolate.
Puree the tofu in a food processor until it is very smooth and set aside. No lumps should be visible.
Bring soy milk to a gentle boil and add it to the chocolate, gently folding until well-combined.
Fold in the tofu puree, soy margarine, and glucose syrup until well combined. The margarine should be completely melted and incorporated into the mixture. The texture of the ganache can be controlled by the ratio of soy milk/puree and chocolate. More chocolate results in a firmer ganache.
Cover the surface of the "ganache" with plastic wrap and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. It can then be refrigerated overnight.
Form truffle balls from the ganache and coat with couverture or confectioners coating and colored sugar crystals.