Living in Eugene, I’ve come to know more and more about various food subcultures. The list is getting impressive, as there is more than one way to butter your toast… we have vegetarians, vegans, raw foodists, fruititarians, freegans, and polyvores. This all makes for interesting potlucks in this town…
- “Wait a minute, I thought you were vegan?” I say unveiling my cheeseless vegan pizza.
“No… I thought you were?”
“Are you vegetarian?”
“No. Hey, next time lets have a BBQ!”
I’m a flexitarian. In this sense I embrace vegan cooking as an eye opening experience. Where else am I going to find out about the amazing transforamtive properties of flax seeds heated in water (its a fun experiment to go try- and a good way to make homemade hair gel), as an egg substitute. More often than not, I cook vegan because I need to go to the grocery store. It’s my own private Iron Chef; a defined moment to really expand the possibilities of dry soy milk powder, see how far you can go without butter, while keeping the culinary dream alive.
While looking over a favorite vegan cookbook, I came upon this recipe for dairy-free truffles. The way to really interpret that sentence is- how to make truffles when you don’t have any cream in the house. See… now we’re talking! These truffles are amazingly good, as chocolate can only be, and flavor complex with orange liqueur and chile swirling around in your mouth.
Chile Orange Truffles
inspired by the Artful Vegan
In a small saucepan heat:
- 1/4 c of soymilk, or milk
- 1/4 c of orange liquor
- one pinch of chipotle or cayene powder
- one pinch of salt
When mixture begins to steam, remove from heat and add:
- 6 ounces of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- 1-2 drops of orange essential oil, optional
Allow the mixture to sit for 2 minutes, then whisk till the chocolate is fully melted.
Refrigerate till the chocolate mixture is solid, then portion out into balls. I like to use a small one ounce cookie scooper to portion out the chocolate and then cut each ball into thirds or fourths yielding truffles the size of the tip of your thumb. Roll these around in unsweetened cocoa powder for the smoothest truffle or roll them around in candy orange sugar for more orange flavor.