When you think of romance, do you think of quiet, candle-lit dinneres for two? Long-stemmed red roses? Lace and a bottle of the finest champagne? How about sweet potato? This amazingly delicious and decadent truffle recipe combines the ultimate Valentine's Day food--chocolate--with uber-healthy, high-fiber, low glycemic, antioxidant-rich sweet potatoes. The bright orange tuber is so naturally sweet that it requires very little assistance to serve as the base for this delightful, irresistible confection. Your sweetie will never guess what makes up the center of this luxuriously rich, creamy filling that will satisfy anyone's romantic culinary cravings. So why not serve up a few of these little gems for Valentine's Day instead of the usual fare, and watch the romance blossom? Your heart will thank you--and so will your sweetie.
Spiked Sweet Potato Truffles [Vegan]
- 1 cup (240 ml) packed sweet potato purée, from one very large sweet potato (see instructions)
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) organic cornstarch, plus up to one more Tbsp (15 ml), if necessary (see instructions)
- 1/3 cup (80 g) refined organic coconut oil (or use unrefined if you don't mind a coconut flavor) plus up to 2 more Tbsp (30 ml), if necessary to thicken the filling (see instructions)
- finely grated zest of one large organic orange
- 1/4 cup (35 g) light spelt flour
- 1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) light agave nectar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) plain or vanilla rice milk
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) Cointreau or liqueur of your choice (Frangelico also worked well in these), or substitute orange juice
- 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (200 g) dairy free chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
- 1 tsp (5 ml) refined organic coconut oil (or use unrefined if you don't mind a coconut flavor)
- Make the sweet potato purée in advance: Preheat oven to 400F (200 C). Place unskinned sweet potato on a baking sheet and bake until very tender, about an hour. (You can boil the sweet potato instead of baking it, but I find the flavor is vastly inferior that way.) Allow to cool, then peel and purée the flesh in a food processor until very smooth.
- Measure out 1 scant cup (230 ml) of the purée and reserve the rest for another use. Return the one cup purée to the processor along with the cornstarch and coconut oil, and blend until very smooth.
- In a small, heavy-bottomed pot, whisk together the flour, salt and agave nectar until smooth. Add the rice milk slowly and whisk until incorporated; sttir in the orange zest. (Combining the flour and agave first before the milk helps to prevent lumps from forming).
- Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to bubble and thicken; lower heat to simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 more seconds. The mixture will thicken very suddenly and you'll need some muscle power to keep stirring; it will end up like a very thick paste or glue. (A silicon spatula is useful when stirring, as you can scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to prevent scorching). Remove from heat and stir in the liqueur and vanilla until combined.
- Turn the hot mixture directly into the processor bowl with the sweet potato and whir until the mixture is perfectly smooth and creamy. It should be soft, but stiff enough to hold a shape.
- Once the truffle filling is frozen, proceed to dip the truffles: In a bowl set over a pot of simmering water (the bowl should be large enough that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water), melt the chocolate and coconut oil together until smooth. Using two forks held facing each other, dip the truffles one at a time, tapping the forks on the edge of the bowl to release excess chocolate, and place them on the plastic. Allow to firm up in the refrigerator (they will actually begin to firm up fairly quickly because of the frozen filling) Using more melted chocolate, decorate tops with swirls or heart shapes if desired. Store in the refrigerator, but serve at room temperature.
- For chocolate truffle cups: Set the filling aside while you prepare the chocolate cups. In a bowl set over a pot of simmering water (the bowl should be large enough that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water), melt the chocolate and coconut oil together until smooth. Use about 3/4 tsp (3.5 ml) to coat the bottom and up the sides of 12-15 mini foil cups. Place the cups in the freezer for a couple of minutes to firm up.
- Using 1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) of filling for each cup, fill the chocolate cups with the sweet potato mixture and smooth the top. Return to the freezer for another 5 minutes or so until the tops of the filling are firm.
- Cover each cup with another 1 tsp (5 ml) chocolate, and spread it gently to cover, ensuring that the chocolate is sealed at the edges and no bits of sweet pototo show through. Keep refrigerated until firm, then remove from fridge , immediately peel off the paper cups, and allow to come to room temperature before serving (these are much better served at room temperature, but the cups will stick to them if you try to unwrap them once they're no longer cold).
If the mixture is too thin to hold a shape, it may be that your sweet potatoes were moister than mine (the amount of moisture in the potatoes will vary from batch to batch). You can try one of these two things: To thicken the filling (only if necessary): 1) Melt an additional 2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut oil. With the processor running, slowly add the oil to the mixture and blend it in. It should thicken up nicely. OR, 2) Add another 1 Tbsp (15 ml) cornstarch to the processor bowl, and blend it in to the mixture.