Sunday, December 12, 2010

Adventures in Vegan Truffle-Making: Vegan Gingerbread Spice Truffles

Even though dairy products can do much to enhance the flavor of chocolate in baked goods, truffles, and the like, plenty of delicious chocolate creations are vegan – meaning that they are dairy free. Observe: the vegan pumpkin spice truffles I made. Many cooks and bakers bravely conquer the world of vegan baked goods, however, I prefer to stick with confections because they aren’t quite as sensitive to variations in fat content and such.

For today’s DC Blogger Cookie Swap, I wanted to take something vegan, since I knew that a few of the attendees would be vegan, and everybody deserves some delicious chocolate treats. Everybody. Since I’d already gone the pumpkin-puree-as-substitute-for-cream route for Halloween, I needed a different approach to the ganache this time.

Bananas. Totally unripe bananas. You see, the idea here is to use the bananas as a substitute for cream to give the ganache the correct texture, but not to carry the banana flavor. Now, you might want to make banana-flavored truffles. That’s cool. I won’t judge. But that wasn’t the plan here – we wanted to make gingerbread spiced truffles since it’s December. Thus, these very white bananas went into my mini food processor.

I pulsed the food processor for about 2 minutes, and had a nice creamy banana puree that would be a wonderful substitute for cream.

Having accomplished that, I got to work making truffles.

Vegan Gingerbread Spice Truffles - Ingredients

10 ounces vegan bittersweet chocolate, chopped and divided (Scharffen Berger 70% cocoa bittersweet)

2/3 cup banana puree prepared in a food processor (about 2 bananas)

1 1/2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

First thing, take care of our favorite ingredient: the chocolate. Chop it up well.

Heat six ounces of the chopped chocolate and the banana puree over low heat, stirring continuously, until the chocolate has melted. Remove from heat. This gives you a great ganache mixture, and can now be spiced up.

Add the molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; stir until thoroughly combined. Let the ganache cool, stirring periodically, then roll into ½” diameter balls.

Chill the ganache balls in the refrigerator, melt remaining four ounces of chocolate over low heat. Quickly dip the ganache balls in the melted chocolate and rest on parchment paper until dry to the touch.

These little guys were smooth and spicy – a nice balance of gingerbread flavor and chocolate. And no hint of banana flavor.

Do you do any vegan cooking? What’s your favorite substitution trick?


  1. Cool idea!!! Those truffles look soo cute and tasty, too! =D Never done much vegan cooking....but will have to try it out soon!

  2. @fitchocoholic It's fun to experiment, even if you aren't vegan. You honestly can't taste the bananas in these at all.

  3. Oh my gosh. Words can't express. I really think this might be my favouriterest recip of yours yet! While not vegan myself, I am supposed to be dairy-free, and seeing as Australia lacks canned pumpkin I'm prevented from trying your other kind. Plus, I adore, adore, adore gingerbread :)

    Thank you Victoria! Definitely not making these for Christmas, though. These babies shall be all mine.

  4. @Hannah These are definitely great dairy-free treats. You could do all sorts of truffle flavors with the banana base, though I'd stick with something fairly strong to cover up any banana-flavor (unless you want to embrace the banana flavor). Let me know how they turn out. It's really no harder than traditional truffles.

  5. Your truffles look delicious!

    I don't purposely do any vegan cooking, but I am up for trying anything!

  6. @Amy at TheSceneFromMe Thanks, Amy! The banana puree-as-cream-substitute is kind of fun, and you could do it just to get the slightly chewier texture than you get with traditional cream. And then eat it after a steak dinner :).

  7. These sound so good! I love vegan baking because it seems like people can never tell that something is missing. I made Joy's vegan avocado cake which was really fun. I bet avocado (with maybe a little sugar) would work well with this recipe, too!

  8. @Jessica @ bake me away! Yes! Avocado! I've been thinking of that as a base for vegan chocolate mousse/pudding.