Olive Oil Truffles for Two

I’m going to be candid. I am not a Valentine’s Day person.

In my (often idealistic) mind, it feels like a cultural mandate to “love” or show some sort of affection to “the one you’re with.” While showing one’s love and affection for his or her beloved is a wonderful thing, and rightly ought to be encouraged, I naturally push back against anything that seems to mandate what should come naturally. To me, “just because” acts of thoughtfulness are far more meaningful. Valentine’s Day—again, to me—makes any related gift feel compulsory. Not to get something special for your love on this one day when it is expected . . . every man seems to fear this.

Some of you may be thinking, “What a humbug!” Hm. Perhaps I am, though I hope not too drastically so. In any case, I am by no means against the giving of gifts, the cherishing of our special ones, the sharing of delightful meal for two, the writing and speaking of thoughtful words. These are all things I strive to incorporate throughout the year—and in many cases, throughout the week and even the day—in my marriage. My own personal beef with Valentine’s Day has more to do with the way it rubs me the wrong way. If you like it and it serves you well, then enjoy.

In the general spirit of sharing delightful bites with the one we love—regardless of the day or occasion—I’d like to share this recipe of olive oil truffles (for two). Typical truffles are made from chocolate ganache, which is made with baking chocolate and heavy cream. These are made with good-quality extra virgin olive oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. There is no need to heat anything up, no need to dirty a pot, no worries about clumpy ganache. Additionally, replacing the cream with olive oil means that they are both dairy-free and filled with the goodness of olive oil—both for the palate’s enjoyment and the body’s nutrition. Indeed; this treat tastes decadent while delivering a host of benefits alongside.

Any time you feel the desire for a little something special, whip up a batch of these truffles. They take just a few minutes to make, set up quickly in the fridge, and require next to no planning ahead. Sit down with your special one and share these treats over a glass of port—or decaf coffee or tea—and pair with equally rich conversation.

Recipe

Serves 2 | Makes 2 truffles

Olive Oil Truffles for Two

INGREDIENTS

20 g. | 2 T., heaping, Dutch-processed cocoa powder (this is important, as the flavor is much richer than raw cacao)

8 g. | 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (use the best stuff you’ve got; make sure it is fresh [not rancid] and not flavored. I typically purchase organic, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil from Greece.)

10 g. | 1 1/2 tsp. maple syrup (the real stuff; no “pancake syrup,” please)

large pinch of salt (Himalayan pink or sea salt)

extra cocoa powder, for rolling / dusting

coarse salt or salt flakes for decoration, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place a 1/2 to 1 cup-sized bowl on a digital scale (if using). Weigh out the cocoa powder, add a pinch of salt, and mix in with a small spoon. Next weigh the olive oil and maple syrup into the bowl (feel free to use measuring spoons even if weighing; I find that having something to pour into helps to avoid over-pouring with such small amounts).
  2. Stir the mixture together until the cocoa powder is moistened evenly, and a mass comes together.
  3. Scoop the cohesive mixture out onto a small piece of plastic wrap. Gather the edges of the plastic wrap together, twist, and squeeze the mass into a ball. Then gently form it into a log about 2 inches long.
  4. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Spoon about 1 – 2 tsp. of cocoa powder into a small prep bowl with curved sides. Cut the log in half and gently, yet swiftly, roll each half into a ball between your palms. Roll to coat in cocoa powder. (If you want to weigh them to make sure they’re equal, each truffle should be about 19 g.)
  6. Optional: top with coarse salt or salt flakes.
  7. Serve immediately or cover and return to the fridge until serving.

Best enjoyed with a glass of port (either ruby or tawny will do splendidly). Also delightful with a cup of decaf tea or coffee.

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