Dark chocolate has been shown in studies to help prevent heart disease and some cancers, and is known to enhance moods by boosting the brain chemical serotonin, much in the way that modern anti-depressant drugs work.
Ancient Aztec Indians believed that eating the fruit from the cacao tree brought wisdom and power. The legend, still alive today, if you ask any chocolate lover, was that cacao seeds had been brought from Paradise.
Revered the world over for its sweet taste and creamy texture, chocolate is also considered by many to be an aphrodisiac – and a perfect dessert or gift for loved ones on Valentine’s Day or a birthday or as a delicious accompaniment to any special occasion feast.
With over a hundred medicinal uses for cocoa and chocolate, and the mysteries and legends that surround it, it’s no wonder we go crazy for cocoa in the dead of winter when we most need a jolt of antioxidants and some feel-good brain chemicals to get us through to spring!
These dairy-free chocolate truffles will cure what ails you – and bring you and your guests rapturous delight!
Truffles for Angels
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews
- 3 dozen organic dates
- ½ an organic lemon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Half a pound of high quality organic fair trade dark chocolate. (Or 1 package of dark chocolate vegan baking chips.)
Place dates in a small saucepan and add enough spring water to cover bottom of pan. Bring to a boil and simmer while stirring until dates soften and a thick “date jam” is formed.
Turn off heat and allow to cool.
In a powerful blender or cuisinart, blend cashews, juice of lemon, dates and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
Place in a bowl in the freezer and allow to harden for an hour or overnight.
In a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate to liquid. Keep the heat on minimum once it’s melted, and work quickly.
Using a melon-baller or a small round spoon, scoop out the cashew-date mixture and drop into a larger round spoon. Ladle melted chocolate over the ball, covering it entirely. Set truffle on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and dusted with organic cocoa powder. (For Valentine’s Day, use a heart-shaped candy mould.)
When you’re finished, there should be about 3 dozen Truffles for Angels. Put the cookie sheet in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set. Once they’ve set, you can take them out and store them in a cool place.
Arrange beautifully on a plate and sprinkle with organic cocoa powder.
Photo By Moira Nordholt – All Rights Reserved