Chocolate is, quite simply, the best food. If I could live off it, I probably would. And, as it turns out, not only does chocolate pair with wine and in many different ways, it’s also so easy to make vegan chocolate desserts with just a few ingredients.
These delicious homemade truffles take minutes to prepare, taste divine, and are just begging to be customised. Given that the majority of chocolate and wine pairings rely on rich, dark chocolate, wine-loving vegans should definitely consider trying a wine and chocolate tasting; it is definitely more reliable than matching vegan cheese and wine, although that definitely has its perks too. But…chocolate.
I experimented with these two recipes for vegan truffles recently, ahead of an extravagant but very easy vegan dinner and wine tasting plan. Here’s how I got on…
Vegan Chocolate Truffles Made with Figs
The healthier of the two options, these fig truffles were born out of the fact that there were no dates to hand, and no motivation to source any. Besides, I couldn’t find any chocolate truffle recipe using figs, rather than dates!
Unlike most dates you buy in supermarkets, dried figs tend to come with a bounty of tiny little seeds. Whilst I was sceptical to begin with, these added an extra dimension to the truffles, offering satisfying crunch reminiscent to chia seeds.
Ingredients For Rich and Chocolatey Truffles (16pcs):
- 210g dried figs
- 35g raw cacao powder + more for dusting
- 30g cacao butter (melted)
- Agave, Maple Syrup, or other natural sweetener, to taste.
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- About 50ml nut milk – I used almond, would prefer cashew.
- 50g almond butter
Blend all ingredients together using a food processor – I’d recommend blending the figs first (if you buy them whole) and then the almond butter, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Roll mixture into balls using your hands.
Dust with cacao powder, and then chill in the fridge. Afterwards, cover in melted dark chocolate and top with hazelnuts, coconut, freeze-dried raspberry, or other toppings of choice.
This version is denser than a classic truffle, and quite heady from the cacao powder – pair these with a fruity, full-bodied red wine, such as Rioja, Merlot, or even Port.
Vegan Chocolate Truffles Using Coconut Cream
Ingredients For Decadent and Velvety Truffles (16pcs):
- 200g Coconut Cream
- 300g Dark Chocolate (+ 100g for coating)
- Cacao Powder for dusting
Heat the coconut cream at 30s intervals in the microwave for 90 seconds, then pour over pieces of vegan dark chocolate. After a minute or so the chocolate will melt enough to mix with a fork or a whisk. Mix well, and then store in the freezer for 30 minutes until set. Use an ice-cream scoop to scrape up a portion, and then roll into balls using your hands and the cacao powder. Freeze for 30 minutes.
After they’ve set, melt around 100g of chocolate with 1tsp of coconut oil at 30 seconds intervals in the microwave, until melted. Cover the balls in the melted chocolate, and freeze until it hardens into a chocolate shell. For easy vegan Ferrero Rocher, mould the coconut cream ganache around a whole hazelnut, and roll in chopped hazelnuts before the melted chocolate layer. Trust me (and my friends, family, and work colleagues) it is amazing. And, hazelnuts happen to be a great match for rosé.
Tip: this recipe was inspired by Loving It Vegan’s recipe: trust me, they really do need the hard chocolate shell to keep everything contained, as the insides are so silky. Definitely not a bad thing! So it’s worth the extra work of freezing, melting, dipping and freezing again. Maybe keep one aside if you just can’t wait that long…
The coconut cream truffles formed part of a vegan dessert platter for my sparkling wine tasting – they paired exceptionally well with the Rosé Cava from Marks and Spencers’ – but I also think they would make a wonderful chocolate and red wine pairing. Matched with something equally silky, and substantial enough to stand up to the intensity of the dark chocolate. I’d go for a Valpolicella Ripasso (this one from Morrisons is suitable for vegans), or maybe even a port.
So, Which Is The Best Vegan Truffle?
Making truffles using figs or dates is my preferred choice, not just because they’re a bit healther (and therefore you can eat more of them!) but because I love the intense cacao flavours. But using coconut cream creates a smoother, more realistic vegan truffle. Both are delicious however, and very good dairy-free alternatives for chocolate truffles.
For creamy, melt-in-the-mouth chocolate truffles, opt for a lighter wine – such as rosé. Or even a sweet, sparkling red wine, such as Lambrusco or Dolcetto. For intense dark chocolate truffles, you can afford to go a bit heavier; look at Australian red sparkling wines, smooth Italian red wines, and even Ports.
For other chocolate and wine pairing ideas, check my Vegan Guide to Pairing Wine and Chocolate: