Ever had to purchase some pricey obscure back-of-the-cupboard-bound ingredient for a single recipe that you REALLY want to make? This is a regularity for me, thanks to my penchant for attempting to recreate exotic dishes that I’ve enjoyed overseas or in restaurants. I went pretty overboard for a Day of the Dead dinner party: authentic bunting and candles were shipped over from Mexico and the monthly grocery budget was splurged on specialist ingredients including *orange blossom water for the requisite Day of the Dead bread, which took the best part of 12 hours to prepare. It was, thankfully, divine. But still, 12 hours and £10 on just one ingredient – smh. Plus, I accidentally ordered two bottles of it.
So orange blossom water joined a huddle of pantry residents patiently awaiting use, until last week at least when it was whipped from obscurity to join dates, cashews, coconut oil and cacao to create these simple yet decadent delights.
These raw vegan truffles are so rich and chocolatey, but a drop of aromatic orange blossom water somehow elevates them, adding a refined floral element. Their sumptuous velvety texture is punctuated by an occasional cashew crunch; they quash any chocolate/sugar cravings and make beautiful gifts too. They’re nutrient-dense and special-diet-friendly, containing zero gluten, wheat, dairy or animal products.
*Additional uses for your orange blossom water:
– Make extra truffles (you’ll want to)
– Bring Middle Eastern vibes to a classic sponge cake recipe with just a few drops
– Add a splash to gin based cocktails for an exotic twist
– Liven up your smoothies and lassis with a dash
– Add a little to your bath water for a calming effect – orange blossom is a natural relaxant.
CHOCOLATE ORANGE BLOSSOM TRUFFLES:
Gluten free – Dairy free – Refined sugar free – Vegan
Makes 12 truffles
Prep time 30 mins
20 pitted dates
1 cup of cashew nuts
4 tablespoons of cacao powder
2 teaspoons of orange blossom water
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
Soak the dates in boiling water for 20 minutes then drain
Add all the ingredients, reserving 2 tablespoons of cacao powder for dusting, into a blender or food processor and blend well until a smooth thick texture is formed with small cashew pieces visible
Use your hands to create truffle sized balls from the mixture, approximately 3.5cm in diameter
Sprinkle the reserved cacao powder onto a flat surface then roll your truffles in the powder until they are fully coated
Place the truffles on a plate in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours before you tuck in