Always on the lookout to make recipes healthier as well as great tasting, awhile back I was looking for healthy desserts. You know something I could feel good about eating, but would also make my eyes roll all the way back in my head with sheer delight.
Yeah, that kind.
It would have to involve chocolate because that’s where I live when it comes to dessert. I struck gold with these Date-Fudge Truffles with Sea Salt and could hardly wait to share them with you.
In my search, I landed on two promising chocolate desserts—German-Chocolate Fudge Bites and Sweet Potato Brownies—and immediately set out to try them. Starting with the Sweet Potato Brownies, I noticed avocado in the ingredient list, a healthy fat used all over the blogging world in chocolate desserts for its creamy texture. I decided it was time to see what the avocado-in-chocolate-dessert thing was all about and from the photo on the recipe the brownies looked to be the fudge-gooey texture I was hoping to enjoy.
Unfortunately, it was a no-go for me. I love avocado and enjoy it often, but it will never land in chocolate dessert for me again. For all those who claim “you can’t even taste the avocado” or “you’d never guess there was avocado in there,” I would say, “Oh yes I can, and I don’t care for it, thanks.”
As much as I avoid eating food that isn’t healthy, I don’t eat something just because it is healthy—it must taste good and be worthy of savoring.
The German-Chocolate Fudge Bites recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie was a whole different story. Although the ingredient list had pecans and coconut like German chocolate frosting, I did not find the final product all that similar, but still very good. With a few adjustments to kick-up the decadence factor just a little, this recipe for chocolate covered fudge in bite-size convenience has found a permanent place in my recipe file (and my refrigerator).
The only refined sugar in these treats is the small amount in the chocolate chips you might use. Dates provide all the sweetness you’ll need, as well as a host of other goodies like fiber, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, Vitamin B6, and iron. While fruit sweeteners are a better choice than refined sugar, it is still important to enjoy these in moderation.
I love that they are a small, yet satisfying treat.
One drawback is that this recipe does require equipment; you will need a food processor to accomplish a smooth texture. Otherwise, you’ll need less than 30 minutes of hands-on time with additional time to allow mixture to ‘set’ while in the freezer and fridge to enjoy chocolate-y fudge bliss.
Unlike the Double Chocolate Truffles we made at Christmas, which were melt-away creamy in the center, Date-Chocolate Truffles are more dense with a deep chocolate-fudge flavor, much like a brownie, and covered in solid chocolate. Pecans and coconut help to provide structure with only a slight coconut nuance to the pronounced chocolate flavor. The type of cocoa and melting chocolate you choose will determine whether they lean more toward milk or dark chocolate. A sprinkling of coarse sea salt is the perfect finish to balance the richness, though you will enjoy them salted or not.
Adapted from German-Chocolate Fudge Bites by Chocolate Covered Katie
- ¾ cup dates -- pitted (8-10 dates, packed)
- ½ cup pecans -- or walnuts
- ⅓ cup shredded coconut meat
- ¼ cup chocolate chips -- semi-sweet or bittersweet
- 2 rounded tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (no need to be exact here)
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt -- fine grind
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate -- melted for dipping
- coarse sea salt -- for finishing
- Place dates, pecans, coconut, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and sea salt in a food processor and pulse to incorporate the ingredients. If the cocoa powder clings to the sides of the processor bowl, after 8 or 9 pulses, stop processing and scrape down sides. Sprinkle the vanilla extract over the mixture and process on high for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture forms a consistent paste. There is no worry of over mixing, so allowing the processor to continue to run a little longer is okay.
- Using a melon baller or a tablespoon, scoop small amounts of the truffle mix into the palm of your hand and roll or press into 1" size balls and place on a wax paper lined rimmed pan with a space between each. Depending on the size, this recipe should yield 18-22 bite-sized truffles.
- Once all the mix is formed, place the pan of truffles in the freezer and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. The truffles need to be firm enough to not fall apart when dipped in chocolate.
- When ready to cover the truffles in chocolate, melt 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler. Remove truffles from the freezer and one-by-one, roll in the melted chocolate with a spoon until covered. Try to cover as thinly as possible, then transfer coated truffle back to the wax paper lined pan about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle a small amount of coarse sea salt on top of each one before the chocolate hardens.
- Repeat until all the truffles are covered in chocolate and salted.
- Place pan in the refrigerator to allow chocolate to set, 30 minutes to an hour. Transfer truffles to a zip top bag or container and store in the refrigerator.
As we prepare for the graduation of our youngest daughter in just a couple of weeks, I am taking a short break. Hearth & Soul Hop will continue, but for this brief time my full attention will be with our daughter, celebrating and savoring every moment. In the planning stages of her graduation party, I mentioned to her we had a limited number of formal announcements and that she would need to create a Facebook event to invite school friends. The next time I was on Facebook and saw the notification for the event the conversation went something like this:
Me: Did you just invite 487 people to the party?
Kristen: No, more like 517.
Me: Kristen, we can’t fit that many people in our house … (sounding alarmed, I might add)
Kristen: Don’t worry, Mom, it’s Facebook, less than half will show up anyway.
Me: Uh, that’s still over 200 people … (while trying to figure out in my head how many pulled pork sandwiches I’ll be prepping)
Kristen: It will be fine, Mom.
No worries, right?!
I’ll have to let you know. 😉