Dark Chocolate Vegan Truffles

When I was a little girl in France, making truffles for Christmas was a real tradition. Every year we would get our hands covered in chocolate and make a mess in the kitchen to prepare these delicious "petits fours". We would often make them only a few days before Christmas so we could give them as a present in a little box or a sachet. Along with some "beautiful " salt dough handmade and hand painted christmas decorations, we thought they were a wonderful gift! 
The traditional recipe is made with cream. This year I wanted to try different ways to make a dairy free version...

I first tried a wonderful recipe that uses raw cacao paste , and made rich super dark truffles. You can find this recipe here
I loved that recipe but I also wanted to make an easier version, and also a recipe that would be closer to the recipe I used as a child. 
Traditionnaly, truffles are actually made of a thick "Ganache" that is refrigerated, shaped into small balls and rolled into cacao powder. A "Ganache" is typically made from dark chocolate, double cream, and sometimes a little bit of butter. 
To make these truffles, I have replaced the cream with Coconut milk, in a smaller quantity. And there you are, a Vegan version of truffles!

So here is your recipe:

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Makes 24 

200g Dark Chocolate ( 70% cacao)
100g Full fat Coconut milk
1 tsp Vanilla essence (optional)
A Pinch of sea salt
Dark cacao powder to roll the truffles

Finely chop / or grate the chocolate and place it into a mixing bowl.
Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan until it comes to the boil.
Slowly pour the hot milk onto the chocolate. Do not mix yet, simply let the chocolate melt. 
After a minute or two, start mixing the chocolate and the milk, starting from the centre and slowly going towards the edges. The mixture should be silky smooth. 
At this point you can add the vanilla and salt, and mix again but resist the temptation to over mix or it will change the consistency of the truffles, they may loose there smoothness! 
Let the mixture cool down, cover with a plate or cling film and let it set in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight.

Prepare a plate with some cacao powder to roll the truffles in.
When the mixture has hardened, scoop a little bit with a teaspoon, roll into a small ball with your hands, and roll it in the cacao powder.

You can keep the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.

They make a great present or a lovely after dinner treat!

Bon Appetit!

Christmas Yoga Workshop

A Pre-holiday Treat Yoga Workshop
Ground- Energise - Relax

Sunday 21st December 2014- 2- 4pm
@ The Life Centre Notting Hill

Keep your body, mind and heart grounded, energised and relaxed to go through the holiday/ festive season with peace, grace and dynamism.
A complete practice to feel amazing before the holiday!
Sybille will lead you through a well rounded slow vinyasa flow to root, open and energise all areas of the body, including creative and playful sequences, twists, backbends and balances. Slowing down with a deeply relaxing and restorative sequence to completely reset the nervous system, you will finish exploring pranayama and meditation techniques to further balance your energies and learn some tips to take your practice off the mat and into your holiday.
You will leave ready to enter the festive season with contentment, calm and enthusiasm!
There may well be a few little homemade treats to share before we all go back to our activities
I hope to see you there!

Butternut Squash Curry

Butternut Squash- Watercolour on paper

Warm and comforting foods are on the menu everyday at home. This means soups and stews are simmering nearly everyday on the stove! I can't get enough. My body is craving root vegetables and easy to digest foods. My raw salads will have to wait till spring… 
Every Friday Riverford's veggie box brings me delicious veggies to cook with, and to improvise with!
Needless to say that at the moment squashes, parsnips and carrots are kings and queens.
And this is perfect since mother earth has planned to give us exactly what we need each season…

This month's recipe is a wonderful warming curry, delicious served with brown rice and yogurt.

Butternut squash is an amazing fruit that we use as a vegetable. I love it's nutty flavour (and I must say that the organic ones definitely have a ton more flavour…). You can roast it, make it into soups, dips, or even grate it like carrots. It contains Vitamin B6, which helps keep the nervous system functioning optimally. It is also said to help reduce inflammation in the body… 

It is also simply delicious and I get very excited when the squash season starts! 

I hope you enjoy this recipe, do let me know and if there is anything you'd like to see on this blog please do make your requests! 

Butternut Squash Curry

Serves 4

1 onion, diced
1cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1tsp dried chilli flakes
2tsp coriander seeds
2tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp Garam masala
1 red pepper, cut in chunks
1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into roughly 2cm chunks
100g red lentils
750ml vegetable stock (I use Marigold powder diluted in hot water)
400g tinned tomatoes
1 big handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Sea salt and Black pepper

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onions, ginger and garlic, a pinch of salt and sauté until the onions have softened, stirring frequently.
Add the chilli flakes, the coriander, cumin and gram masala. Stir for a minute or two, then add the lentils,  red pepper, squash and stir until well coated.
Now add the stock and the tomatoes.
Simmer, part covered for about 30min, stirring form time to time.
When the squash is soft and the lentils are cooked, add some fresh coriander and mix well.
Delicious with some brown rice and some yogurt.
You can also serve it the next day, the flavours will have developed even more…
Bon appétit!