Cherry Truffles – A Chocolate Dream

Chocolate truffles are no longer just for Christmas! Here is it, the end of July and I’ve found a few extra hours to craft some hand rolled cherry truffles. If you haven’t ever given this a try – and you love making decadent deserts – this project is for you.

The filling has the consistency of gooey fudge and the outside has just a little crunch to it. The secret is the amaretto (or almond extract) that you add to the filling. It’s also worthwhile to serve these truffles are room temperature, but be prepared to get chocolate on your fingers. These are not M&Ms!

Don’t those look great! I hope they last more than just a couple days.

Recipe: for the filling

  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup Almond butter (paste)
  • 1/8th tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 6 large Medjool dates
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • 1 oz Amaretto (or 1 tsp almond extract)

This one takes a little bit of preparation – you need to reconstitute the cherries and dates. With the cherries place just a little less than 1 cup on a jar and barely cover with water. Let it stand a few hours. Once rehydrated, remove from water and reserve. With the dates, if you’re using amaretto, pit them and cover with the ounce of amaretto. If you’re using the almond extract, add a little water and let them rehydrate a bit.

We’re going to use a mixer with the S-blade to create this filling. To start with, add the cherries (without the water) and dates (with the water) and blend. You want to really break these down before going further.

Once the mixture looks like really good jam, you want to add the other ingredients. Make an effort to mix the powder in before turning on the machine or you’ll get cacao everywhere. Once done, it will look like this:

At this point, you’ll want to cool it before rolling it into balls. I placed it in the fridge overnight.

While it’s still cold, you want to shape small spoonfuls into little round balls. I rub coconut butter on my hands and keep a little around so that the filling doesn’t stick so bad. Notice that in the following picture there are some that turn out smooth and others that are a little spiky. Well, the filling tends to pick up the coconut butter (oil) so you’ll get a feel for how often to replenish the coating on your hands.

Recipe: For the cacao coating

  • ½ lb. Cacao butter
  • ¾ cup cacao powder
  • 4 Tbsps Agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder

Place the cacao butter in the dehydrator until it melts (or shave it and float a bowl of it in a hot water bath). After it’s melted, add the cacao and vanilla and stir toughly. Lastly, add the agave (if you like it really sweet (which I don’t) you’ll want to add a little more agave.

I melt the cacao butter in a 2 cup measuring cup so it’s a little steeper on the sides (more depth) so that when I dip the filling balls I can stretch the cacao butter a little further.

Using cold filling balls, place one on a fork and dip it in the warm cacao and remove. The cacao butter (coating) should harden fairly quickly around the cold filling. This should only take a few seconds. To get the chocolate coating fairly thick, you’ll want to dip it about three times.

In the end you get something like this…

… which you get to enjoy for lunches for a week or so!  This recipe makes about 50 once inch (or smaller) truffles.

I hope you love these as much as I do.

Cherry Cheesecake Topping – wow!

Sometimes you just stumble across something that makes you say wow! This is it – A sweet cherry sauce with a burst of almond. And it’s so amazingly simple. Rainer Cherries, Agave syrup and Amaretto. Check this out.

Doesn’t that look good?

It was.

So, I’ve probably made The Raw Seed fermented nut cheesecake a half dozen times now and it seems to get better each time. I’ve made some modifications to Meredith’s recipe and so I’ve updated my original article with my new advice. I really highly recommend this tasty cake. Don’t try to do anything fancy with it the first couple times and you can’t fail.

But this last time I wanted to give it a little … Za-za-za-zing. I looked around the refrigerator and noticed that I had peaches, strawberries, blueberries and Rainer cherries. I’m always looking for another way to enjoy cherries, so this idea came to me. It’s this simple.


  • 1 cup fresh Rainer cherries
  • 1 oz Agave syrup
  • 1 oz Amaretto

De-steam and pit the cherries. Place them in a small blender. Using your favorite shot glass, measure out about 1 shot amaretto and an equal amount agave syrup. Blend until smooth (like the picture above). You’ll have little bits of cherry skin, but overall it will have a watery consistency.  Pour it over a small slice of cheesecake and you’ve got something to blog about!

Who would have thought that this would taste so amazing together?

Cherry Pineapple Swiss chard

Here’s a slight twist on my favorite cherry smoothie. This one is a bit creamier from the coconut milk that tends to mellow it out. It’s really easy if you’ve already prepared the pitted cherries!

  • 1 to 1 ½ cups coconut milk with vanilla flavoring
  • About 1 inch pineapple (in this case 2 but only half the round)
  • A few small dates (in this case about 6 to counter the pineapple)
  • About 2 cups cherries (the more the better!)
  • One bowl fresh garden Swiss chard

If you’ve got a great high powered blender, stack it all up like this:

And then give it a whirl for about 60 seconds. That is, after you’ve used the tamper to press the greens down into the blades and the entire mixture is turning on its own. Eventually, you’ll have a bit more than a quart to enjoy!

If you find a cherry smoothie combination that really stands out, I’d like to hear about it. I’ve always got a few extra little cherries sitting around just waiting to be enjoyed in a great new taste senstation!

Have a great day!

Cherry Swiss chard Smoothie with Cacao

It’s been a while since I posted a smoothie recipe, so it looks like today is a great day to share with the world a cherry concoction with one of my favorite base ingredients – Honeydew melon! If there’s one thing that I’ve learned that makes a smoothie really stand out, it’s the liquid base that you use. To me, water just doesn’t cut it.

I know all the purists state that the green smoothie that you make should  be as simple as possible. But if it doesn’t taste fantastic, where are you going to find the motivation to keep making them? I mean, really think about it. If you’re going out of your way to make something that’s generally not cheap, wouldn’t you really want to make it enjoyable?

Well, this one is!

  • About 1 ½ cups fresh pitted cherries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 ½ cups fresh honeydew melon juice
  • 4 little dates
  • About a heaping spoon full raw cacao
  • Small amount Vanilla powder (just part of a teaspoon)
  • One bowl garden fresh Swiss chard

For this year, this recipe is being posted after cherry season has come and gone, but if you were lucky enough to store some away, you’ll still be able to make it while the Honeydew melon are plentiful. Swiss chard can still be found in stores (as it can year round) so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Take note that this quantity will fill the blender!

This one always turns out brown from the mixture of green and red. And, if you look close, you’ll be able to see that I didn’t run this one as long as I normally do – there are little pieces of cherry still visible. Yum. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Cherry Chocolate Swiss chard Smoothie

Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve had the opportunity to share on the blog here. The road has taken many-a-turns, but I’ve barely been able to sit down and relax for a couple weeks now. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to shrug off the stress. Could it be that the green smoothies are helping? Maybe it’s the fresh garden greens. But in any case, as long as I’m still feeling good, it doesn’t matter what’s the source of the goodness really is. Sometimes I like to think that it’s the time spent weeding and watering the garden. Other times, it’s just breathing the fresh air on the back deck while listening to the birds singing in the trees.

Sometimes, you can’t help but wonder if it’s the anandamide in the cacao that I’ve added to this smoothie!

Melon juice makes this one!

So here we go.

  • Almost 2 cups Honeydew melon juice
  • About 2 cups pitted cherries
  • One banana
  • Four little dates
  • A spoon full cacao
  • About ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder
  • Bunch of garden fresh Swiss chard

Add everything into the blender starting with the wettest stuff first.

Looks like half fruit

Keep the speed fairly low until you get the mixture to start turning. After that, flip it on hit and count to about 60.

The creamy result

The end result is amazingly creamy with a full cherry BANG! It’s like a cherry tootsie pop. The Honey drew draws out the favor of the fresh cherries to really make them stand out.

This recipe is a total keeper for me. It’s too bad that I don’t have a larger store of cherries, for I’d be making this one way more often. Yet, then again, if I simply made this one over and over again, I’d miss out on all the other great fruit that comes out midsummer!

Planted some more lettuce, spinach and beets with the intention of making those my late fall smoothie greens. Hope they come up in this heat.