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Feed your soul and your body with these vegan, low-sugar and very fudgy tamarind and cacao truffles. With spices such as cardamom, ginger and sweet-hot guajillo pepper, your tongue will soon be dancing.

Eating a plant-based, whole food diet doesn’t mean you need to give up sweet treats. Feed your soul and your body with these vegan, low-sugar and very fudgy tamarind and cacao truffles. With spices such as cardamom, ginger and sweet-hot guajillo pepper, your tongue will soon be dancing.

Feed your soul and your body with these vegan, low-sugar and very fudgy tamarind and cacao truffles. With spices such as cardamom, ginger and sweet-hot guajillo pepper, your tongue will soon be dancing.I was at one of my favourite shops yesterday on a fruitless foray to load up on some good ol’ American grits. Yeah, they aren’t whole food, but whatever. Sometimes you just need a simple taste of home. And since my true home is the Deep South, grits are in my DNA.

They are also my go-to when I want a little white-carb comfort. Usually I tuck a bag in my luggage for my trip back to the UK, but I didn’t this time. For some reason I had about 4 new pairs of yoga pants, despite not doing yoga, but not my favourite way to enjoy proper butter. Unfortunately, the UK’s best Mexican deli, Lupe Pintos (handily located in Edinburgh, and now Glasgow), doesn’t stock them. No one does as they are sooo heavy and therefore sooo expensive. If you are used to paying about $3 a bag, £10 ($15) is a bit steep.

 Feed your soul and your body with these vegan, low-sugar and very fudgy tamarind and cacao truffles. With spices such as cardamom, ginger and sweet-hot guajillo pepper, your tongue will soon be dancing.Anyway…to assuage my disappointment I sampled some of the deli’s proper Mexican hot sauces and ended up buying some, as well as a few jars of Cumbria-made Mr Vikkis chutneys (tamarind and chipotle chutney is divine) and some various flimsy packets of Mexican chile pepper powders.

As soon as I got home I opened the tamarind chutney and dipped a teaspoon in the deep brown goo. Bliss: sweet, hot, sharp, spicy. Perfectly balanced. Then I looked at my spices and thought, “would it be so crazy to make tamarind and chilli truffles?”Feed your soul and your body with these vegan, low-sugar and very fudgy tamarind and cacao truffles. With spices such as cardamom, ginger and sweet-hot guajillo pepper, your tongue will soon be dancing.Then, basically I set about rummaging in my haphazard bulk buys food stash for raw cashews and deglet nour dates, then corralled a selection of warm spices on my countertop: ground ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, guajillo chile powder (you could use cayenne or chipotle) and vanilla seeds. After soaking the nuts and dates I gradually began sprinkling in the spices and spooning in the tamarind paste to the bowl of my food processor until I achieved the right taste and texture balance. Scraping it all down and pulsing some more to get a stiff, barely sticky dough. I then wondered if I added an egg and some baking soda could I make it into a cake. But that did seem crazy.

Feed your soul and your body with these vegan, low-sugar and very fudgy tamarind and cacao truffles. With spices such as cardamom, ginger and sweet-hot guajillo pepper, your tongue will soon be dancing.Abandoning that whim I let the mix settle in to perfect scooping texture before pinching small pieces and rolling them up. I then made up a cacao-led spice coating mix and rolled them in this, too. You could go a bit fancy and dip the buck-naked spheres (balls sounds too rude) into melted chocolate, cooling and then rolling in the spice mix or pressing them into cacao nibs.

I’m the opposite of fancy. Whatever that is.

These truffles are truly a whole food treat. Just the tiniest hint of tamarind and then one, two, three, the spices roll across your tongue in succession until you feel the gentle heat of the sweet guajillo. Instead of paying a king’s ransom on some set menu in a stuffy restaurant this Valentine’s Day, why not get some fruity beers or some cheap rosé and nibble these in front of Netflix? Preceded by a pizza, natch.

Yeah, I’m a cheap date.

And certainly too cheap to pay $15 for a bag of grits. 😉

PS Go over to my latest Instagram post for a heavenly 3-ingredient waffle. I’m using the word waffle loosely. Go see what I mean. 🙂

 Feed your soul and your body with these vegan, low-sugar and very fudgy tamarind and cacao truffles. With spices such as cardamom, ginger and sweet-hot guajillo pepper, your tongue will soon be dancing.

Tamarind and Cacao-Spice Truffles

  • Servings: 18 pieces
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

For those who find “normal” chocolate truffles a bit too sweet. Wholefood, vegan and a bit spicy. And if you don’t have tamarind paste, don’t worry. These truffles will still taste great.xx

100g raw cashews

100g pitted dates – i like deglet nour variety

20g cacao butter or culinary (flavourless) coconut oil, melted or softened

3 tbsp cacao or good cocoa powder

1/4 tsp guajillo chile powder (I used Fox’s Spices in this instance) or cayenne

1 rounded tbsp tamarind paste (perhaps less if it is an imported – more tangy – brand)

1/4 tsp each ground cinnamon, ginger and cardamom – more to taste once you’ve made up the dough

1/2 tsp vanilla powder (Ndali brand is in many supermarkets) or vanilla extract

50g dark chocolate, at least 70 per cent, chopped

Cacao-Spice Dust

2 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder

1/4 tsp each of guajillo chile, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom (more to taste of any or all)

Method

1. Soak the cashews and dates in just boiled water for half an hour, then drain well and add to the bowl of a food processor.

2. Sift together the spices and cacao and add to the processor bowl, along with a pinch of salt.

3. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or bain marie then pour into the mix, with the tamarind paste.

4. Pulse the ingredients for a few seconds then fully, until the mix is like a dough. Taste and adjust to your liking – maybe more dates or cardamom. The flavour will intensify as it settles and cools. Let it sit in a cool room for half an hour, or in the refrigerator if your home is warm, or it’s summer (lucky you!).

5. Sift the spice dust into a wide shallow bowl or onto a tray. Pinch pieces of the “dough” off (a small, whole walnut size) and roll into a balls, gently rolling in the cacao-spice dust to finish them. Pop in a lidded container and refrigerate. These will keep for about a week.

 Feed your soul and your body with these vegan, low-sugar and very fudgy tamarind and cacao truffles. With spices such as cardamom, ginger and sweet-hot guajillo pepper, your tongue will soon be dancing.

 

17 thoughts on “Tamarind and Cacao Spice Truffles {a vegan, whole food recipe}

  1. oh my goodness…these sound and look so yummy…pretty sure Im going to make them xx thank you

  2. Mariana says:

    Wow what a journey! From the deep south of America to Cumbria. I’m glad the risk of experimenting payed off, the truffles look great.

  3. The truffles look wonderful Kellie. I love how you spiced them up with the Tamarind paste (:

    1. Thanks so much. The tamarind seems to balance everything and bring an interesting underlying tartness.b

  4. Katie @ Whole Nourishment says:

    Whaaat?! Kellie, you had me at tamarind. Would have never thought to put tamarind in truffles, but it makes sense the tart contrast with overly sweet dates. I absolutely love this idea. But tell me more about the imported brands being more tart?

    1. Hi Katie! I had in the back of my mind a spiced truffle from one of our best chocolatiers (not sure I even got close with the spices!) and decided tamarind and chile might be fun as well. I had also tried a tiny fruit bar kind of thing from Mexico called Pulparindo, it something like that. It was just tamarind chile sugar and salt. It blew my mind. As for the differences in tamarind pastes, I’ve tried numerous ones and the ones directly imported are always more tangy. Supermarket labelled ones are tamer in my experience 😊😊

      1. Katie @ Whole Nourishment says:

        Oh yes, being from Austin, I know the Mexican tamarind treat you’re talking about. And thanks for explaining more about tamarind. I always buy the the pure tamarind sold in a jar from the Asian markets. I think it might be diluted with a bit of water, but otherwise it’s super tart, which I love. 😉

  5. Looks amazing! Sweet and salty snacks are my fave.

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  6. Mr A says:

    Valentines night sorted!!! Brilliant flavour combinations.

    1. Trial run tomorrow night 😉😉

  7. Megala says:

    Awesome ! Intrigued by your choice of ingredients !!

  8. Ohhh looks so yummy!!

  9. This looks so good. Thank you so much for sharing Kellie ❤️

  10. savitri says:

    Yes, Friendship doesn’t need perfection

  11. These sound lovely, Kellie! And incredibly, I have all of the ingredients on hand to make these (if I sub chipotle powder, that is). Pinned, shared, and will be enjoyed soon, thank you very much!

  12. So delicious looking. A nice treat!

  13. superfitbabe says:

    Looking around your fridge amounted to such a beautiful and decadent recipe that is also healthy! These truffles would be so perfect for Valentine’s Day!

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