Have you ever heard the saying “Art inspires art”? Well in my case it’s “Dessert inspires dessert” :)
Sometime back I made these glazed “donut holes” and instantly wanted to make more batches, but with colors. I made some pink with beetroot powder, yellow with turmeric, purple with maqui powder, and then spirulina happened and oh my goodness, I ended up with lovely truffles that really reminded me of jade (a gemstone I absolutely ?).
For some reason, although I normally associate gold and red with Chinese New Year colors, these truffles instantly made me think of China since jade is so beloved there, and so I knew they’d be the perfect treat for the occasion ?
So while we’re talking about colors, one quick little tip on these: more colored powder doesn’t mean a prettier color. At all.
I know there’s this expectation that if you add more spirulina it will be “greener”, but the truth is it turns boggy. You’d think that if you add more turmeric the recipe will be “yellower”, but the opposite happens — it starts turning brown… and not a nice shade of brown either!
You get the idea. Err on the side of “less is more” and only add a tiny pinch more of spice or colorant at a time if needed.
The nice thing about this recipe is that the inside is very flexible… you can use a lot of different fillings. It’s the outside that makes it perfect for something Chinese New Year-sy. But as mentioned above, the color can be modified with other berry powders and spices for a variety of occasions.
And they make really delicious little truffles. Chocolate on the inside (I used these chocolate coconut balls). Pretty and yummy glaze on the outside. And no powdered sugar ?
So in terms of filling options, you can either go for a recipe of your choice, or something like these chocolate balls (which is what I used), or these hemp truffles, or these coconut snowballs… I like the chocolate spirulina contrast though. Even though you can’t taste the spirulina in this, I feel like chocolate is a good accompaniment.
In Chinese culture, jade (the stone) is symbolic of 5 virtues: compassion, wisdom, courage, modesty, and justice, and it is that quality that makes it sacred. I kind of love that representation. A nice benchmark for a new year ?
- Make one batch of these chocolate balls (or see notes above recipe for alternative suggestions)
- 4 tbsp coconut oil, soft but not melted (*see notes)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp raw ground vanilla bean (or extract)
- ⅛ tsp spirulina powder (or another coloring powder, see notes above for options)
- Sprinkle with edible dried rose petals. I also used dark chocolate coated quinoa puffs I had on hand, but cacao nibs can be used instead.
- Prepare the truffles as per recipe in the link above. Set them up on a tray lined with parchment paper and freeze for 30 mins - 1 hour (ideally use a metal tray / small metal baking sheet as it will chill more thoroughly and make the next steps more efficient). The balls should be cold to the touch in order for the glaze to set properly.
- When ready to glaze, prepare the glaze by mixing the glaze ingredients in a small bowl with a fork until combined (see notes below regarding the right coconut oil consistency first).
- For glazing, remove the tray from the freezer. Place a ball on the surface of a fork and dunk into the glaze, roll around to coat. Lift the ball out, wiping the bottom of the fork tines on the edge of the bowl to remove excess glaze from the ball (see notes), and set the glazed ball back on the chilled parchment-lined tray. Repeat with the remaining balls. Note, if you've got a large batch to work through, you may want to separate the balls onto several metal trays and keep them frozen, with the exception of the batch you are working with to ensure the glaze sets easily (the glaze sets when it comes into contact with cold). Optional: sprinkle with petals or cacao nibs, etc. at this stage to decorate.
- Once you're finished glazing all the balls, return the trays to the freezer for 20 mins to fully set. Enjoy! Keep leftovers refrigerated or frozen until serving.
** If you need more tips on how to wipe off excess glaze from your balls most efficiently, without spoiling the look of the balls, there's a video demo available in the Unconventional Treats book & video pack.
*** Note: the basic premise in this recipe is that the glaze sets when it comes into contact with something cold (because coconut oil gets liquid when hot and solid when chilled). This is the reason for freezing the balls first. Likewise, having a chilled tray to set the glazed balls on helps the glaze not to spread out onto the tray, but instead set upon contact with the cold tray. Having the tray lined with parchment paper first will ensure an easy separation from the tray.
This recipe contains an affiliate link to the rose petals I used to decorate the truffles.