Hazelnut truffles -- I'll always have a soft spot for them. There's just something so classic and appealing about the cocoa and hazelnut combo. And these delicious and delicate vegan chocolate hazelnut bites -- my latest kitchen creation -- are no exception. They're incredibly more-ish and there's a special little secret to them that makes them taste heavenly.
The trick to the lovely flavor of these chocolates is the use of creamy hazelnut butter instead of whole hazelnuts. I do love using whole hazelnuts in recipes from time to time (in fact, here's a recipe for some chocolate orange hazelnut truffles I absolutely adore), but sometimes they can be a bit too gritty and their flavor can be a bit overpowering, unless balanced well within a recipe.
When I created this recipe I was aiming for something flavorful and delicate, and the combination of dry roasted cashews + a bit of delicious hazelnut butter did the trick. I love how they came out. These chocolates are super delicate, and almost melt-in-your-mouth when you bite in.
Hazelnut butter is hands down my favorite nut butter, and I find it really amazing how much hazelnut flavor just a tiny bit of hazelnut butter can bring to a recipe.
One quick note on the butter for the recipe: make sure you get a creamy variety and mix it up thoroughly when you open the jar. You want it to be almost runny. If it's too thick or on the old / bottom-of-the-jar side, these chocolates will loose their hazelnutty magic.
Another quick note on the recipe: I prefer these with the dry roasted cashews in the filling in terms of flavor and texture, but if you're unable to have cashews, the next best thing would be to use approx. ½ a cup of almond flour instead.
And last, but not least: if you're a hazelnutty (and chocolatey) kind of a person, here are a few more recipes from the blog you might enjoy besides these hazelnut chocolate bites:
I hope you enjoy these little chocolates and share them with the special people in your life!
Delicious, melt-in-your-mouth dairy-free hazelnut chocolates. Vegan, gluten-free, and grain-free.
- ¾ cup dry roasted unsalted cashews
- 2 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp creamy smooth hazelnut butter*
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
1. Process all filling ingredients in a food processor into a fine sticky crumble. Test a small amount of the mixture by pinching a touch of it with your fingers -- if it sticks together nicely, you're good to go. If it's too dry / crumbly to stick together, adjust the recipe by adding a tablespoon of water and process again to combine.
2. Grab approximately a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball with your hands. Set aside. Repeat the process with the remaining filling mixture. When done rolling the balls, place them in the freezer for 10 mins (or refrigerate for 30 mins).**** Likewise, place a small metal tray lined with parchment paper in the freezer while the filling is chilling.
3. Prepare the coating by melting your chocolate. Once ready, remove the parchment lined metal tray from the freezer and have it nearby. Place one of the chilled filling balls on a fork and briefly dunk in the melted chocolate mixture to coat. Glide the fork tines along the rim of the bowl / container the chocolate is in to wipe off excess chocolate coating, and carefully set the chocolate ball on the tray. Repeat the process with the remaining balls. Sprinkle with rose petals (note: you need to get the petals on the chocolate before it fully dries, so have to work fast with the coating and sprinkling!). Then place the tray in the fridge and chill for 10 mins. Enjoy! Keep the chocolates refrigerated until ready to eat.
*The hazelnut butter should be creamy. If it's old / on the thick side, it might affect the flavor and texture.
**You can melt the chocolate chips using a double boiler method. Alternatively, if you prefer to make a chocolate coating from scratch, use this magic shell recipe (keep in mind that the magic shell melts more easily as compared to the regular chocolate coating). Also note that this amount is more than what you'll need for the recipe (you need to have enough chocolate so that the balls can be coated properly, but that means some will be left over), so freeze the remaining melted chocolate in some silicone cups and store for future use.
***Adding the cacao butter helps to thin the melted chocolate a little so that coating is easier. You can melt the cocoa butter along with the chocolate chips in the double boiler. It also deepens the chocolate flavor a little. Alternatively can use coconut oil instead.
****Chilling the balls helps the chocolate coating to set faster and neater.