Vegan Cranberry Surprise Dark Chocolate Truffles

Vegan Cranberry Surprise Dark Chocolate Truffles

It's a winter wonderland over here. Snowing like crazy and totally freezing. Ok, not really, I totally lied. I'm in Texas and there is no snow and it's barely even cold. However, that didn't stop me from creating the illusion of a cold, wintery holiday photoshoot. It may not be snowing or freezing outside, but it felt like it with this recipe and photoshoot.

I shared the above photo on my Instagram a couple weeks ago telling you all that an amazing recipe was coming using them. Most people likely thought of cake or muffins or cranberry sauce or something. As you can see though, I had something different in mind.

Truffles are rich, so I thought the contrast of a fresh, tart cranberry stuffed inside the luscious dark chocolate would be amazinggggggg. Then by adding a touch of espresso, it further drives home that rich, dark chocolate flavor. Oh my word.

May I be bold? These are seriously the best truffles I've ever had in my life. You might just agree too, that is if you love the rich, deep, luscious flavor of dark chocolate. I much, much prefer dark chocolate over the overly sweet milky type of chocolate. I make truffles every year for Christmas and this year I wanted to create mine a bit different. I went with dark chocolate, instead of semi-sweet and decided to make them super festive with a little surprise inside. A gorgeous, vibrant red cranberry will surprise your guests and their tastebuds.

Cranberries are very tart and it really is the most amazing contrast and freshness against the rich, dark chocolate. Kind of amazing.

What makes them so creamy? I'm glad you asked.

A combo of lite coconut milk and cashew butter makes them so creamy and the perfect truffle texture. Last year when I made truffles for a party, I used almond butter in combo with the chocolate. They were delicious and a hit at the party, but the almond butter tended to make them not quite as smooth as a truly indulgent truffle. So, this time I decided to add cashew butter and coconut milk and oh boy. I seriously could not get over how amazing the flavor and creamy texture was. My non-chocolate-fan-husband even thought they were outstanding. He doesn't even like dark chocolate y'all, yet he gave nothing but praise.

Look at that little beautiful cranberry all nestled in that luscious chocolate. I just die.

The holidays are always about pumpkin, ginger and lots of spices....but let's not forget about these gorgeous, red jewels.

I'll be on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what you think of these Vegan Cranberry Surprise Dark Chocolate Truffles! Please let me know below and after you make them, leave feedback in the comments below and star rate the recipe! You can also tag me on Instagram @thevegan8 and donā€™t forget to use my hashtag #thevegan8, or otherwise I may miss it!
 
 
 

Serves 2 truffles

Cranberry Surprise Dark Chocolate Truffles

Get ready to taste the most amazing, smooth dark chocolate truffles you've ever had. These have a rich, not overly sweet, dark chocolate taste that is accented by fresh, tart cranberries. These will surely impress not only you, but also your guests.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 bars of 3.16 oz 70-71% dark chocolate bar (135 g, make sure to use a good quality chocolate that you love the flavor, since this will affect the final flavor)
  • 1/4 cup lite coconut milk, room temp or slightly warm (can shaken well before measuring)
  • 1/16th fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, room temp
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons raw cashew butter, room temp
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground espresso (I only use Illy , found at most stores or online at the link)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12-14 fresh cranberries (or you can use blueberries or cherries, or just leave out fruit)
  • Cocoa powder, powdered sugar, nuts, etc. to roll truffles in
  • Note
  • It is very important that your ingredients are at room temperature when adding to the melted chocolate or it can cause the chocolate to harden and turn lumpy. Also, make sure to weigh the chocolate or use the correct size bars for accurate results. Too much chocolate or not enough will alter the perfect smooth truffle texture.

Instructions

  1. Finely chop your chocolate bar and add to a bowl. Either melt over a double boiler or heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, then 15 seconds and stirring in between until almost all melted, being careful not to burn. Stir until completely smooth. Add to a food processor.
  2. If your cashew butter is stored in the fridge, then you will need to warm it up to a smooth consistency before measuring. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the cranberries. Process until completely smooth, scraping the sides as needed.
  3. Pour into a bowl and make sure to scrape out all of that chocolatey goodness from the processor. Place in the fridge for at least 2-4 hours or more until it is completely firm and solid. Or even better, make the chocolate the day before you want to make the truffles, so they have all night to set.
  4. After it is completely chilled and set, using a melon scooper, form balls in your hands and press an indention with your finger into the center. Add a cranberry and form the chocolate around it, pressing it together. It's best to choose the smallest of the cranberries. If you don't like cranberries or just want all dark chocolate, then they are fabulous that way too! Then roll into your preferred coatings. I did some in cocoa powder (my favorite because it's extra chocolatey!), some in powdered sugar and some in crushed pistachios. Doing a variety makes them look very festive and beautiful on a table. Keep them stored at room temperature for the perfect, smooth texture. This makes 12-14 truffles, so if you are serving a large party, then double the recipe.

Notes

*Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, grain-free, soy-free

*Nutrition per serving (2 truffles): 152 calories, 10.4 g fat, 13.76 carbs, 2 g protein, 9.51 g sugars

 

 

 


45 Comments

  1. Hi, I’m Sophia and I’m a dark chocolate-oholic. Seriously DIE over dark chocolate, the darker the better! I think I’d even go higher on the darkness…85/90%?! And you probably won’t believe me but right now sitting in my cupboard is one of my favorite treats of the season that I get from my local health food store every year, Dark Chocolate Covered Cranberries. I kid you not. The tartness mixed with the dark smooth chocolate has been one of my faves for ever!!! I told you already, I am not a cranberry sauce fan. Too sweet and in my opinion ruins the natural taste of the cranberry. The natural tartness of cranberries is awesome to me and mixing them with something with a touch of sweet is my sweet spot for sure! Lol! Move over gingerbread, this is what I want! I will definitely put these on my list, and my number one coating for truffle balls is pistachios. I actually ate one of my dark chocolate cranberries with a pistachio the other day! So amazing together! Huge home run for my belly with these girl!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh I’m with you! I love really dark chocolate too, but I didn’t want it TOO dark for the recipe post, because I know most people need a little sweetness, lol! I think this combo is just perfect for everybody at the holidays…it’s rich, but just enough sweetness without it being bitter and not overly sweet at all. I have never had chocolate covered cranberries before, I’ve seen chocolate covered cherries though. I remember we discussed this…I hate traditional Thanksgiving cranberry sauce too…yuck. But I am planning on making a cranberry type of syrup/glaze that I think would be delicious!
      Thanks so much girl!! xo

      • There’s something as “too dark?” Lol! Dark chocolate cranberries are the BOMB! We use them as the boys little treats that the elf leaves in our advent calendar, we call them reindeer poop. HAHAHA!!! I think you should make that glaze for some dark chocolate pudding…mmmmm

        • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

          OMG Reindeer poop, LOL!!! Glaze over pudding sounds amazing girl! I have something already written….just need to photograph it for next weeks post, but I can definitely see a pudding post in my future. I have a cherry chocolate pudding post that is written and photographed a few months ago, but I have it sitting there until next year so I could focus on holiday posts.
          Oh, and yes I don’t think there is such a thing as too dark for me or you, but I wanted this to appeal to the majority of people and not have people complain about it being too bitter, lol! To me, these are just right there on the line of the perfect sweetness for a truffle that everybody should love at a party!! xo

          • Yes, the boys love their reindeer poop. Lol!! Can’t wait to see what you’re making with the glaze!! And I totally know that not everyone is as dark chocolate crazy as me. I guess we must appeal to them too

  2. My boyfriend would go nuts over these! Just might have to make these babies for a romantic Christmas dinner for the two of us!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Awesome Ashlee! Please let me know if you make them!! By the way…do you have a website or blog? When I click your name, it doesn’t go anywhere and I wanted to visit your site if you have one šŸ™‚

  3. Gorgeous colors in these photos, Brandi! I’ll take deep, dark chocolate over pumpkin any day ;-)!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      You’re so sweet Annie, thank you for the compliment on the photos! I agree….dark chocolate is like a dream!

  4. These look SO creamy and dreamy. You know I’d want to add some coffee into mine somehow, perhaps I shall and I’ll let you know how they turn out. HA.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Girl there IS! Look at the ingredients, I added espresso to them! SO good! šŸ™‚

  5. Looks great, Brandi. Fresh cranberries are weird because they have a cardboard like texture. Did you consider roasting them first to improve their texture?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      That’s interesting, they have never reminded me of a cardboard texture, haha! They taste incredible in the truffles, so there was no complaints on that here šŸ™‚
      Roasting them would make them too wet and messy to put them inside a truffle I would think? It’s worth a shot I guess though if you prefer them roasted!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Also, blueberries would work and are much softer if somebody prefers their texture, or just leave them out all together. I made some with just the chocolate and they were to die for too

  6. Don’t fall off the edge of your seat missy! Having a bruised butt is not comfortable or sexy šŸ˜‰

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Haha! I’m glad these made you fall off the edge of your seat!!

  7. Oh my goodness! First off, your pictures are GORGEOUS! I would love for you to do a post about your photography tips because you are amazingly talented. šŸ˜‰ Okay, those truffles are to DIE for! I love the cranberry in the middle and the pistachios on the outside are so beautiful! LOVE.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Melanie, you are SO SWEET! Can I tell you how much your compliments mean to me?! I spend so much time and passion doing this, that to hear your kind words and appreciation of it, means the world to me! I would love to do a post sometime, a few of my other readers have asked the same, so maybe after the new year when I can get caught up, I can do one!
      Thanks again! The truffles did in fact taste “to die for”! Like dangerously good, haha!

  8. Okay, firstly – your photos for this shoot are MAGAZINE worthy!! They are absolutely gorgeous! You even fooled me into thinking Texas is a snow-covered and chilly winter paradise right now! šŸ˜€

    And these dark chocolate truffles sound divine – the combo of cashew butter and coconut milk sounds like such a wonderful and rich combo in these treats! I can’t wait to make these over the holiday season šŸ™‚ I feel like they’d make a really pretty gift as well! I can relate to being in love with dark chocolate (especially since living in Belgium which is basically a chocolate lovers paradise!). Pinned and have a great weekend!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Omg Ceara, you are just the kindest lady ever!! Your compliments are so sweet and mean so much to me!! I really and truly appreciate them and it means a lot to hear them and boost my confidence! šŸ™‚
      Thank you so much regarding the truffles, I surely hope you love them. To me, they are the perfect truffle because of their deep dark chocolate flavor….you definitely have to love the dark flavor of chocolate, as these are NOT on the sweet side….but the RICH side, haha!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh and I need to make your almond butter chocolate chip cookies! I use almond butter like it’s my job and I make cookies with them all the time, so I need to try your version for sure!

  9. Jan

    Brandi, is the salt 1/16 TEASPOON? I am assuming it is, but want to make certain. Thanks.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yes Jan! It is just enough to bring out the chocolate flavor without it actually tasting salty šŸ™‚ Let me know when you try it! Thank you!

  10. Your photos, omg, you have outdone yourself! What perfect dark chocolate truffles for the holidays šŸ˜€

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Aww thank you so much Uru!! You are so sweet!

  11. Totally wish I had a couple of these truffles to devour right now, they look SO delicious and I am just loving the little cranberry centres!

  12. Delicious! I wished I could find some fresh cranberries to make these. Hmmm, yum!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Keren! So glad you enjoyed them and they are still delicious without the cranberries, so no worries there!! I usually make some plain and some with them! šŸ™‚

  13. Stunning photography Brandi! These look mouthwatering!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Cindy, sorry I’m just seeing this comment!!

  14. Brandi, love that you created your own winter wonderland .. in this photo shoot!! love the addition of the fresh cranberries in these dark chocolate truffles … love!! Wishing you a very happy holiday with your family!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh gosh, I’m so behind on blog comments, thank you so much for your kind words Alice!! I really appreciate it!

  15. I agree, the photography on this post is gorgeous! i will take a doze of the pisctachio coated truffles please. or make than 3 dozens!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Richa! That means a lot coming from YOU lady! xo

  16. This looks so yummy & beautiful! šŸ™‚ Merry Christmas Brandi and here’s to another healthy and successful New Year to you! XO, Violet

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Violet, you are too sweet! Happy New year to you too!

  17. Mmmm, these look so yummy and pretty! I love making vegan truffles but definitely haven’t tried a cranberry variation before. Also, your photos are so gorgeous as always. I’ll really be making an effort to improve my photography in 2015, I’m always inspired after stopping over here! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Have a great new years šŸ™‚ -D

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Aww you are so sweet, thank you Deryn for the compliments! I am also always trying to improve my photography and it’s so much fun. Happy new years to you too!

  18. I made these truffles, along with dairy free peanut butter fudge and peanut butter balls for those family and friends who can’t eat dairy…..in my pastors words, ” these are so fabulous!”

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Wonderful Lisa! I’m so happy to hear these truffles were such a hit, thank you so much for making them! šŸ™‚

  19. Magnificent! These are creamy, dreamy and super chocolately! So rich but somehow I managed to eat 3 of them immediately! I’m sorry I didn’t put a cranberry inside but I just wanted more chocolate. I promise I will do the cranberry next time, which will probably be within the week! I can’t wait to make these for my Mom who is the worlds biggest truffle fan. Excellent recipe Brandi!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yay! So happy to hear you loved these so much, thank you so much for the wonderful feedback Diana!

  20. You are killing me! I wanted to lick my foodpricessor, the chocolate mixture is that good. Now, I have to wait for it to chill??? ??

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Haha! It’s good, right?! My favorite truffles ever! šŸ™‚

  21. These are my favorite truffles now! They are so creamy and chocolately. Absolutely loved the combination of flavors. The only regret….didn’t make enough ? Next time (soon), I’m making three dozens. Thank You! ??

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