Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

So, we’re literally 5 days away from Christmas!  I wonder if you’ve all finished your shopping, or handmade gift-making, or baking?  Well, this is what I have been making in my kitchen for friends and family this year, and besides being totally irresistible, they are so unbelievably simple to make!

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 There are several options you can use when making these delectable truffles; you can use semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet if you choose, but I personally love dark chocolate.  Then you have so many options for your coatings.  Toasted coconut, chopped nuts, cocoa, icing sugar, whatever your little heart desires!

Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

This is also a really fun activity to do with your kiddos.  I liked to do the rolling of the truffle balls and let my little guy dip them in the bowls with the coatings.

Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

Yield: 20-22 truffles

Ingredients

  • 300 grams bittersweet baking chocolate (I like to use Camino)
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • Assorted Coatings:
  • 1/2 cup toasted shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces then place into a small saucepan. Melt the chocolate over the lowest heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Whisk in the coconut milk, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for approx. 30 minutes. Remove from freezer, stir with a spoon, breaking down any hard pieces, then place in the fridge for another 30 minutes. If it's not firm after this time, you can place it in the fridge for 10-20 more minutes until you have a firm texture that is easy to mould.
  4. Place your coatings into separate shallow bowls. Have a baking tray ready to place your truffle balls on.
  5. With your hands, roll chocolate into little balls. Roll balls into coating of your choice, pressing in and covering the balls completely. Repeat until all chocolate is used, alternating between coatings.
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/12/20/bittersweet-chocolate-truffles/

To finish off, you can package these cuties in mason jars, mugs, or even little ramekins and give them to your friends and family for the holidays.  Have fun with it.  Remember to keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to gift them or eat them. ūüôā

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I wish you all a peaceful and relaxing holiday season.  I know it can get quite hectic this time of year, but cherish the time with your loved ones and friends, enjoy the food, the wine, and the holiday spirit.  

Best wishes xx

Sophia

Peanut Snowballs (vegan, refined sugar-free)

Vegan Peanut Snowballs

I am finally done with all my gift preparations.  The only thing left to do today is bake some vegan oatmeal cookies for Santa with my little guy.  Easy!

Yesterday I posted my DIY Christmas gift which was a homemade nutty granola.  I’m sure you have all noticed so many lovely DIY gift ideas on here, some of my favourites include Poppy’s DIY soaps and bath salts, Vegan Richa’s cookie mix in a jar, and Georgia Kate’s peanut snowballs.  I decided the peanut snowballs would be the perfect addition to my holiday basket which I am making as Secret Santa.  They were simple to make, and so delicious!  I love that they are refined sugar-free and vegan.  I made very slight adjustments to the original recipe, as seen below.  

Once again, you still have time to make these, and you can refrigerate them until the big day in 48 hours!  They have an irresistible hard chocolate outer shell and they’re packed with peanuts and other healthful ingredients.  I’m trying to resist them so I can actually gift them!

Peanut Snowballs

Makes 15 balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 2 tablespoons raw peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
  • 6 dried dates
  • 1/2 cup of skinned roasted peanuts
  • 200 grams dark chocolate
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  • In a food processor, whiz the almonds, peanut butter, brown rice syrup, dates and peanuts along with 3 tablespoons of water.  You will end up with a soft dough mixture that is easy to mold.

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  • With wet hands, roll the mixture into balls, approx. 2 cm wide.  Lay them onto a plate lined with parchment paper and leave them in the fridge to cool and set for 20 minutes.

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  • Heat a small amount of water in a pot. Then place a metal bowl which is bigger than the pot on top. Place the chocolate into the bowl and stir until melted, then remove the bowl from the heat.

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  • Set up your station: a bowl of shredded coconut, a parchment paper lined plate (with some coconut sprinkled onto it to prevent the chocolate from sticking), the bowl of melted chocolate, and pull out your snowballs from the fridge.

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  • Use a spoon to roll the snowballs in the chocolate and then cover with coconut. The final touch ‚Äď sprinkle some freshly ground sea salt over them. Then refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened (about one hour).
  • To gift them, place in a bell jar, add some ribbon and a tag to your jar, and you have yourself irresistable and cute peanut snowballs for Christmas!  You can refrigerate any leftovers for up to two weeks.

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Merry Christmas to you all once again! And thank you Georgia for sharing such a lovely recipe!

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Homemade Christmas Gift: Organic Granola

Homemade Vegan Granola

How is everyone handling the Christmas hustle and bustle?  Did you wish for a white Christmas, because you will have it! It’s been snowing relentlessly in Montreal. Everything is covered in a white blanket. The last couple of weeks have been a little nuts for me, trying to wrap up work so I can take time off. It feels so great to have all this time to spend with family and friends now. I have spent the last few days wrapping up last minute gifts and details for our Christmas dinner.  Today I spent the afternoon making homemade granola as gifts for our family.  Tomorrow, I will also be making homemade vegan chocolate snowballs (keep an eye out for that post) and cookies with Sonny to leave for Santa.  I love the idea of giving homemade gifts, as I find they are so well received.  I wish I wasn’t so late in starting, I would have loved to make more!  I’ve been seeing so many amazing DIY Christmas gifts on here!

So, if you are still looking for simple last minute homemade gift ideas, I highly recommend this granola.  Not only is it super delicious, it is healthy, vegan, and looks oh so cute in a bell jar.  Oh, and it clumps into nice and crispy big clusters, which is a must for me when it comes to granola!

Homemade Organic Granola

Adapted from Oh She Glows

Makes approx. 6 cups

If possible, buy organic ingredients.

Ingredients:

Dry:

  • 2 1/2 cups extra thick rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Wet:

  • 4 tablespoons brown rice syrup
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons raw peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

Extras:

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • handful of pepita seeds

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 300¬įF. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the wet ingredients. Stir well. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • In a very large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Add the wet mixture while warm over the dry mixture and stir well.  Stir everything until well combined.  It is thick and a little difficult, but keep stirring to combine all ingredients.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread granola onto the lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.  Stir the granola every 15 minutes to ensure even baking.

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  • Allow to cool for 15 minutes.  As the granola cools, it will stiffen up.  Break it apart into large chunks then place into a large bowl and stir in the raisins, cranberries, and pepita seeds.

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  • Place in a jar, add ribbon and a label, and voila, you have yourself a super cute, delicious tasting, healthy granola Christmas gift!

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  • If you have leftovers, you can keep it in the fridge for up to a month in an airtight container.

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Have a very Merry Christmas, everyone!  Enjoy the time you have with your family and friends and try to squeeze in some rest and relaxation.

Sophia xo

100th Post, Holiday Giveaway, A New Logo + Many Thanks!

Eight months, 100 posts, new connections, inspirations, and a whole slew of amazing discoveries. ¬†I started this blog as a way to document my favourite recipes, and explore my interest in photography. ¬†I didn’t really imagine anyone more than my close family and friends would read, but here we are, a lovely, supportive, interactive community! ¬†Even more, I became a much better cook and more creative in the kitchen since starting Silk and Spice, and that is thanks to the many amazing bloggers I follow who inspire me every day.

Today, I am writing my 100th post, and to many that might not be much of a milestone, but I am quite proud of having written 100 posts since I started Silk and Spice back in March. ¬†The best part is I get to have fun creating on this blog, and all of you are so supportive and interactive. I love hearing stories about recipes you made from Silk and Spice, and even more, when friends make my recipes for their omnivore loved ones and they are a hit. ¬†We’re on a food revolution, I tell ya….

Over the last few weeks, many of you were so thoughtful in nominating me for great awards. ¬† Bea from Body Energy Action¬†and Johanna from Whole and Happy Food nominated me for the Sunshine Award. Thank you! Poppy from Poppy’s Patisserie nominated me for the Blog of The Year Award and The Dragon’s Loyalty Award. Thank you! Ajaytao¬†nominated me for a collection of lovely awards. ¬†Thank you! ¬†Marianne from The Oven Diaries nominated me for the Versatile Bloggers Award. ¬†Thank you! ¬†I am extremely grateful, and in return I am hosting a Holiday Giveaway that is open to you all!

I thought about what to give away, and decided I wanted it to be something that would be a great resource for any one who is vegan, vegetarian, or dancing with the idea of going veg. ¬†I am giving away a copy of VEGANOMICON! ¬†This really is the ultimate vegan cookbook. ¬†Everyday meals which are so simple and don’t use weird, unfamiliar ingredients. ¬†I found that when I started cooking from this book, it made me very comfortable with plant-based cooking, and I didn’t really need to go back to it for exact recipes. ¬†It gave me useful, everyday meal ideas which I could whip up quickly. ¬†And, Isa Chandra is my plant-based heroine, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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Here’s how to enter!

Answer this question by leaving a comment below this blog post: What is your favourite holiday memory?

For extra entries:

  • Join me on Facebook.
  • Follow the conversation on Twitter.
  • Tweet about this giveaway. Don’t forget to tag @silkandspiceveg.
  • If you’re just stopping by, follow Silk and Spice on WordPress by clicking ‘follow’ at the top of this page.

Please let me know which entries you made so I can include them all when randomly selecting the winner next Saturday, December 14th!  The contest is open to all, worldwide!

Finally, I am excited to share the new Silk and Spice logo! Did you notice it at the top of this page? ¬†A good friend designed it for me. ¬†I would love to know what you think! ¬†If you’re ever in need of graphic design at ¬†very reasonable rates, you can contact Amanda on LinkedIn.

Thank you all once again for stopping by Silk and Spice, taking the time to interact within our community, and for all the inspiration you give me!

Sophia x