Little Bird's Macadamia and Salted Caramel Easter Egg Truffles Recipe

Impress with your Easter treats this year with this tasty recipe for macadamia and salted caramel truffles by Little Bird


Little Bird's Macadamia and Salted Caramel Easter Egg Truffles. Picture / Supplied

MACADAMIA AND SALTED CARAMEL EASTER EGG TRUFFLES RECIPE
Preparation time: 10 minutes. Makes 16 large truffles

With Easter just around the corner it's time to start planning what gorgeous chocolate treats you’re going to make for the kids or indulge in yourself.

These salted caramel truffles look like mini eggs and are made from a few simple wholefood ingredients that get thrown in the food processor and result in a delicious sticky caramel truffle that you, your friends and family will devour with great pleasure.

READ: This Easter's Tastiest Treats

INGREDIENTS
Filling: 1¼ cups macadamias
1 cup medjool dates pitted (or other soft caramel tasting dates)
3-4 Tbsp organic maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp of sea salt

Finishing touches: ½ cup raw chocolate melted (you can make your own — see recipe below — or melt down a block of good dark raw chocolate)
½ tsp flaky sea salt
¼ cup raw cacao powder

METHOD
1. Place 1 cup of the macadamias in your food processor or blender and blend until they are smooth and creamy (as they blend they will start to release their oils and change from being a flour to a smooth and buttery consistency).

2. Add the dates, vanilla and sea salt and blend into a thick smooth paste. Next add the maple syrup and blend for a few seconds until combined.

3. Give the mixture a taste test and see if it needs more salt — add to meet your desired salted caramel level and keep in mind you will be garnishing with some flaky sea salt.

4. Line a small tray or plate (something that fits in the freezer) with baking paper to put your truffles on. Then take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and place one of the whole macadamias in the centre. With your hands roll into a ball — your aim is to encase the macadamia in the caramel. Tip: This mixture can be really sticky depending on your dates so you may wish to wet your hands lightly a few times to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.

5. Place the rolled truffles on your baking paper-lined tray and repeat with the remaining ingredients.

6. Once you've rolled all your truffles, place in the freezer for half an hour to chill and firm up.

7. Make or melt your raw chocolate in a small bowl.

8. Take a fork and dip each of your truffles in the melted chocolate, allowing the chocolate to drip off for a few seconds, before placing them back on the baking-paper lined tray. (If your truffles were really sticky in the first round you might need to refresh the baking paper). Continue until you have finished dipping all the truffles.

9. Sprinkle the freshly dipped truffles with a few pinches of the flaky sea salt and place them in the fridge for 5-10 mins so the chocolate can set.

10. Take them out and roll the in the cacao powder. Sprinkle with a little extra flaky sea salt for looks.

11. Ideally serve straight from the fridge or freezer, where they will last for several months.

RAW CHOCOLATE RECIPE
This will make a little extra chocolate than what you need for the truffles, so you can store leftover chocolate in a jar in the fridge to melt down again for your next batch (or to simply eat as a treat.)

1/3 cup cacao butter
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2½ Tbsp maple syrup
¾ cup cacao powder
Pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. To prepare the chocolate: Firstly melt the cacao butter and coconut oil by placing in a dry mixing bowl and sitting that bowl on top of another bowl that’s been partially filled with almost boiling water. Be very careful not to let any water get in your bowl. You may need to add more hot water to your water bowl if it cools down.

2. Now add sweetener to the butter and oil while still over the warm water and mix together gently, then add the cacao powder, salt and vanilla and mix again.

3. Keep stirring gently until the mixture is well combined. You will need to mix for at least 10 minutes. The temperature should remain at around 41C while mixing to ensure a smooth, consistent chocolate that won’t separate.

4. While this chocolate won’t temper, it still benefits from a slow reduction of temperature. To do this place some ice in a bowl with water and make a cooling version of the double boiler. Place your bowl in the ice water and stir continuously for approximately 1-2 minutes to reduce to around body temperature. (You can test this by placing some under your lip area on your chin, the chocolate should not feel warm or cold).

Notes
• If you don't have macadamias you could substitute them for cashews  if you do that add 2 Tbsp of melted coconut oil to the recipe to keep it creamy.

• You could also substitute 1 cup of the macadamias for 1/3 cup nut butter if you don't have a string food processor or blender.

• You can double dip in the chocolate to give a thicker stronger chocolate coating.

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