White chocolate coconut truffles – creamy, coconut filling, melt-in-your-mouth white chocolate, and a toasted hazelnut inside make these homemade Raffaello truffles an irresistible treat.
Ask my 1o-year old what her favorite fruit is, and she will tell you without a moment’s hesitation – coconut. Ask her what her favorite food in general is, and the answer will be the same, with maybe chocolate coming at a close second. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as I’m the same way.
For the love of coconuts, I sometimes think I should’ve inserted the word ‘coconut’ in the name of my blog because almost every other recipe contains some form of coconut. Which is a bit weird, as I didn’t grow up eating coconuts. Only once, at school someone brought a piece of raw coconut, and gave me some to try, and I loved its nutty, sweet, exotic taste. It was love at first bite, but there were no coconuts to be found anywhere in communist Bulgaria at the time. Years later, I must have been in my mid 20s, I remember how disappointed I was, the first time I cracked a coconut open, and…wait, whaaat!?? There is no coconut milk in the coconut (as all those Almond Joy commercials had taught me)!! I remember the anticipation of drinking that creamy coconut milk, with a straw, straight from the nut, and my shock when I realized that, first of all – it’s not milk, and second – it didn’t taste anything like coconut. In fact it tasted like some sort of spoiled juice, way past its expiration date.
Needless to say, that was just a small rough reality check, which didn’t at all affect my love and curiosity about coconuts. Over time, and especially when repeatedly exposed to all sorts of exotic cuisines, where coconut plays central part, I’ve learned to use it in so many ways, and I love its versatility, its health benefits, and even that bizarre-flavored coconut water, but most of all, I love its taste.
Sometimes, I imagine in my previous life, I must have lived on a tropical island, where I subsisted on coconuts and fish. That would explain actually three things – my love for the ocean, seafood and coconuts, all at the same time. Ok, I think you got the point – I am nuts about coconuts, and I hope you are too, because this latest recipe has nothing but coconut in various states – butter, cream and solid, plus some silky-smooth, Swiss white chocolate, which is a long way of describing my homemade version of Raffaello coconut truffles.
They taste so close to the original, with the same absolutely divine, creamy coconut filling and a toasted nut inside, and you will never guess how quick and fool-proof they actually are. Your kids can easily make them, as a fun little Valentine’s Day cooking project.
I thought of so many variations – dipped in dark chocolate, flavored with coffee, mixed with crushed wafers, or hard caramel pieces, mixed with raspberries, or a bit of cinnamon…But I stopped myself and decided to leave this fun for some other time. This was, after all, an attempt to recreate Raffaello truffles, so I stayed put, and didn’t stray too much.
Ok, maybe a little – I used toasted coconut, rather than the pure white coconut you get from Raffaellos. Toasting the coconut really brings out its sweet and nutty flavors, and makes it taste even more coconut-ty and delicious, in my opinion. And since I already had toasted coconut butter on hand, I mixed it with some coconut cream, coconut flakes, and coconut rum to boot!
Usually coconut butter is way more expensive, and not as readily available as coconut oil, but it’s so easy to make at home, and once you do, you will be hooked. All it is, is coconut flakes blended in a food processor long enough so they turn into butter. In this case, I used toasted coconut flakes. However, if you have regular coconut butter, plain butter or coconut oil, you can replace it with any of these. You will still be in coconut heaven!
I hope you all have a sweet, chocolate-filled Valentine’s day!
And for those of you coconut addicts out there, here are some more sweet coconut recipes:
- 125 g (1 bar) white chocolate (I used Lindt white chocolate coconut bar)
- ¼ cup coconut cream
- ¼ cup toasted coconut butter (recipe follows)*
- ½ Tbs Malibu coconut rum
- 6 Tbs unsweetened coconut flakes
- a handful of toasted hazelnuts (almonds)
- 1 cup toasted coconut flakes for coating the truffles
- For the toasted coconut butter:
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- To make the toasted coconut butter:
- Toast 2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes in a low oven (325 ℉) for about 10-15 minutes. Check every 5 minutes, and stir a few times - it can burn easily.
- Place the toasted coconut flakes in a food processor, and run the motor for 5-10 minutes, until the oils are released, and it begins to have a saucy consistency. It will be liquid at first, due to the heat, and as it cools down, it will solidify. Keep in a jar (no need to refrigerate) and spread on toast, mix into oatmeal, smoothies, etc.
- To make the truffles:
- Chop the white chocolate into equal pieces, and place over a double boiler. Stir until most of the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat, and continue to stir until all the chocolate pieces melt.
- Mix in the coconut butter and coconut cream, and gently heat (if coconut butter is too hard) then add mixture to the white chocolate, together with the coconut rum, and 6 Tbs of unsweetened coconut flakes. Mix well.
- Place the mixture in the fridge until it hardens a bit, and is easy to mold into balls (about 15 minutes).
- Take about a tablespoon of the mix, place a whole toasted hazelnut inside, and roll between your palms to form a ball.
- Dip each ball into the toasted coconut flakes, and roll around to evenly coat them.
- Refrigerate the truffles, until ready to consume.