No-Bake, Gluten Free Chocolate Truffles
My mum Paula was not a great cook, but she was a wonderful baker. I was helping her make these truffles by the time I was five or six, and they've been along with me to every social event requiring food ever since. From primary school shared lunches, to wild uni parties, to work morning teas, they always have people asking, "How are these so good?" But they're ridiculously easy to make, gluten free, and don't require an oven.
Servings depend on how large you roll the truffles - this would make at least a dozen big ones, or 20 small.
150 grams butter, softened but not melted. Avoid having to soften it in the microwave by leaving it out on the bench in a bowl for a couple of hours before you start baking.
150 grams icing sugar (I don't measure - just pour it in til it's about 50/50 icing sugar and butter).
Approx 3 heaped tablespoons cocoa, to taste. I often add a fourth after tasting the mix.
Approx 8 heaped tablespoons desiccated coconut (plus more for rolling truffles).
A few drops vanilla essence.
Chopped nuts or raisins if liked (mum normally didn't bother).
Mix together the butter and icing sugar. I use an electric hand mixer, but a wooden spoon is fine. Add the cocoa and mix with a spoon - 2 tablespoons first, and then see if you'd like more - the mix should taste chocolatey, rather than buttery. Add the vanilla essence and mix with a spoon. Add the desiccated coconut and mix. Add nuts and raisins if using and mix. Test the consistency of the mix. If the butter was very soft, it might be too runny. You can add more icing sugar, cocoa, and coconut a little bit at a time until you get it firm enough that it will hold in balls. If it's still not there, pop the mix in the fridge for half an hour. Pour extra desiccated coconut into a small separate bowl (a cereal bowl is perfect). Grab a handful of the truffle mix, roll into a ball, and roll it in the coconut. A child comes in handy here to do the rolling for you (wash their hands first). Pop each truffle in a container as you go, and keep in the fridge. If you're taking them to an event, pre-freezing is nice so they're still cool for eating a couple of hours later.
You can add all sorts of things to the mix if you like - chopped up Bounty bars have been a hit for me! Other nuts are also nice, especially chopped pecans. You don't want anything too sickly sweet though, as these truffles are pretty sweet already.
Charlotte Graham-McLay is an RNZ Social Journalist.