Chocolate Cherry Walnut Truffles

MAKES ABOUT 20 TRUFFLES
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 2 1/4 hours

My dad, Jay, had this delightful habit; whenever you told him something that struck his fancy, he’d roar, “That’s FANTASTIC!” and gleefully clap his hands for emphasis. This was doubly true if you told him he was getting chocolate for dessert. Jay never met a piece of chocolate he didn’t like, and I have a feeling that just hearing what’s in these truffles—dates, cherries, and walnuts, smothered in chocolate, rolled in coconut and curry—would’ve given him cause to offer up a standing ovation. Studies suggest walnuts may boost memory, while chocolate, as we all know, is the ultimate moodboosting agent. One bite of this dessert and you’d be hard-pressed to feel any stress.

2 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces dark chocolate (64 to 72% cacao content), very finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup pitted and halved Medjool dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sea salt
1/4 cup finely diced dried cherries
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon curry powder

Stir the boiling water into the chopped chocolate and let it stand for 30 seconds. Using a small whisk, stir until the chocolate is completely melted and glossy. Coarsely grind the walnuts in a food processor, then add the cocoa powder, dates, vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and process for a minute. Then add the chocolate mixture and process until smooth, another minute. Transfer to a bowl and stir the cherries into the chocolate mixture.

Cover and chill for approximately 2 hours, in the refrigerator or 20 minutes in the freezer until firm. On a plate, mix the coconut, curry powder, and a pinch of salt. Scoop up approximately 2 teaspoons of the chilled chocolate mixture and roll it into a smooth ball between your palms, then roll it in the curried coconuts to coat. Repeat with the remaining mixture, then place the truffles in an airtight container and chill thoroughly before serving.

COOK’S NOTE: If you want to give the truffles a golden hue, toast the coconut in a 300°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.  For a more distinctive taste, add another 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder

Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Mind Cookbook Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.