Truffles for Everyone! / by Julie Schumacher

Truffles anytime of year seem like a great idea. They pack such a decadent punch in a tiny package. Since one of our goals is to make every guest feel welcome and wanted, we aim to have both savories and sweets that can accommodate any dietary restrictions or preferences. For a long while I struggled with dairy free or vegan or gluten free desserts---what was a dessert if not laden with cream and butter and flour? I'm not the first to write of the incredible options for people looking to bake without those things. No longer relegated to specialty food stores, alternative flours, coconut and rice and almond milks, all kinds of natural options abound to tag in for a dessert anyone can enjoy.

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For our winter salon, I decided to take a stab at truffle making...something I've long wanted to do...and because I'm a ninny decided to make two kinds, one for dietary omnivores and one for our vegan friends.

A chocolate truffle is a sacred thing to me so coming across a vegan recipe had me excited and totally nervous. I wanted the vegan ones to be as good as the non-vegan as I hate the "This tastes good for an X dessert," insert vegan, dairy free, gluten free, etc comment. It should taste good, full stop. I turned to Feed Your Awesome Machine for a doubt-eliminating recipe for vegan dark chocolate truffles.

If it were a party of one, probably every dish would be chocolate based. For our guests who tolerate, or even need!, dairy I wanted a balance to the dark chocolate of the vegan truffles and the dark chocolate tart. Did I go fruit? Yes, but I also went white chocolate.

These Brazilian pecan cinnamon truffles from My Sweet Bridaderio (recipe via Food and Wine) were gooey and rich.

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White chocolate often leaves me wanting a big glass of water and all the condensed milk in these should have doubled down on that need. Instead, the pecan and cinnamon made them both easier to eat and much more refined and sophisticated.

The mechanics of both these truffles weren't complicated.You're hands will be a disaster from the get go so don't plan on accomplishing much else beyond rolling once you start. They were messy and time consuming...in all the best possible ways.