We call these plant-based confections “Orchard and Vine Truffles” in honor of the recipe’s tree or grape vine ingredients. I was particularly interested in using carob instead of chocolate as chocolate contains caffeine (and theobromine, a related ingredient lethal to dogs and bears!!). This recipe calls for some of our own All-Fruit Mincemeat and Spiced Cherries. However, if you don’t have mincemeat, no worries. If you don’t have wine flour (more about that in a minute), you can just eliminate that as well, no other adjustment. No cherries? No problem, just leave them out.
This is a variation of Squirrel in the Kitchen’s Carob and Coconut Truffles. These are technically not vegan as there is some honey, but you can substitute maple syrup for the quantity of honey. The wine flour complements the carob powder, bestowing some hints of chocolate flavor, as do the cherries. The wine flour we use comes from Sustainable Viticulture Systems (fingerlakeswineflour.com) in Hector, NY. The owner, Hilary Niver-Johnson, graduated from SUNY ESF in 2010 with a degree in sustainable energy. She started the company in 2014, turning wine grape pomace from Seneca Lake wineries into wine flour at her mill. You can find their products online or in some local stores—I think you can pick it up in Syracuse at Natur-Tyme. I’d use a red wine flour with this recipe, though I think you’d be fine with white.
Orchard and Vine Truffles
- 1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
- 1.5 tbsp honey
- 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp roasted carob powder (+2-3 tbsp. extra in a separate bowl for coating)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup Farmer Street Pantry All-Fruit Mincemeat drained or passed through a sieve
- 2 tbsp dried cherries, chopped OR equal amount FSP Spiced Cherries, drained and chopped
- 2 tsp Pinot Noir or other red wine flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (+ 1/4 cup extra in a separate bowl for coating)
- Bring coconut milk and liquid sugars to a medium boil over medium heat, then turn heat down to low and simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Look for caramelization of the milk to occur, usually starting on the bottom, and give the mixture a stir every ten minutes or so to prevent scorching. Pay particular attention at the one-hour mark and be certain your simmer temp is low.
- When the mixture has thickened and turned a light brown, turn off the heat. With the whisk, stir in the carob powder until smooth to make a carob ganache. Blend in vanilla.
- With a spatula, stir the coconut, mincemeat, cherries, and wine flour into the ganache. Combine until fully incorporated. Turn ganache out into a bowl and chill for at least two hours until completely firm to the touch. You can chill it covered up to several days in the fridge.
- Remove carob ganache from fridge. Using a teaspoon, scoop up balls of ganache and roll in your hands to make one-inch truffles. Immediately place four or five in the small bowl of extra coconut or carob. You can split the batch between the two separate coatings – no rules here. Roll around until they are completely covered. Remove to a container and repeat with the remaining ganache. Place the truffles into the sealed container in the fridge or keep in a cool spot. Consume within two weeks if refrigerated, three days at room temp.