Sweet Potato Chocolate Truffles

Make something yummy for Mom for Mothers Day. Sweet potatoes, honey, and maple syrup contribute to truffles made with local ingredients and bonus nutrients.

A traditional truffle is made a local ingredient, too: heavy cream. I love truffles and the ganache they are made from, but have found it a fun challenge to come up with a good recipe without sugar.

When I think of sweet potatoes I think of holiday meals, or at least cold-weather meals. Since they’re a storage vegetable, though, they are still available at market, though they won’t be much longer. The inspiration for this recipe started back in February when I made a variety of sweet potato frostings. I experimented with chocolate frosting, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with outcome the first time. In the meantime I found that the longer the chocolate frosting sat out, the stiffer it became. I figured it would make a good truffle and I was right.

The main star of sweet potato’s nutrients is vitamin A. A 1-cup serving packs in not only your daily vitamin A needs, but nearly your whole week’s! There are plenty of other significant nutrients in a sweet potato and they include the B vitamins plus a variety of minerals. While I won’t call truffles a health food, these are made with about half sweet potato so, in addition to the health benefits of the chocolate (magnesium and antioxidants, for example) there are those from the sweet potato. There are several ways to make these truffles, including using market honey and/or maple syrup, increasing their nutritional status. I found the natural sweetness of the sweet potato also lessened the need for sweetening.

Enough about nutrition, how do they taste? Like truffles! They are a bit lighter than traditional truffles, likely due to the sweet potato in place of heavy cream. As in the other frosting flavors there is not a sweet potato flavor; the flavor is primarily reliant on what type of chocolate you use. Choose your chocolate based on what you or the intended eater prefer. I like my chocolate really dark: from 70-90% in a bar. So, I tried both bittersweet and unsweetened with honey and maple syrup. The sweet potato brought the bittersweet chocolate a little closer to semisweet and had the texture that was like frosting when warm and like a regular truffle when cold. I only used a teaspoon each of sweeteners in the unsweetened chocolate batch. It is very dark! It also makes a stiffer frosting/truffle.  

I saw recipes for sweet potato frostings with cocoa powder. Some bragged of being fat-free. I’ve tried cocoa powder with sweet potato puree and it was lacking. For fun I decided to try it with butter, and used a browned ghee for a different flavor. It made the softest frosting and truffle of all, though it did hold up cold and rolled in more cocoa powder.

Play around with the ingredients. Note, though, that these have the best taste once cooled to at least room temperature. Try putting a bite in the freezer to cool off and taste so you can adjust the rest of the batch if necessary.

There are different ways to make a pretty presentation and potentially add more flavor. I kept my batch simple. Some were rolled in cocoa powder, some sprinkled with a slightly coarse salt, and some were topped with viola petals. Other options include topping with matcha powder, sprinkles, or ground up freeze-dried berries, or dipping in melted chocolate.

Happy Mothers Day!

 Photos by  Zachary Cross

Photos by Zachary Cross

Sweet Potato Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients:

½ cup sweet potato puree from a baked sweet potato

Chocolate, pick one:

  • 5 oz sweetened (milk, semisweet, bittersweet, or as desired)

  • 4 oz unsweetened + ~2 tsp to 2 Tbs sweetening (I used honey and maple syrup from the market)

  • 4 Tbs cocoa powder + 4 Tbs solid fat (I used butter but cocoa butter would firm up better) + sweetening as above

¼ tsp salt

Toppings, as desired: cocoa, melted chocolate, coarse salt, matcha powder, ground nuts, edible flowers

 

  1. Heat sweet potato puree, chocolate, and salt in the microwave or on the stovetop. I used the microwave and it took 1 minute for the chocolate variation, 30 seconds for the cocoa powder variation. Stir until chocolate is melted. If using unsweetened chocolate add sweeteners after chocolate melts.

  2. Cool. Room temperature worked for me in the winter, but this time of year, and always with the cocoa powder version, refrigerating is best.

  3. Scoop out a scant tablespoon of chocolate and roll into balls. Roll, sprinkle, and/or dip in toppings, as desired. Keep refrigerated in warmer weather or eat them all!

Makes about ¾ cup or about 12, 1-tablespoon truffles.

Find variations and visual inspiration at Maxine Ali  Taste Arkansas and Golubka Kitchen

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Heather Cross