Thursday, June 27, 2013

German Chocolate Cake Frosting Truffles

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Makes 30 truffles
Active time: about 50 minutes
Passive time: about 3-4 hours, for chilling

I've been eating a lot of farro lately. This toothsome, slightly nutty and versatile grain is easy to cook, cheap and packed full of nutrients. The other day, I prepared some farro for breakfast, adding in some shredded coconut, vegan butter and raw agave* and it reminded me of German Chocolate Cake frosting (which I haven't had in many years). The taste and texture was spot on from what I remember, but slathering this over cake didn't seem quite right, so I added in a few more steps and ingredients to make truffles instead. The farro in this adorable two-bite dessert stands in place of pecans (which I have nothing against), giving the filling some subtle bulk and a nice bite. 

*If you'd like to try this as a breakfast porridge instead, just follow the first two paragraphs under METHOD below, reducing the amount of shredded coconut to 1/3 cup. It will yield two servings.

1/2 cup farro
3 cups water
1 TB Earth Balance
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 TB raw agave syrup
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
2 rounded teaspoons of cornstarch, dissolved in 2 TB water
1/2 TB liquid lecithin (optional)
2 cups vegan chocolate chips (I used Guittard brand)
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

Rinse the farro in a fine mesh strainer under a few exchanges of cold water. Combine the farro and water in a medium-sized saucepan over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer for about 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, test the farro. It should be firm to the bite. Drain and rinse the farro under cold water and transfer to a bowl. 

Add in the vegan butter, salt, shredded coconut, and agave. If you want this as a breakfast porridge, stop here and serve immediately with a few splashes of almond milk. 

If you'd like to make the truffles, proceed by adding the coconut milk to a small saucepan. Bring to a small simmer, and add in the cornstarch/water mixture, stir until slightly thick, then transfer and fold into the farro mixture. Add in the liquid lecithin, stir again, then place it the freezer to chill for about an hour.
After an hour, the truffle filling should be cold but still pliable. To form the spheres, scoop out a heaping teaspoon of the mixture. Roll into a sphere between your palms, repeating the process until the filling is gone.

Place the spheres onto a baking sheet lined with a silpat. Then, place into the freezer to set for an hour or two.

Once you are ready to cover the spheres in chocolate, create a double boiler by placing a few inches of water into a saucepan. Place a glass pyrex bowl over the saucepan, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. 

Place the chocolate chips into the bowl and slowly stir, allowing them to melt. Once the chocolate is fully melted, add in the vanilla and stir again. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting.

Toss a few of the spheres into the melted chocolate. Rotate them with a spoon until well coated, then transfer them back onto the silpat, repeating the process until the mixture is gone. Place in the refrigerator to chill. After an hour or so, they can be removed from the silpat and placed into a tupperware container and stored in the refrigerator.

Allow the truffles to sit out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.


  1. What a creative use of farro! I'm always on the lookout for healthy chocolate desserts, looking forward to trying this.

  2. I'm not familiar with farro - after googling it I find it appears to be grains. Is there a brand that you use? Would farina or cream of wheat work? Thanks for your help

  3. Hi Kristin, I buy farro in bulk -- it's a larger grain, almost the size of a pine nut. Farina would not be a good sub, as it's texture is closer to fine sand. If you can't find farro, just throw in some chopped pecans or other nut -- it will still taste good. I hope you enjoy!


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