These vegan white chocolate truffles are delicious, festive, and perfect for the holidays! Bonus: they’re made from scratch, and with little or no refined sugar, depending on if you make the dark chocolate shell.
There was a time in my life when I straight up hated white chocolate. I remember nodding heads with sympathizers who agreed that ‘it is NOT chocolate and it has no place in a dessert lineup’. To me, it just tasted like milk, sugar, and not much else.
Then a couple of things happened. I tried vegan white chocolate bars from Charm School Chocolate and was taken with the depth of flavor. Then I went to a vegan chocolate workshop by Pure Chocolate by Jinji and her white chocolate panna cotta had me captivated. And finally, I got on the computer and ordered myself some cocoa butter, and made vegan white chocolate everything for a couple of weeks straight. Including, but not limited to, these vegan white chocolate truffles… scones… banana bread… you name it. White chocolate flavored.
In the interest of not alienating the contingency of white chocolate haters among my readers, I’m trying to space out those recipes. So we’re just starting with the white chocolate truffles today. I’ve seen a recipe or two for vegan white chocolate truffles before, and they sounded great, but they called for ‘vegan white chocolate’ as an ingredient. Granted, Baltimore is no Portland, but I’ve never seen that in the store and it sounds like the kind of thing that could be really good or really bad depending on the brand that you buy. Start from scratch with cocoa butter, on the other hand, and you can control the sweetness, creaminess, and flavor to your own liking, without any soy milk powders needed.
The vegan white chocolate ganache that is the cornerstone of these truffles is adapted from the panna cotta that Jinji made, and it’s actually really simple! If you do much vegan cooking you probably have everything you need except for the cocoa butter itself. As for that, I love the cocoa butter that I bought from nuts.com. It is great quality and their shipping was super fast. They even threw in some bonus cacao nibs for free. There are also several options available on Amazon. Generally the best deal is to buy 16 oz. or more. That amount goes a long way and I don’t think the price tag is as crazy as it might seem.
One last thing: tempering the chocolate for the shell. If you don’t temper the chocolate then you will need to store these vegan white chocolate truffles in the fridge (or preferably the freezer). If you do, then they can survive at room temp. Tempering the chocolate involves holding the melted chocolate at a specific temperature and mixing in unmelted chocolate in order to realign the fat molecules. It’s how you get the very crisp texture that a store-bought bar of chocolate comes with. It’s kind of a pain in the butt, but you will be rewarded for your efforts. Totally optional, though! In the recipe I included a link to tempering instructions.
- ½ c. raw cashews, soaked overnight
- 100 grams cocoa butter
- ¼ c. + 2 tb. plain, unsweetened nondairy milk
- ½ c. brown rice syrup or agave nectar (see notes for details)
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- generous pinch sea salt
- 8 oz. semisweet chocolate
- (optional) ¼ tsp. vanilla powder
- pinch sea salt
- ⅓ tsp. peppermint extract (added to the ganache)
- crushed peppermint candies (the basic red and white peppermint candies are usually vegan)
- Combine all ingredients together in a blender until completely smooth. There is no need to melt the cocoa butter first, as the heat produced from blending is sufficient to melt it.
- Add more sugar or salt to taste. Pour the ganache into a bowl and place in the fridge to set for 2 hours up to overnight. I like to also place a baking sheet in the freezer at this time so that it's nice and cold for the next steps.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use a spoon to scoop out portions of the ganache and roll it between your hands to shape into a ball. Place each truffle on the prepared baking sheet.
- (Optional) Roll each of the truffles in finely crushed pepperment candies before placing on the baking sheet. This works with or without the dark chocolate shell.
- Place the baking sheet of truffles in the freezer for at least 60 minutes or in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to firm up.
- Either follow these instructions to temper the chocolate, or simply melt it over indirect heat along with the vanilla powder (optional) and sea salt.
- Take the shaped truffles out of the fridge. One by one, place the truffles on a fork and dip them into the chocolate, coating all sides. Gently shake off any excess and return them to the baking sheet. If any extra chocolate goes with it, you can always snap it off later.
- Before the chocolate cools too much, sprinkle with additional crushed peppermint if desired.
- Let the truffles cool in the fridge or freezer for an hour before eating. Store in an airtight container, in the fridge or freezer if not tempered.
I don't recommend a food processor for the ganache, because it will take quite a long time to get the cashews smooth due to the small amount of liquid in the recipe. However, it can be used if necessary.
If you choose not to make the dark chocolate shell then I recommend rolling the truffles in cocoa powder or crushed peppermints so that they have some sort of coating.