Family and food are my favourite bits of Christmas. Abundance, connection and playfulness. This year we’re playing with vegan, kind-of-sugarfree, local, fermented food and also with letting go of pressure.
These truffles can be simple if you buy readymade fruit cake, or you could make your own cake like this if you want to control the ingredients. The readymade mixture is: 800g of fruit cake, crumbled into 30g of melted butter (coconut oil to make it vegan) and 100g of melted dark chocolate. The fruit cake will be as local or sugarfree as you make it… this is where I let my standards slide a little this year. I bought plain old fruit cake wrapped in plastic. :O I haven’t had enough time at home to do much baking lately.
Press and roll lumps of this mixture into balls. I found it easier to flatten the base of each one, so they don’t roll when you decorate the tops and squash your handiwork. Chill them in the fridge or freezer before decorating, so that the topping hardens quickly.
To decorate, you can melt white chocolate. I just used plain cocoa butter (hmm, vegan but not local), melted. Prepare chopped cranberries and snipped up stevia leaves.
Stevia tastes super sweet. The real leaf has health benefits. The white powdered stevia in the shops is highly processed and I’m not convinced that it’s any good for you. Grow your own to make it real local food with chlorophyll and all the other good stuff that comes in real leaves. Otherwise, try mint leaves or something else edible.
Dip the cold balls into the cocoa butter. While it’s still soft, press in a couple of leaf pieces and snippet of cranberry. You can also use chopped green and red cherries, if you don’t mind the food colouring and sugar. The cocoa butter is translucent when it’s melted, but it will harden to look like icing (see the colour changing to white in the half-done batch above). Mini Christmas puddings!
Other vegan recipes we’re preparing this year include whole baked cauliflower, tofurkey (yes, it’s tofu pretending to be turkey; we tested it tonight and it’s pretty tasty) and raspberry kombucha made with berries from our garden.
I’ve also been learning furoshiki, the Japanese art of folding fabric to wrap gifts, and painting gumnuts to make table centrepieces and recycled Christmas crackers. Ah so many things to write about and so little time! And now I’m going to let go of that, too…
May you have a merry Christmas and solstice full of abundant food that is not wasted, peaceful and playful family connections, and meaningful traditions for whatever you believe in.