I know that I tend to describe many of the treats I create as splendiferously delicious and belonging to the little bejeweled box in my mind labelled “my favourite things”.
In case you’re wondering, here are a few other things currently living in that sparkly box:
- The shows I periodically rewatch every few years: SeaChange, The West Wing (first four seasons), Veronica Mars, Firefly, and Downton Abbey (I know that’s fairly new, but I’m already rewatching it with my parents.)
- The song version of the Monkey Pig video, as E.Moonbeams, Jeniqua and I have been manically singing “Backwards on a pig, BABY MONKEY!” in the office all week.
- Cakespeditions in the afternoon with my Dad (being retired looks to be a nice life).
- Reading books to escape.
- These raw vegan pain d’epice truffles.
As hyperbolic as it sounds, I really do love these warmly-spiced, richly-scented, caramelly-nutty truffles. The idea for this treat came to me while I was dreaming of past travel, particularly the evening spent eating endless slices of sugar crystal-topped pain d’epice in Antwerp with my much-missed friend Emma (happy soon-anniversary, my dear!).
Suddenly, all I needed in this world was to take those sweet-warm-spiced flavours and turn them into a raw vegan treat.
The outcome was so deliciously wonderful that I ended up making more pain d’epice truffles for Christmas day, another batch for a Christmas supper with friends just before New Year’s Eve, and even more for myself just the other week.
You can make these with any nut; I first made them with pecans (that would be the photo above), which created something delightfully rich and gooey. I’ve also made them with a mix of almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds to great success.
Play around with the amount of spice until the flavour suits you. And if the flavour doesn’t suit you? “Well, god, Jed, I don’t even want to know you.” (Just kidding. I love you all regardless of your tastes.)
Raw Vegan Pain d’Epice Truffles of Glory
- 1 1/2 cups (170g) raw nuts (I’ve used half pecans and half almonds, half cashews and half almonds, and a third each of cashews, almonds, and sunflower seeds.)
- 1 cup (150g) Medjool dates, pitted.
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 – 2 tsp pain d’epice spice mix (see below)
- Process the nuts in a food processor until fine. Add in the dates, vanilla, pinch salt, and spice mix (to taste) and pulse until all mixed through and clumping together.
- If needed, add 1-2tsp of water, otherwise go right ahead and roll the mixture into little truffles. Then eat and become tremendously excited at the complex flavour of deep deep darling pain d’epice and wonderment.
- Stop the presses. Thinking about how the pain d’epice I bought in Antwerp came with sugar crystals, I’ve suddenly realised that I must make a version of these rolled in coconut sugar…
Pain d’Epice Spice Mix
Rummaged from within David Lebovitz’ Pain d’Epice Cake recipe
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds (or anise, if you have it.)
1. Mix all and store in a small container. Preferably bejewelled.
I’m submitting this to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend!