Reading pastry chef Brooks Headley’s article touched my heart. He and the other chefs at New York’s Del Posto restaurant respond with compassion and creativity to guests with food allergies. “… no judgment on our part … none of us working the line freaked out, no one cracked wise ….” Headley’s inspired truffle recipe (which I’ve adapted as Chocolate Roasted Tahini Truffles) most deliciously rewards their gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and vegan diners.
If you’ve ever worked in restaurants, you know how rare this compassionate attitude can be. Usually, when under stress, the last thing any chef wants is a special request. But Headley says he thrives on the inspiration and creativity such requests engender. I’m impressed. And, I laughed out loud at his final sentence. “I’m your grandma. Gimme a hug.”
Moved by his story in the February 2015 Bon Appetit, I soon made and enjoyed his truffle recipe. After a few changes, here’s my recipe for Chocolate Roasted Tahini Truffles. An easily made and delectable treat whether or not you have food sensitivities.
Headley didn’t specify roasted or unroasted tahini. My preference is roasted. Although raw tahini is slightly sweet and nutty, roasted tahini’s richer, deeper flavor provides a just-right balance to the darkest of chocolate.
Robin in the (choke) cherry tree
Yesterday morning I saw something large and dark in the blooming Canadian Red Choke Cherry tree shading our patio. Once outside, I discovered this beautiful bird’s nest…minus the bird.
Sing a pretty song to me
Then during a late lunch on the patio, a robin red breast flew in to nest. So peacefully she sat. So sweet. I’ll keep you posted. As we (the robin and I) become more comfortable with one another, perhaps she’ll sing a song to me and I’ll share a photo or two with you.
Inspired by and adapted from Brooks Headly’s recipe in Bon Appetit.
Headly coats his truffles with crispy puffed wild rice. A bit too crunchy for me. My favorite coating is toasted sesame seeds. My next favorite is a lightly ground blend of puffed wild rice and toasted sesame seeds. Your choice.
According to Bon Appetit “This recipe has no dairy, no gluten, no meat, no eggs, no shellfish, no sulfites and no tree nuts. It does, however have sesame seeds, chocolate and [wild] rice….” 😉
Makes about 25 small truffles Printer-Friendly Recipe
Active time 30 minutes
Total time 2 ½ hours
3 ounces dark chocolate (60-77% cacao)
½ cup roasted tahini
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
¾ teaspoon high quality salt (i.e., Celtic or Himalayan)
¼ cup hulled sesame seeds
1 teaspoon coconut oil for puffing the wild rice
3 tablespoons wild rice
- Put a half-inch of water in a small sauté pan. Place the pan over low heat.
- Put the chocolate, tahini, maple syrup and salt in a small bowl. Set the bowl over/in the water. Gently stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted.
- Remove the bowl from the heat. Place it in the refrigerator until the chocolate firms up.
- Meanwhile, line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Set aside.
- Puff the wild rice, if you are using it. Line a large plate with a paper towel. Heat the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until the oil is very hot (almost smoking). Add the wild rice. Stir continuously. The wild rice begins popping and puffing up immediately. Keep stirring until all the wild rice has popped. Transfer it to the paper towel. Very lightly sprinkle the puffed rice with a pinch of salt.
- Options for topping the truffles.
a. Place the puffed rice and the sesame seeds in separate bowls.
b. Lightly grind the puffed rice and sesame seeds together and place in a bowl.
- Once the chocolate mixture is firm, remove it from the fridge. Scoop half a dozen rounded teaspoons of the chocolate mixture and drop them into the bowl (or bowls) of topping. Return the chocolate to the fridge.
- Coat one truffle at a time in the topping mixture. Use your hands to roll it into a ball. Add additional topping as needed. Place the truffle on the parchment lined baking sheet. Continue until you’ve coated each of the truffles.
- Remove the remaining chocolate from the fridge and repeat steps 8 and 9 until you’ve formed all the chocolate.
- Chill the Chocolate Roasted Tahini Truffles for 10 minutes before serving.
- You can also make the truffles up to a day ahead and store them, covered, in the refrigerator. For the best texture, let the truffles sit out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- These truffles can also be frozen. For the best texture, let them sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.