When it comes to desserts, most dentist say “Stay away from the sugar!” And they have a point. Sugar is bad. Why? The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and create acid that leads to cavities and gum disease.
So, what is one to do when it’s dessert time?
Dark chocolate, specifically. It does have a low amount of sugar but that sugar is mixed in with fat that prevents the sugar from long exposure to teeth. Also, cocoa contains a lot of polyphenols, which can kill or suppress bacteria, preventing them from growing or producing tooth-attacking acid. Of course, the higher the cocoa level, the lower the sugar and subsequently, better for your teeth.
These chocolaty, rich truffles are a tooth friendlier dessert that my family has been making for years. Instead of using sugar we use Manuka honey in our recipe. This is done for two reasons: 1. Honey creates a smoother texture than granulated sugar in the truffle and 2. Manuka honey has been proven to kill bacteria in your mouth and help prevent cavities from forming.
If you cannot find Manuka honey, use an unprocessed honey. It still contains substances that generate hydrogen peroxide (a common antibacterial agent), although its potency can vary depending on region, nectar source, and other conditions. Also, unprocessed honey is exposed to less heat, which can degrade hydrogen peroxide.
These truffles are rich and delicious and a great ending to any dinner. But beware! They might be tooth friendlier but they are not belly friendly!
- 2 cups (12 ounces) dark chocolate – 60% or above (I use 72%)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Manuka Honey or other unprocessed honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
- 1 cup (3 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa
1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a medium bowl.
2. In a medium saucepan slowly bring the cream and honey to a gentle boil over medium heat.
3. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and stir gently until the mixture is smooth and all the chocolate is melted. Stir in the vanilla and the butter until well incorporated.
4. Let mixture rest for 1 hour then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
5. When the ganache is set, use a small cookie scoop to get even-sized truffles. Roll each portion in the palms of your hand to make a ball and place the ball on to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Transfer the balls to the fridge once completed for another 15-30 minutes.
6. Coating – Fill a shallow pan with cocoa powder and roll each truffle in the powder so they are each well coated. Shake off the excess cocoa powder and place on a serving dish.
Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Steps 1-4 can be completed days in advance. Just refrigerate the ganache and prepare the truffles 15 minutes before you want to serve them. An remember to swish your mouth out with water after eating to make sure you don’t have any chocolate sitting in your mouth. Enjoy!