And the train of chocolate bar inspired date cacao truffles continue with: the Lindt classic milk chocolate hazelnut bar ! Growing up, my father used to bring home lox and bagels from Zabar’s as a treat and he nearly always would bring home a Lindt chocolate bar with hazelnuts for us to munch on while we set the table. As you can probably guess, that chocolate disappeared before we even sat down to eat. These truffles are sweet and chocolatey with a hint of hazelnut – it reminds me of having nutella for breakfast (totally legitimate in Paris on a student budget in college).
10 pitted dried dates
unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup cacao powder (plus more for coating)
1/2 cup hazelnut butter
1 cup raw hazelnuts
1 pinch of sea salt
Cover the dates in the coconut milk and let soak anywhere from 2 hours to overnight. Remove the dates from the liquid (the leftover coconut milk makes for delicious popsicles ). Put the hazlenuts in a dry skillet and let them toast for a few minutes on medium-high heat. Once you smell them, they are done and can be removed from the heat and set aside. In a food processor add the hazelnuts and pulse until they are in a fine powder. Remove 1/2 a cup of the powder and process for an additional 10 minutes or until hazenut butter emerges. Add the dates, sea salt, and cacao powder and process on high until smooth. The mixture should be sticky, but solid enough to roll into balls.
Taking a heaping 1/2 tablespoon of the mixture at a time, roll into a ball, and then roll in the remaining hazelnut powder or cacao and coat well (I set up two plates with the hazelnuts and cacao for coating). Stick a hazelnut in the top. Repeat until all the mixture is used. Freeze the truffles for at least 2 hours before serving.