Does anyone have a recipe that uses cocoa powder instead of actual chocolate?
I'm wanting to experiment with making low sugar truffles for my husband for Christmas. If i use cocoa and oil i can control the sugar content and try using a sugar alcohol. Any recipes out there?
Whidster, from a perspective of both texture and flavor, cocoa butter is essential to a good truffle. You can't have chocolate/truffles without cocoa butter. It's the most valuable part of the bean, so you'll find some chocolate manufacturers try to swap out other hard fats like hydrogenated oil, but the end result is always vastly inferior.
I've experimented extensively with baking chocolate in sugar free truffles. Baking chocolate has more cocoa butter than cocoa, but it's still not enough- no where near the cocoa butter content of real chocolate. Cocoa butter mellows chocolate and gives it a smooth creamy mouthfeel (even dark chocolate). Without it, the flavor intensity is unpalatable. It's not a "how dark do you like your chocolate?" type of question- it's more of a 'take the darkest chocolate and multiply by ten' scenario.
I've seen low sugar truffle recipes using coconut oil, but, imo, coconut oil still doesn't cut it. It's not the same texture and flavor as cocoa butter and is difficult to work with/hard to keep emulsified. Emulsification is a big issue with sugar free truffles. I've actually purchased cocoa butter separately and tried combining it with baking chocolate, but ran into emulsification issues there as well. It's pretty complicated chemistry.
The availability of sugar free bar chocolate has decreased in recent years, but, I think, if you look hard enough, you should be able to find some. I'm pretty sure Walmart has bagged/wrapped sugar free chocolates that are solid chocolate. Also, the last time I checked, Godiva had sugar free chocolate bars. Those should work for truffles. You'll be forced to work with one of the nastier sugar alcohols- maltitol, but, unless you order online (possibly too late for Christmas at this point), local sugar free chocolate is almost always maltitol.