It’s been a tricky day. It would have been made better if I had some of these chocolate truffles left, but alas they didn’t make it home from London where I made them for my family.
We planned for it to be quite simple. Prepare Rosie (our VW camper van) for her first trip of 2016 and have some fun with the kids.
The kids planned to have a ‘wildlife finding day’. Perhaps brought on by a few days spent in London and a need to re-connect themselves with nature?
It all started well. Mr M and I pottering around preparing for our trip and the kids setting up a ‘hide’ on the deck kited out with binoculars to watch the birds with and their trusty bucket of frog spawn close-by.
It was only when my head was in a cupboard, and the kids were paddling in the stream by the house that the day changed.
I never like the way Mr M says my name when there is something wrong. Initially I thought something had happened to one of the kids. Then I saw where he was looking and knew it was something else.
With trepidation I walked towards him to find him peering at three tiny baby mice. He’d uncovered them in the process of clearing stuff in the garage to take to the tip.
As we stood there wondering what to do, the brazen mother appeared and took one away right before our eyes.
Simple, we thought…we’ll but the other two in a box and when she comes to collect them we’ll catch her and then release them all somewhere in the countryside.
In a scene somewhat reminiscent of Fantastic Mr Fox (a brilliant Roald Dahl book for those of you who may not have read it)…we sat there and waited quietly. The kids even played quietly out in the garden. Kids in the neighbourhood played quietly with our kids in the garden. Time passed. It was lunchtime. What’s a family to do, but go and get lunch.
It was a quick lunch, nothing fancy…but by the time we returned to our post the babies had all gone.
Time for a trap we thought. Not being ones for animal cruelty, we went for a ‘humane one’. One that should trap the mouse so that we could release it.
A few hours later…and nothing.
My mind began to wander on to other methods of disposal. We searched the neighbourhood for the usual cats that hang around all day trying to kill our birds. Nothing.
We called a friend, who brought her cat around. I felt certain that I knew where the mother and babies where…there was only one place for her to hide and we’d seen her take the first baby there.
I moved said object when the cat arrived, feeling cruel but doing it ‘for the neighbourhood’. What did we find? One baby. No sign of mother or other two babies.
By this time I was feeling pretty cheesed off. I put the baby in the humane trap with the bait and set it. I was sure she would come back and get trapped and then we could all go off in Rosie tomorrow knowing that all our remaining camping equipment which lives in the garage would be ‘safe’.
We went off, had tea, put the kids to bed…and then I snuck out to take a look.
Do you know what I found? An empty trap full of mouse droppings.
So what have we succeeded in doing today I hear you cry?
Well, we’ve found a mouse and three babies, turned the garage upside down and moved the little blighter’s to somewhere else in the garage (or heaven forbid, house) to make their happy little home and breed more cute little mice…which I am slowly realising are not cute any more…
I really hope your day has been better than mine!
If I had any chocolate truffles left I would be eating them all in one go right now!
If I had any of the wonderful Conscious Chocolate bars left with which I made the truffles I would make some more. Alas I left them in my sister’s fridge.
You get the picture.
Back to the chocolate I used.
Conscious make wonderful dairy-free, gluten-free, soya-free and refined sugar-free chocolates. Some are sweetened with agave syrup while others are sweetened with rice syrup (a low fructose sweetener that if I am going to have a sweet treat I would rather use having now officially quit fructose on the I Quit Sugar programme…more about that next week). You could, of course, use some of my homemade chocolate.
Anyway, when the wonderful owner of Conscious sent me a package containing all the different flavours…ranging from plain to mint to rose…I knew I was going to have fun experimenting with them (and sharing them with my family for Easter).
For these truffles I used ‘The Dark Side’, an 85% cacao bar combined with ‘Intense’, a 75% cacao bar and ‘Essential Orange’ a 65% cacao bar. You could use any combination that takes your fancy.
The result was silky smooth truffles with a hint of orange and definitely no hint of coconut (despite using coconut cream).
Making them is so simple and the result is so delicious…I defy you not to try this recipe out!
Gluten & Dairy Free Chocolate Truffles
- 50 g bar 'Intense' Conscious Chocolate
- 50 g bar 'The Dark One' Conscious Chocolate
- 50 g bar 'Essential Orange' Conscious Chocolate
- 150 ml coconut cream either a tin, or remove the thick part from a tin of coconut milk that has been in the fridge over night
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- Raw cacao for dusting
Gently melt the chocolate bars either in a bowl over a pan of boiling water or in the microwave. If using a microwave, 30 seconds should be enough
Add the coconut cream and vanilla powder to the melted chocolate, stir well then place in the fridge to harden
After approx. 1 hour check the mixture to see if it is firm enough to roll. If so, scoop a little piece out of the bowl with a tea spoon and gently roll it with the tips of your fingers. It will melt easily to don't use the hot palm of your hand
Quickly roll in a plate of cacao and place to one side
Repeat until all the mixture has been used up
Refrigerate for about an hour before eating (if you can)
Store in the fridge
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