Murphy's Decadent Truffle Squares

I'm debating whether even to share this with you. And if you are looking for a quick and easy chocolate fix, this isn't it. At least the blog isn't. You have to read the whole damn thing to get to the good part. If you aren't willing to at least make that effort, I'm not giving you the secret. You see, last night it was a chocolate cream pie so amazing you would never ever believe it's part of a grain-free, gluten-free, low-carb au natural eating regimen.

That was yesterday. Murphy stopped by. I'm not making this up. Murphy took a perfectly perfect chocolate cream pie, low carb, gluten-free, egg-free, and to die for good, and messed with it overnight.

Now you could say it's my fault, I'm no Martha Stewart. Thank God. I don't particularly like that woman. But the thing is, Martha Stewart is one fabulous cook. She has a ridiculously great coconut chocolate cream pie recipe and I wanted to bake it for a friend who is in need of the aforesaid gluten-free, egg-free, soy lecithin-free to-die-for chocolate treat. 

I know there are some people who think aside from allergies, many of us are just a bit kooky when it comes to requiring farm to table food, and the whole grain-free thing has you thinking we're simply fat people without will power. No, some of us are fat people who genetically aren't programed to eat the crap out of the box. Maybe you are more advanced on the evolutionary scale, allowing you to eat things like rice maltodextrin, sodium aluminum phosphate, modified food starch, et al. Good for you and enjoy. For the rest of us, the discovery that many diseases can be abated if not cured with diet is fabulous. And that chocolate is nature's candy and is readily available (use fair trade please) even better.

Back to chocolate. Unfortunately, I can't use Martha's exact recipe because it uses Bittersweet Chocolate. Now you'd think, being bittersweet, that it would be fairly low in sugar. Wrongo my amateur chocolatier. Pure chocolate is quite bitter. So they have to throw some sugar in to make it palatable. Then they have to make it smooth enough to melt in your mouth. So they add the Soy Lecithin and the cocoa butter and whatever else is needed to create an edible concoction. So, no-go on the Bittersweet.

Her recipe also called for sweetened coconut flakes. Again with the sugar Martha! Too much sugar is bad for everyone.

So a few substitutions were in order. I needed to bring the sugar content way way down. Plus I had some macadamia nuts just begging for a purpose other than to make happy memories in my mouth.

So. I used unsweetened chocolate. And a blend of Stevia and Sugar. If you aren't familiar with Stevia, it's a plant based sweetener. Another gift from Mother Nature. My first reaction when it was finished was OMG THAT'S THE BEST PIE EVER. How did I know? Obviously since this wasn't for me I couldn't slice into it. But there might have been a little filling left over in the bowl. On the spatula, the spoon, the mixing blades... the counter. Nuf said. 


Enter my bud Murphy, This morning when I arose, I discovered what all that soy lecithin and cocoa butter is for. My Creamy yummy filling had hardened into fudge. Granted the best tasting fudge ever, but fudge nevertheless. Time for plan B. My friend was counting on me to come through for her. 

So after careful consideration and conversation on my morning walk with my mother... an excellent baker, we decided if it looks like a truffle, and it tastes like a truffle... 

So here it is in all it's glory. The most scrumptiously delicious chocolate cream pie I personally have ever made, that ended up being the most scrumptiously delicious squares of deep, decadent chocolate ecstasy. Ever. It's like biting into a Ghirardelli truffle without the guilt. Ok. I used Ghirardelli. Who wouldn't. Chocolate so good I seriously considered putting a lock on the fridge to keep out the midnight snack bandits. 

Word of warning. This isn't low fat. And it's not milk chocolate for wimps either. Good chocolate will never be low fat. And should never be watered down. But it is low carb, with only 4 grams of sugar per serving. It is also organic, as best I could make it. And of course it is gluten, grain, soy, peanut and almond free. Please though, do not go at this thinking it's for the occasional chocolate eater. Serious chocoholics only need read on.


The Recipe

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 cup UNSWEETENED coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
4 tablespoons softened organic butter (grass fed preferred, or use Ghee)
1.5 tablespoons Stevia (I use Stevia in the Raw)

Filling:
8 oz. UNSWEETENED chocolate, broken into pieces or chopped
1.5 cups heavy cream (organic preferred)
1/4 cup each Stevia and sugar, or 1/2 cup stevia (you can increase or decrease the amounts to taste)

First, the crust.
Preheat a 325 F oven. Now if we were going back for a second swing at that pie, you can grease a 9" pie dish. Only consider the pie if you will eat within a few hours. Otherwise, use a flat cookie sheet and line with parchment paper if you're going for the truffle squares.

Combine coconut, nuts, softened butter and stevia. Now I use stevia, you can certainly use sweetened coconut instead if your diet permits.

Use a mini food processor or you can mix by hand just enough to blend the butter into the coconut and nuts. Rule of them, is to add about a third of the coconut to the butter first, blend that, then add the rest of the nuts and coconut. 

Finish it off by mashing it all together with your fingers till it's well blended. FYI, you can by some nice clear disposable gloves at the pharmacy which work great if your market doesn't have them.

Place the doughy mixture into the pie dish and press into the pan using your fingers. Cover the center first, and work it outwards to the sides, going up at least 1" all away around. Keep pressing and molding with your fingertips. It's not easy and it does take patience.

If making the scrumptious squares, line a cookie tray with parchment and spread out the coconut dough with your fingers and palm to make a nice even layer. Don't worry about covering the whole tray. It's not important. Just cover enough that there are no bare spots.

Place it in the oven for about 15 minutes and it should be starting to brown. You don't need to cook it all the way through... it's like a graham cracker crust and should still have it's texture.

Take it out and let it cool. One low carb coconut macadamia crust ready to fill or top:)

While it's cooling, make the cream filling.
Place the Chocolate pieces into a large mixing bowl.
Heat the cream either on the stove, or preferably in the microwave, until it's just about to boil. Don't let it boil... watch it carefully and keep checking it. I put the cream in a pyrex measuring cup so I could watch it. For me in the microwave it was about 1.5 minutes...
Take the hot cream and pour it over the chocolate. Let it stand 10 minutes.

Now comes the hard part. Begin mixing the cream and chocolate, which is now going to be a gooey melting substance. At first, the cream will remain light colored and bits of chocolate will start to appear in it. Looks like a cookies and cream candy bar. Fret not. Continue stirring and mixing and scraping the chocolate off the bottom of the bowl and in a fairly wondrous way, the mixture will start to look like old fashioned pudding. Keep mixing! Don't stop now you're on a roll. But while you're mixing, start adding your stevia/sugar blend and stir stir stir. If the mixture looks a bit lumpy, grab a hand mixer, and gently... very very gently, work out the lumps for a minute or two. That's all though. Then grab your spatula and scrape and stir a few times more. Now your filling should look divinely and richly chocolate. Take a taste and make sure it's sweet enough. Add more stevia or sugar as needed. Don't get put off by the mixture while you work it. I thought it was an utter failure at first too.

Once the taste is to your liking, DO NOT STICK YOUR FINGER BACK IN THAT BOWL. I know you want to. Instead, pour the mixture into the center of the crust and gently swirl it outwards until you have what looks like a fabulous cream pie, or a flat odd ball thing. 

PIE: Cover the pie and refrigerate until ready to serve, no more than a few hours. Slice into 12 portions, then cut each of those in half. This is a 9" pie that serves 24. It's ridiculously rich. 

TRUFFLE SQUARES: Cover and refrigerate the tray overnight. PUT THAT FORK AWAY. You must wait.

After the tray has set nicely, at least 12 hours, you'll need a very very sharp knife. Slice your concoction into about 24 pieces if you can. Small. These are not brownies or cake bars or regular cookies. These are truffles and must be consumed in small pieces. The crust can be bit crumbly, don't worry. This isn't a beauty pageant. It's a chocoholic's dream come true. Besides, whatever's left on the tray is fair game. 

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. Remember if you aren't using a lot of sugar, these precious goodies don't have a shelf life. Freeze unused portions for midnight raids or hormonal emergencies.







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