As a wild cook, sometimes I hit upon creating a new recipe that works first time, I mean, really works. This recipe was one of those. It uses Alexander seeds (Smyrnium olusatrum) which is one of my favourite wild spices. Meanwhile, here's my Alexander seed bread recipe, while we're at it!
Alexander seeds has an unusual bitter, peppery flavour which balance the wonderfully deep chocolate tone of these raw truffles perfectly. They can be made in an instant too.
I start teaching alexander seeds on my foraging courses from August through to Winter. I love individually wrapping them as tasters for course participants, ok, my wrapping isn't brilliant but the taste is pretty good! Alexanders are a member of the umbelliferae family and must be identified properly.
Recipe for Alexander Seed and Cacao Truffles
- 250 g dates (pitted)
- 3 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 3 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 dessertspoon ground alexander seeds*
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp blackberry cordial (optional)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 2 tsp ground alexander seeds
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or by-hand. I tend to do this by hand by roughly chopping the dates and firmly massaging with the rest of the ingredients until combined. You can also heat the chopped dates in the oil first and soften them that way. Break off pieces and roll into 18 balls.
Finely grind the coating in a seed or coffee grinder and roll the balls in the mixture. Keep in the fridge and use within a week – they won’t go off, but the truffles will harden if you keep them much longer.