Chocolate Orange Sesame Truffles recipe from the Queen of Vegan Desserts - Rancho La Puerta
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Chocolate Orange Sesame Truffles recipe from the Queen of Vegan Desserts

Visiting Chef Fran Costigan’s cookbook, Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent and Dairy-Free Dessert, is packed full of recipes for delicious treats. In honor of World Chocolate Day, July 7, 2018, we want to share one of the recipes she taught on her recent visit to our cooking school. The bitterness of the chocolate is pleasantly delivered with undertones of zesty orange and crunchy toasted sesames. It is the perfect complement to an espresso.

Fresh orange juice and finely minced orange zest are cooked with tahini (sesame seed paste) and a small amount of agave syrup to make this super easy chocolate truffle. The sesame seed coating adds crunch and calcium.

Makes 20 to 24 (1-Inch) Truffles

Tips for Truffle Making:

Keep the bowl of ganache at room temperature while you test the final consistency. A properly made truffle ganache is firm enough to scoop and shape but still tastes creamy. Dip a teaspoon into the ganache, set the coated spoon on a small plate, and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. After chilling, the ganache on the spoon should be smooth and firm, but still taste creamy. It is unlikely, but if the ganache is too firm, add a tablespoon of room temperature liquid, and repeat the test. 


4 ounces (114g) dairy-free chocolate (70% to 72%), finely chopped

Finely minced zest of a medium organic orange

3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup (2 ounces) agave syrup

1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) tahini, stirred

1/4 cup (2 ounces) natural sesame seeds, lightly toasted, more as needed


  1. Put the chocolate into a small heatproof bowl.
  2. Mix the orange zest, juice, and agave in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and add the tahini, whisking vigorously. Do not be concerned if it looks broken or curdled. It will smooth out as you whisk. Simmer the mixture for 30 seconds until it is shiny and smooth. Remove from the heat.
  4. Wait about 30 seconds until the mixture is no longer steaming and pour it over the chocolate, all at once. Cover the bowl with a plate. Wait one minute and then stir until the chocolate is completely melted. The ganache will not be perfectly smooth.
  5. Cool to room temperature, stirring a few times with a silicone spatula.
  6. Spoon into a small shallow square container and refrigerate uncovered for about two hours until the ganache is firm. The ganache can be covered and refrigerated at this point for up to one week.

Make The Truffles:

Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and cut into squares. If at any time the ganache becomes too soft to shape, refrigerate until cold and proceed. Toss a few ganache squares into a bowl or bag of sesame seeds and turn to coat. Continue coating until all the squares are completed. Refrigerate or freeze until needed.

Serve at room temperature.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days, or freeze for up to two months.

See more recipes or find your perfect week at The Ranch.