The richness of walnuts, the natural sweetness of dates and a hint of curry in the coating set these truffles apart from the sugary intensity of most candy truffles. Make the walnut coating in the food processor first, and then proceed directly to making the chocolate mixture in the same container.
For the walnut curry coating:
- 1/4 cup California walnuts
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- Pinch of salt
For the chocolate walnut mixture:
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 2 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate (64 to 72 percent cacao content; noted on the label), very finely chopped
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped California walnuts
- 1 cup (about 5 ounces) pitted and halved Medjool dates
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup (about 2 ounces) finely diced dried cherries
- To prepare the walnut coating, in a food processor with a clean, dry bowl and blade, grind the walnuts, curry powder and salt into a fine meal. Be careful not to over process, or the mixture will become oily; you want it to remain light and dry. Scatter the mixture on a large plate and set aside.
- To make the chocolate walnut mixture, in a small bowl stir the boiling water into the chopped chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds. Using a small whisk, stir until the chocolate is completely melted and glossy.
- Coarsely grind the walnuts in a food processor, then add the dates, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt, and process for a minute, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the container. Add the melted chocolate and process until smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute more, again stopping once to scrape down the sides. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cherries. Cover and chill for approximately two hours—or overnight if you wish—so the mixture becomes firm enough to shape easily.
- To form the truffles, scoop up approximately 2 teaspoons of the chocolate mixture and roll it into a smooth ball between your palms. Roll the ball in the curried walnuts to coat. Shape and coat the remaining truffles the same way. Place them in an airtight container and chill thoroughly before serving.