Making Diabetic Chocolates

I have a couple of friends who are diabetic, and they occasionally bemoan the fact that they can’t eat much chocolate, largely because of the sugar content. Products designed specifically for diabetics tend to contain maltitol, which doesn’t taste QUITE the same as sucrose, and can have a nasty laxative effect if consumed in any quantity. I discovered this to my surprise the first time I tried sugar free sweets in any quantity, and it wasn’t pleasant, so we won’t go there!

So I designed this recipe for them, particularly for my friend Nic, (because of the wonderful theatrical shudder of horror she does when talking about sugar free chocolate), and for all you other diabetics out there who can’t stand so called "sugar free" products. Do bear in mind that this recipe still contains some sucrose, and is high in fat, so you will still need to be disciplined about how many you eat.

It is very important that you buy the right chocolate for this recipe, don’t try to save yourself some pennies and buy cheap dark chocolate, as it will contain a lot less cocoa and a LOT more sugar, which defeats the whole object of the exercise.

I have used 85% cocoa chocolate (this means that overall, the total mass of cocoa butter and cocoa powder in the chocolate adds up to 85% of the total weight of the bar. The other 15% will mostly be sugar, with a little vanilla added usually for flavour, and a small amount of soya lecithin added as an emulsifier). I added clove powder because it adds a subtle spicy roundness to the chocolate flavour, which I like. If you fancy a different spice, then ginger or cardamom would work well instead, or a few drops of pure orange or peppermint oil would also work well.

Bear in mind as well that I have added a little bit of fructose to the coating mixture to take the bitter edge off the cocoa. Fructose is a much more suitable sweetener for people with diabetes than sucrose, since it does not cause an insulin response, but like all sugars there are health concerns if it is consumed in large amounts, so don’t change the quantities in the recipe.

These truffles have a very intense chocolate flavour, and are less sweet than most confectionery, so a single truffle will probably go a long way. Relax and savour, don’t gobble them!

Extra Dark Truffles with Clove

100g (3.5 oz) 85% cocoa chocolate
80ml (2.7 fl. oz) double cream
¼ tsp powdered clove
4 tsps Cocoa powder
1 tsp Fructose

To melt the chocolate, cut or break it into small pieces and place in a double boiler, or a heatproof bowl over a saucepan that is just big enough to support it round the edges. Put some water in the base of your double boiler or saucepan (but not enough for it to touch the base of the bowl which the chocolate is held in), Heat the water to a very gentle simmer, and stir occasionally while melting. Make sure that the water in the base of your double boiler does not boil dry. Also, be sure not to let any water come into contact with the chocolate, as it will "seize", that is, turn into a thick paste with a strange texture, which is completely unusable. Once the chocolate is completely melted, set it aside to cool a little for a few minutes.

Fold the cooled chocolate gently into the double cream and clove powder and put into the fridge to cool, taking it out for a stir every 10-15 minute intervals, until it is of such a consistency that you can mould it in your hands.

Put the cocoa and fructose together into a small airtight container, and shake well. Sift the resulting mixture onto a plate.

Then mould the truffle mixture into spheres about 1 inch across, rolling them between your palms, and then roll each in the cocoa mixture, and tap the excess away on the edge of the plate when it is completely coated.

The truffles should be stored an airtight container in the fridge, and should be eaten within a week.

Makes about 24 truffles. The entire batch contains 94g fat, and 990 kcal, so that works out at around 41 calories/4g fat per truffle. The total cost of the ingredients was £2.30.

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About The Author, Joe Smith