"For chocolate aficionados, nothing provides a better fix than a truffle," says Rebecca Katz, whose Date Nut Truffles were served in the Bastyr Dining Commons for her Cancer-Fighting Kitchen workshop in September 2011. "My friend Wendy, an incredible chocolatier, designed these confections from a scrumptious melange of choclate, dates, orange zest and ground nuts, all rolled in coconut. I could tell you that the reason to eat these is because they're high in protein and phytochemicals, but how 'bout we just call that a nice side benefit of yum! Since you're going to indulge in a chocolate dessert, be sure to make it the best by using high-quality chocolate."
Soak the diced apricots in cold water for 5 minutes.
Stir the boiling water into the chopped chocolate and let it stand for 30 seconds. Using a small whisk, stir until the chocolate is completely melted and glossy. Coarsely grind the almonds in a food processor, then add the dates, orange zest, salt and the chocolate mixture and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl; drain the apricots well and stir them into the chocolate mixture. Cover and chill for approximately 2 hours, until firm.
Scatter the coconut on a large plate. Scoop up approximately 1 tablespoon of the chocolate mixture and roll it into a smooth ball between your palms, then roll it in the coconut to coat. Repeat with the remaining mixture, then place the truffles in an airtight container and chill thoroughly before serving.
Variation: Substitute 1/2 cup of pecans for the almonds.