This carob truffle recipe is a great alternative to a cocoa-based sweets. It’s easy to make and delicious to eat too. As a healthy alternative to chocolate, these truffles are made with carob and natural sweeteners, like honey or maple syrup and can be made dairy free if you prefer.
Why make this recipe?
- Carob is a great alternative to chocolate
- Healthy recipe – you control the type of sugar and the amount
- Great base recipe which can be made with different toppings or flavours
- Can be made gluten free, dairy free, sugar freee, nut free
- Carob doesn’t contain caffeine so it’s a great alternative for people who get migraines from chocolate
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This recipe and me
I brought a carob syrup back from visiting Malta and I was keen on developing a chocolate truffle recipe that would make a good use of the flavour. I was also curious to make carob sweets, as they are quite expensive in the shops and difficult to come by. In the end I’ve ended up using both carob syrup and carob powder in the recipe and the flavour was so amazingly intense and very rich.
I also made this recipe suitable for Low FODMAP diet as I wanted it to be as easy to digest as possible.
My top tips on making this recipe successfully the first time round
- Heat the honey (or other sweetener), but don’t boil it to make the carob mixture to too hot
- Taste the carob ganache before you leave it to set and make your truffles. Adjust the flavour to your liking by adding more honey or milk powder, or butter, depending on your taste. Be careful how much of each extra in gredients you are adding in. If you add too much liquid you might need to add more milk powder to balance the texture of the carob ganache.
What makes this recipe work
- Add a bit of granulated coffee powder (granules) if you want the carob flavour to come out more ‘chocolatey’. Do this only if you don’t mind having caffeine in your carob sweets.
- A tiny pinch of fine salt always helps to bring the flavour together
Any specialist equipment needed?
The best thing about this carob truffles recipe is that you don’t need any specialist chocolatier equipment to make them.
- Bain marie, microwave or smaller saucepan to heat the butter and honey
- Catering gloves (optional) to roll the truffles
- Bowls for melting, stirring and rolling your truffles in
What exactly is carob?
Carob powder taste very similar to a cocoa powder and is harvested as a pod from a carob tree. The carob tree grows mainly in Mediterian countries. I’ve first come across carob products in Malta, where we visited a very ancient carob tree plantations and tried local sweets made with carob, including bars, syrups and even carob liquor.
Once we were on a long walk in the mountains in Northern Cyprus and we saw some carob pods on the ground where the trees were. They definitely tasted sweet, but more like a dates than chocolate. Like cocoa pods, the carob pods are harvested, dried and roasted, which is what gives them richer more chocolate flavour.
Carob is usually slightly more expensive than a cocoa powder, which is why I’ve made this recipe batch slightly smaller than my regular batch sizes.
The best thing about carob (well, two actually) is that not only it does taste like a chocolate, it doesn’t contain any caffeine. I know some people struggle with eating chocolate because it gives them headaches, but they are usually fine with carob sweets.
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What does carob taste like?
Although carob is a very good replacement for chocolate and the taste is somewhat similar, it’s not the same.
I find that carob is a lot stronger in flavour than chocolate, so if you prefer milk chocolate or not too strong dark chocolate, you might like to lower down the amount of carob in my recipe.
Carob has a slightly sweet taste with a subtle chocolate-like flavour. I can be also described as nutty or malty.
Is carob better for you than chocolate?
Whether carob is better for you than chocolate depends on a variety of factors, including your individual health needs and dietary preferences. The key differences between carob and chocolate are:
- Nutritional content: Carob is lower in fat and calories than chocolate, and contains more fibre and calcium. However, chocolate contains more iron and magnesium than carob.
- Flavour: Carob has a naturally sweet and nutty flavour, while chocolate is known for its rich and indulgent taste. Some people prefer the taste of carob to chocolate, while others find it less satisfying because it’s not as rich.
- Sugar content: Carob is naturally sweeter than chocolate, which means that it requires less added sugar in recipes. However, some carob products may still contain added sugar or other sweeteners.
- Caffeine content: Chocolate contains caffeine, while carob does not. For people who are sensitive to caffeine, carob may be a better choice.
Time saving tip
- Use a microwave to heat up the honey, but be super careful as honey gets very quickly hot
- Use a melon scoop if you want your truffles to look exactly the same or weigh each carob truffle before rolling in the carob powder.
Ingredients & Possible Substitutions
- Carob – powder
- Sweetener – honey, agave, date syrup, glucose, golden syrup, coconut or carob syrup
- Butter – unsalted butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, plant based butter, coconut butter
- Milk – powdered coconut milk, powdered normal milk, powdered plant based milk
- Vanilla extract
How to make carob truffles at home
In the small bowl mix the carob powder with a tiny pinch of fine salt and honey.
Heat very gently either in a microwave (10 sec at a time) or placed over a saucepan of hot water. Don’t overheat or boil, just melt the carob powder into the honey.
Take the bowl from the heat and carefully stir in the butter (or coconut oil), coconut milk powder and vanilla extract.
Leave to cool down until it’s firmer (in a room temperature or in fridge)
Using a small spoon scoop out a bit of the corob mixture, roll together to form a ball.
Roll straightaway in a carob powder mixed with cinnamon.
Carry on to make the rest of the carob truffles
Best left to set for few hours before serving or wrapping.
How else you can make this carob truffles recipe?
Here are my favourite flavour ideas that can be used with this carob truffles recipe and keep this recipe low sugar and reasonably healthy.
- Coffee – swap the vanilla essence for 1/2 teaspoon of powdered coffee granules
- Seeds & Nuts – add 1 teaspoon or more of seeds and (or) nuts to the mixture
- Peanut Butter – swap the regular butter for 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Leave out 1 tablespoon of honey or the sweetener, depending whether your peanut butter is sweetened or not.
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This carob truffles recipe will make approximately 10 truffles, but it depends on how big (or small you make them).
Can I scale up this recipe?
Yes, absolutely. I’ve deliberately left the quantities of this carob truffles recipe quite low because I know carob powder can be a bit tricky to get hold of and it’s fairly pricey.
To double up the recipe, just multiply the ingredients twice and follow the instructions as they are.
If your carob truffle filling splits, leave the whole mixture to cool down first and then stir again. The trick is to leave out the honey (or the natural sweetener) to cool down the mixture first before you start to stir the carob filling.
How to make carob taste like chocolate
Carob has a naturally sweet flavour with a subtle chocolate-like taste, but if you want to enhance its chocolate-like flavour, you can try the following tips:
- Add cocoa powder: Mixing carob powder with cocoa powder can help to enhance its chocolate flavour. Start by adding a small amount of cocoa powder and gradually increase the amount until you reach the desired flavour.
- Use vanilla extract: Adding a small amount of vanilla extract to your carob recipe can help to enhance its chocolate-like flavour.
- Add cinnamon: Cinnamon has a warm, spicy flavour that can complement the natural sweetness of carob and help to enhance its chocolate-like flavour.
- Mix with chocolate: Mixing carob chips or powder with melted chocolate can help to enhance its chocolate-like flavour while still keeping the health benefits of carob.
- Add natural sweeteners: Adding natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup can help to enhance the natural sweetness of carob and bring out its chocolate-like flavour
Can this recipe be made in advance?
This carob truffles recipe is fine for at least 7-14 days and in fact at least 24 hrs give this recipe a time to make the flavours more intense.
How to store the truffles
Keep the carob truffles in a cold, dark place, ideally in an airtight container.
There is very little that can go off as an ingredient in this carob truffle recipe. I’ve previously had these truffles for 7-14 days and they still tasted really good. I think they would easily last 4 weeks, but to be on the safe side, you should make these truffles for immediate use to enjoy them within the next 3-4 days.
Why not stay in touch…
I hope you enjoy making this recipe and if you do, I’d love to know what you think! Let me know in the comments below or find me on Instagram or Facebook and add the hashtag #cocoaandheart so that I can see your post.
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- 4 tablespoons carob powder
- 2 tablespoons honey agave, coconut or carob syrup
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons powdered milk powdered coconut milk
- tiny pinch of fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-4 tablespoons carob powder mixed with ground cinnamon or mixed spice for coating.
- In the small bowl mix the carob powder with a tiny pinch of fine salt and honey.
- Heat very gently either in a microwave (10 sec at a time) or placed over a saucepan of hot water. Don't overheat or boil, just melt the carob powder into the honey.
- Take the bowl from the heat and carefully stir in the butter (or coconut oil), coconut milk powder and vanilla extract.
- Leave to cool down until it's firmer (in a room temperature or in fridge)
- Using a small spoon scoop out a bit of the corob mixture, roll together to form a ball.
- Roll straightaway in a carob powder mixed with cinnamon.
- Carry on to make the rest of the carob truffles
- Best left to set for few hours before serving or wrapping.
This recipe was originally written on 6 March 2021 and last tested and updated on 17 April 2023