Prepared by Chef Shoshana Perrey
A fabulous low-sugar gluten-free vegetarian (or vegan) dessert idea for those on special diets.
Halwa-ween Carrot Coconut Truffles
These delicious, low-sugar pumpkin-shaped treats allow all our sweet-tooth cravings while making use of carrots and a fun edible activity for kids! Recipe adapted from my kitchen sister, Emma Frisch (www.emmafrisch.com). This carrot mixture is referred to as halwa in India, hence the Halwa-ween!
- Large saucepan
- Tongs (to stir)
- Grater (to shred the carrots)
- Parchment paper (to line the baking sheet)
- Baking sheet (to place the formed pumpkins in the refrigerator)
- Toothpick or chopstick (to make indentations for the eyes and mouth)
- 1/4 cup-sized ice-cream scoop (to form the pumpkins)
- 8 cups shredded carrots
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or a mix of your favorite warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg)
- 5 Tbsp honey (maple syrup, or coconut sugar; to taste)
- 1 cup milk (whole or any percent; or substitute with full-fat coconut milk – see Notes, below)
- 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk (about 400 grams; see Notes, below)
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Stem, eyes and mouth
- 16 pumpkin seeds (for the stem of each pumpkin)
- 48 (about 1/4 cup) dried black currants (for the eyes and mouth; substitute with raisins – see Notes, below)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (for coating each pumpkin)
- Melt the butter in your largest saucepan. Add the pumpkin spice and stir for about 30 seconds until the kitchen smells astoundingly good.
- Add the carrots, stir well with the hot flavored butter and sauté until they are slightly soft and some water has been released, for about 5 minutes. Stir often.
- Add the honey and milk, stir well. Cook over medium-high heat, until the carrots have absorbed all of the liquid, about 15 minutes. Stir often.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup of shredded coconut, stir well. Continue to cook until the liquid is fully absorbed again, about 10 minutes. Stir often.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool, stir often.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Form the truffles
- Once the halwa has cooled, roll about 1/4 cup at a time into balls, and then roll in the shredded coconut to coat. Place on the lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for one hour or overnight.
- Place a pumpkin seed in the top of each truffle, like a pumpkin stem.
- Using a chopstick or toothpick, make holes for the eyes and mouth. Fill the holes with the currants.
- Serve chilled is best.
If you are using organic carrots, don’t worry about peeling them. Carrot skins have all sorts of good nutrients from being in contact with the soil. If you’re squeamish about dirt, give them a good scrub. When buying sweetened condensed milk, look for an organic version. Likewise, if you’re substituting with coconut milk, make sure that coconut milk is the only ingredient in the can! If you are using raisins instead of dried black currants, you may want to cut them into smaller pieces.