Ooooh. Raspberry dark chocolate and cardamom white chocolate truffles. Layers of goodness. Here you see an army of the white chocolate centers (vegan white chocolate, cocoa butter, freshly ground green cardamom, powdered soy milk), and then the finished truffles, with the dark layer made using the method described here. I made the centers, let them harden overnight (they're not melty, they're crumbly), and then wrapped them in prepared dark chocolate/raspberry stuff. Please read this about chocolate.
Now for the long, long rant. I cook a lot. I bake a lot. I make truffles. There are people who I love to give treats to, and those who rarely get any. Why?
How to get me to give you truffles:
(or cake, or cookies, or entire dinners)
1. Say please and thank you. They really are magic words. People like giving gifts to those who appreciate them. There is little pleasure in (and therefore little motivation to) giving to those who are dismissive or rude.
2. A gift is not an act of charity or obligation. It is an expression of love, friendship, goodwill.. etc. Acknowledge it. You are being given something that, by definition, you have done nothing to deserve. How wonderful! Acting like you are simply getting your due makes you look like a selfish, spoiled, entitled asshat.
3. Unless constructive criticism is solicited, don't offer it. If someone is perfecting a recipe, or wants to know if there is anything that would make you like it more, they'll probably ask. Otherwise, you're being critical and mean.
4. Say something nice, and ONLY something nice. "Thank you", for example. Don't use backhanded compliments like "Wow, this is much less repulsive than I thought it would be." If you categorically hate a certain ingredient, politely turn the gift down, or accept it ("thank you") and put it aside to deal with later. If you willingly bite into something you know you hate, and you find out (oh the shock!) that you still don't like it, it's your problem. At that point, you just have to suck it up.
Oh, and just in case it's not obvious, comments like "this is good for a vegan cookie" or "wow, this tastes like real cake" are backhanded compliments, are rude, and will put you in my "no presents" book forever.
5. Be generally nice. I'm more likely to take the time to set some yummy aside for you if the thought of your sweet little mug fills me with joy instead of anger. Just to revise, being nice is not just the absence of being mean. Being nice goes beyond the contractual relationship that we have (colleague, flatmate, whatever). Some things that are nice: washing out someone elses coffee cup when you're doing dishes anyway, turning off your cell phone during dinner, not putting in your ipod earphones when someone else in in midsentence. Saying hi, bye, please, thanks (ie, not treating people like furniture). Being sensitive to other people's comfort (So, inviting me out to dinner, and then eating steak in front of me is NOT NICE, because it means that I can't enjoy my food. In fact, it means that I'll probably be focusing mainly on not gagging. If you can't envision eating in a restaurant without eating steak, then don't invite me. We'll do coffee instead, or just go for a walk, okay?). Basically, being nice is actively noticing someone is there, and doing little things to make their life better at no real cost to you. I don't give truffles to people who treat me like furniture, or who clearly expend the minimal civil amount of time and thought on me. Like I said, gifts are not charities. I do give out stuff as charity, but that's a whole different pot of beans that we can get into another time.
6. If said truffles are part of a dinner/afternoon tea, be a gracious guest. Show appreciation. (Basically, do 1-5). Barring genuine mistakes, it is unacceptable to arrive with a gift or contribution that the host is ethically opposed to. For example, it is rude to bring non-vegan wine to a dinner party that I am hosting, even if I am the only vegan there.
7. Don't be a martyr. You are not doing someone a favour by accepting their gift. They are doing you one by offering it. Graciously accepting a gift is a skill, so learn it. If you ask me to make you something (even "just so you can try it") and then go on at length about how very open minded you are to deign to accept my vegan truffles/ice cream/cake/sushi, you will never get them again, even if you follow that up with groans of pleasure, profuse thanks, and by nominating me for Grand Poobah of the Cooking Universe. Similarly, if it takes a little extra time or effort to locate "something vegan" to feed me or bring to dinner, don't whine about it. If coming to my dinner parties is such a horrible chore, choose not to come. If you choose to come, be a gracious guest, not a martyr. Gracious guests get invited back often and fed goodies. They are a joy.
Basically, unless you are in a restaurant, people are not your personal chefs and are in no way obliged to make you anything, ever (though I'd hate to live in a world where people only did what they were obliged to do). If they do, it's because they're giving you a gift. Act accordingly, and you shall get more gifts (everyone wins, because nothing is more fun that giving gifts to those who are good at accepting them). Act like they're your personal household staff, and you will soon find that if you want truffles, you'll have to pay for them.