Choccy treat balls

These delightful choccy treat balls were inspired by a recipe from my friend Tina. Traditionally they were just 3 ingredients (dates, cacao and coconut oil) but I added in liquids (water/orange juice) to make them smoother and softer with additional orange and mint respectively. They went down a treat with everybody at work ūüôā

MAin (blog)

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

With the size I choose, I made 32 balls – 16 of each flavor. Please note that since a medium Medjool date contains 7.7 grams of fructose, the total content for this recipe is 77 grams. If you make 36 balls, that is just over 2 grams per ball. I try to stay below 15 grams per day = 7 balls.

Ingredients:

10 medium Medjool dates (These are very soft which is what you need but you can probably sub for others if you can find some really soft ones, then you probably just need to put in extra dates as Medjool usually are a little bigger than your average date. I buy organic loose dates in my local New World in the fresh veggie section, but dates can otherwise be found in bags in the isles next to sultanas etc)

20-24 tbsp cacao (or cocoa) powder

2 tsp coconut oil (or rice bran oil, but you might need to add a little more cacao at the end if it gets too sticky – or, if you are not lactose intolerant, melted butter)

1 tsp mint essence (or any other essence you can think of)

45 ml water (3 tbsp)

50 ml (3 tbsp + 1 tsp) freshly squeezed orange juice with pulp (approx the juice from half a medium sized orange)

Toppings (E.g. chopped nuts and desiccated coconut or whatever else you have in your cupboard)

Optional: ‘Nutella‘ or other chocolate spread¬†(this recipe takes only 5 min if you have some peanut butter)

Directions:

Pit all the dates and place them in a bowl with 8 tbsp cacao and all the oil.

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Combine and knead with your hands until the “dough” is well mixed and smooth (or pop in a food processor).

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Now divide the dough in two equal portions and place in two separate bowls.

Orange balls: Add the orange juice and 6-8 tbsp of cacao (put less cacao in first and then stop when it has the consistency you prefer). Knead/combine.

Mint balls: Add the mint essence, water and 6-8 tbsp of cacao (put less cacao in first and then stop when it has the consistency you prefer). Knead/combine.

Roll each portion out into a long roll and cut into 8 pieces. Then shape into a ball and cover in your favorite toppings (I choose chopped almonds for the orange balls and desiccated coconut for the mint balls).

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You can either finish there, or inject some filling, I made some with ‘Nutella“.

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Now your balls are ready to eat straight away or keep in an airtight container in the pantry or fridge. Enjoy!

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Fudgy chocolate

This recipe was a little bit of luck. I had run out of dextrose to make chocolate chips for another recipe (mint chocolate chip ice cream – will post later this week), so I used glucose syrup instead. Rather than hard and crunchy, this chocolate turned out decadent, chewy and fudgy! This chocolate can be used for anything – add as chips in ice cream, cupcakes or cookies or just eat as a treat.

Main (blog)

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

100 grams cocoa butter

3 tbsp glucose syrup

2 1/2 tbsp cacao (or cocoa)

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Directions:

Measure out your cocoa butter.

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Then chop it up and melt over a water bath. Then add the glucose syrup whilst stirring and keep stirring until it has dissolved as much as possible (it will separate a little bit and the syrup will stay at the bottom. You may find that it doesn’t dissolve completely, that’s okay, it will still turn out fine).

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Take off the heat, add in the rest of the ingredients and stir some more.

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Then pour into a container (lined with a baking sheet) or make into chips or other decorative ¬†shapes (just keep in mind that if you go too thin the end shape will bend at room temperature due to it’s fudginess). It will naturally separate into layers of liquid and dense chocolate (as seen by the different brown colors in the photos below. I love the different texture in bars etc. However, if you want more fudgy, chewiness rather than crunch, add more syrup and chocolate or reduce the cocoa butter.

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Then freeze until it has set (10 min – 30 min) and chop up and use for whatever purpose you desire! Or, you can keep it in the freezer for whenever you have a craving for it – after 10 seconds out of the freezer it has softened a little bit and you can munch away (depending on the thickness you may have to be patient a little longer if it’s completely frozen – the thicker you go, the longer it takes to ‘defrost’). Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Chocolate peanut butter spread

PC spread

This evening I felt like something chocolatey in particular and more precisely, Nutella….. drool…¬†¬† I created a palm oil free version last year (palm oil plantations are destroying most of the worlds pristine jungles and the animals in them, like tigers and orangutans – just so that we can buy cheaper products as this is a cheap oil).¬† And this recipe is glorious! Nobody I have served it too can tell the difference between that and Nutella (please ask me if you would like the recipe).

However, that recipe does have dairy and sugar in it, so, whilst I wait for my latest shipment (including cacao butter – I need this to make a good version) to arrive in the post I came up with this quick solution to pour over some muffins I made yesterday (muffin version of my pear and blueberry loaf). It doesn’t taste like Nutella but rather like peanut butter meets chocolate bar and gets a kiss ūüėČ

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

3 tbsp cacao powder

3 tbsp peanut butter (use 100% pure peanut butter – I found that most cheaper brands have a disgusting amount of sugar, added oil and additives in it – you can even make your own. Pop peanuts in a blender, combine and done!)

1-2 tbsp Dextrose (glucose) powder

1 tbsp oil (I used canola)
Ingredients

Combine all ingredients with a fork. Change any ingredient to your liking to make it sweeter, more cocoay (is that a word?) or less runny. Voila!

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