Friday, July 15, 2016

Date, coconut, cacao and almond balls (truffles)

Hello, friends. It’s been a while, huh?
I never meant to stay away from this place this long but sometimes life happens, things get busy, summer hits and you get all crazy and can’t stay in one place too long, you know how it is.

I’ve been in the kitchen a lot, as per usual —it is my favorite room in the house to be in even when it’s hot— and I’ve been cooking delicious sweet and savory things. I’ve been photographing as well, taking notes, testing recipes, but I didn’t get around to posting them. Somehow the thought of sitting down and writing was something that I didn’t want to do.

It’s been a constant struggle of mine throughout the years that I’ve been blogging, this sitting down to write thing. Many times, I’d rather the photos, food or recipe talk for themselves but then, when I plan to do a post like that, I feel like it’s cheating. Is it cheating?

Anyway, here I am, sharing with you a recipe that I fell in love with because of its simplicity, flavor and overall deliciousness. And it’s also good for you. Winning combination, right? Plus, if summer has hit you hard where you’re living and it’s terribly hot, you won’t even have to break a sweat making this; nor turn on your oven.

So, here it is. My favorite date, coconut, almond and cacao balls of goodness. They’re jammy sweet from the dates, ultra coconutty from the dried coconut, crispy and earthy from the almonds, beautifully chocolaty from the raw cacao powder and there’s a hint of cinnamon that ties the whole thing together. They’re fudgy but not ultra dense or cloggy as I don’t process the mixture to oblivion but just enough to have a sticky yet coarse mixture that holds together and retain the texture of the individual ingredients.

I roll half of the balls in desiccated coconut and the other half in cacao powder, which actually makes them distinct not only in flavor but also in texture.
It’s the perfect healthy dessert, quick breakfast, or snack. Hope you enjoy them!
Tag me on instagram if you make them, or leave me a comment here.

P.S. This.

Date, coconut, cacao and almond balls (truffles) (Vegan)

I don’t use any other kind of date than medjool in this recipe. You need those large, soft, juicy dates with caramel flavor and not the small flavorless ones.

If you can’t find raw cacao powder, use regular cocoa powder. The difference in flavor is small.

Yield: 18 balls (truffles)

100 g Medjool dates without pits (about 7 dates)
90 g blanched almonds
75 g coconut flakes (or desiccated coconut)
15 g (2 Tbsp) raw cacao powder
90 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
A pinch of salt

Raw cacao powder, for rolling half of the balls
Desiccated coconut, for rolling half of the balls

Special equipment: (strong) food processor

Grind the almonds in the food processor until crumbly. Don’t process them finely because you need them to give texture and crunch to the balls. Empty them in a bowl.

Add the coconut flakes to the food processor and grind them but not to a powder. You want them to be almost like desiccated coconut, but even a bit coarser than that is even better, because it will give more texture to the balls. (If you’re using desiccated coconut skip this step).

Add all the ingredients in the food processor and process for a few seconds until you have a sticky mixture that holds together but that is still slightly coarse. Again, I’m stressing the texture aspect here because if you process the mixture too much, you will have a mush.

Empty the mixture in a bowl, take tablespoonfuls of the mixture (the size of a small walnut) and roll them into balls. Place on a baking paper.
Then roll half of them in cacao powder and half in desiccated coconut.

Place them in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up before serving.
Store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container, for up to 1 week.


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