Recently in the evenings I have been craving chocolate like it’s going out of fashion. This isn’t normal for me; I like salty foods like crisps or hot buttered toast or anything involving potatoes. In fact, due to unfortunate chocolatey events in France, Easter 1991, I went for several years repulsed by the idea of chocolate.
Anyway, back to the present, and I decided to make a variation on the recipes I have seen online for “sinless raw fruit and nut chocolate balls” (or some variation on that not very catchy title). It was not an easy task, despite the simplicity of the actual recipe (get nuts, get dates, get cocoa, blend, form into balls, DONE).
For a start, I live in Taiwan, so I can’t just pop down the local supermarket to pick up the ingredients. Finding dates in Taipei (insert lame joke about dating here) involved me hitting up Jason’s Market aka Officially The Most Expensive Supermarket In Taiwan. Jason’s actually did have “baker’s blocks” of pitted dates, and if the price wasn’t exactly reasonable, it was still affordable. I also found natural cocoa powder there, and in a moment of foolishness, purchased Hershey’s chocolate chips as I recalled seeing them included in one recipe. No vanilla extract available. I wanted to get the salted peanuts from my local supermarket, as I thought it would be cheaper… no salted peanuts available. Garlic peanuts, spicy peanuts, wasabi peanuts, coconut peanuts, yes all of those, but no salted peanuts! In the end I chose salted almonds instead.
Once home I threw everything in my blender. Result? A lot of black crumbs that were in no way sticking together. I considered chucking everything out, then remembered that I had forked out a fair bit of money for the ingredients and experimented a little longer… adding in some peanut butter did not help, but some warm water (unsurprisingly) did. I shaped them into truffles and put them in the freezer to firm up.
End result: well they were always going to look like little balls of crap, so I got Wazi to pose with them.
They taste good though! I wouldn’t bother with the chocolate chips in future though, as they are just a tad too sweet. One ball works out about the same as one Kinder Bueno bar in terms of calories, but obviously they are a teensy bit healthier as the sweetness comes from the dates and the fats are healthy nut fats. Without the chocolate chips and peanut butter (both of which I would leave out in future) they would be just 100 calories per ball.
Sorry for the crappy (hah) picture. To make up for them, here are pictures of some creepy red-eyed babies from my walk home (advertising raisins, apparently).
Today’s exercise: elliptical 45min, walking 2h15min, cursing at the blender 25min.