Wednesday, November 09, 2011

**Foodie Friday**.. (belated..)

It may be Wednesday, but I've been wracked with guilt over not having fulfilled my Foodie Friday obligations. I need to redeem myself.

Last night I extracted my brain from the study bubble long enough to have my mum and her hubby over for dinner. As usual, I was scrambling for a dessert that could be invented from the things I already had at home. Voilà!

They are pretty energy intensive for their size, so it's best to freeze the leftover ones and ration yourself (because that's what happens around here, would I lie to you?).

These little dollops of deliciousness are based on a very simple idea that can be easily customised to include whatever you may deem necessary for the occasion - dried cherries, chocolate chips, rum..
I made these ones from scratch, which included the time consuming pre-process of nut butterising the almonds. The recipe will work just as well with any type of nut butter from a jar. I was just working with what was in the cupboard (gahhh! no nut butter!)

Makes 17 balls
  • 260g almonds or 280-300g nut butter
  • 100g dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 medjool dates, chopped
  • 20g raisins, chopped
  • 2 tsp sugar (or your favourite substitute - honey, maple, agave, any would be fine)

  • 120g dark chocolate
  • Tbsp almond oil or extra lite olive oil (this may be necessary if you are making the nut butter from scratch, depending on how dry your almonds are).
  • Tbsp of liquer or spirit. This is the *adult version*. We used grappa.
  • Tbsp fruit juice or other sweet substance for soaking the dried fruit. If you are using liquid sweetener or making the *adult version*, this is not necessary.
  • Baking paper.


1. Mix your dried fruit with whatever sweetener you are using and leave it to sit for at least 10 minutes. Example options for this step include:

  • Tbsp liquid or melted honey
  • Tbsp agave or maple syrup
  • Tbsp fruit juice
  • Tbsp fruit juice plus 1-2 tsp sugar
  • Tbsp alcohol and 2 tsp sugar (the *adult* version for dinner parties)

If you are starting with nut butter, go now to Step 3.

2. If you are starting with almonds, head over to the How to make Nut Butter article and nut butterise your almonds as per the instructions there. Don't forget the earplugs.
Almond Nut Butter

3. Mix the soaked dried fruit with the nut butter, discarding any additional liquid - you don't want the mix to be 'watery'. It should be dense and sticky.

4. Form into balls.

For the Food Nerds: if you want to match the nutritional panel, each ball will be about 25g in weight. Click here for the panel. I know that some of my readers prefer not to think of food in terms of numbers and I want to respect that by not having 'in your face' nutritional info splattered on the blog.  For those that do want to be correct to the panel: it is based on the 2 tsp sugar + 1 tbsp grappa variation.

5. Melt the chocolate over a very low heat, stirring to ensure that it doesn't burn. It is best to use a double boiler for this.

6. While the chocolate is melting, grease your baking paper if you are using it and lay it out on a plate or tray that will fit in your fridge (perhaps I should have included a pre-step of 'clean your fridge'?). It's also ok to skip the baking paper, but the balls tend to stick to a plate or tray without it. You just need to exercise care and concentration when removing them.

7. Once the chocolate has melted, drop the balls one at a time into the chocolate and swirl them around until every surface is covered. Then scoop that ball out and arrange it on the tray/plate.

8. Once all balls are covered, put them in the refrigerator until the chocolate has hardened. Try to give it at least an hour. Disclaimer: I assume no responsibility whatsoever if you can't control yourself and get caught out with melted chocolate all over your hands and face.

Just to give you a closer look:

I confess, I had one of these for breakfast today.  I was lying in bed contemplating a day that consisted primarily of reading food legislation and festooning it with post-it notes for my open book exam. Motivation was lacking until I remembered what was sitting in the fridge.  One track mind, that's me.

Let me know if you make this recipe and how it works out for you. I'm interested in any particularly delicious variations and will link you up on this post and on the Sana site.


  1. Those look amazing. YES.

    (I think I just had a foodgasm in your comments. Sorry.)

  2. I think that's ok between friends. ;)

    I sometimes worry when people see 'Sara' that they they think I am just commenting on my own blog and then replying to those comments.

    Dissociative Blog Identity Disorder, we'll call that. I'm sure it exists, how else to blogs get like, 1000 comments on a post? :)

  3. OMG, I'm making these when I get home.

    Thailand is fabulous, but after only two weeks, I'm already missing so many things I take for granted. Most of them foods. Uh....what does that say about me?

  4. OH.. it says many, many things, Kek. Oh so many things about you... :D

  5. OMG they sound amazing.... want my address so I can 'taste test' them for ya??? lol


I love to hear from you! Tell me what's in your brain, your heart or your dinner plate :D.