Confession: I have a major sweet tooth. If it was socially acceptable to eat Haribo all day I could and I would, though I’m sure I would feel crapibo by the end of the day. In reality though I try to eat healthy most of the time, cooking from scratch when I’m at home and eating whatever the hell I want when I go out. Balance – you know? There’s always this moment mid-afternoon though where I just need something sweet. So instead of traipsing down the shop for a chocolate bar, I’ve been experimenting with recipes to find something else to satisfy my cravings and have found the perfect thing with my adaptation of a Madeleine Shaw recipe. You can find her original recipe for Raw Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Cake here, but I’ve mixed up the quantities a bit and mould them into balls which make them really easy to throw into a tub to carry around and to snack on.
A few notes before I write down the recipe. I got a huge bag of Medjool Dates off Amazon here and vouch that they taste fine whizzed up in recipes and are a little cheaper because you’re buying them in bulk. If I’m eating them alone though I tend to buy them fresh from a supermarket or a local market as they’re a bit softer. I use aroma-free Coconut Oil in this recipe (again from Amazon here) which has been a revelation. I’m not the biggest fan of coconut, so the fact that this doesn’t taste like coconut at all means I use it all recipes and when cooking: sweet or savoury. The other tough to find ingredient, but one that’s well worth hunting down is Raw Cacoa Powder. I’ve bought it from Holland & Barrett in the past, but picked up a huge packet from Amazon (again! Link here) and use it all the time. It’s great to make homemade chocolate with, add into smoothie, sprinkle onto granola, it tastes so lovely and is ridiculously good for you. Now, onto the recipe…
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BALLS. A protein filled snack that does that whole sweet and savoury thing and satisfies a sugar craving without having to consume heaps of the refined stuff. I keep them in the fridge, sealed and stored and they last about two weeks. Recipe makes about 30 balls.
You will need: 250g Crunchy Peanut Butter (or smooth if you fancy), 100g Hazelnuts, 300g Medjool Dates, 2 TBSP Coconut Oil, 2 TBSP Honey, 6 TBSP Raw Cacao Powder, a pinch of salt
All you need to do is blend all the ingredients together until a smooth and sticky ball is formed. Now my food processor isn’t that big so I added the peanut butter into a big bowl, blitzed the hazelnuts till they looked like fine granules before adding them into the big bowl, popped the dates into my food processor and whizzed them round until smooth, again adding them to the big bowl, then I just popped the rest of the ingredients to the mixture in the bowl. It’s a hard mixture to stir so I get in there with my hands, mixing it all together. When it’s all combined I take a tablespoon measure, scoop out the mixture and mould it into a ball. I do this for all of them and stick them on a plate and into the freezer for an hour to set. Then I transfer them into a container and leave them in the fridge, ready for when the sweet cravings come. Crunchy, salty, sweet goodness – right there.