Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas food ideas 2012: Chocolate, almond and goji berry truffle balls


This is my first Christmas-focused post for 2012, and it seems fitting that I should start with chocolate. Never let it be said that I don't have my priorities straight. These chocolate, almond and goji berry truffle balls could be packaged up as an edible Christmas gift, or served as part of a Christmassy dessert. Alternatively, you could just make them and eat them yourself. I won't judge.


The inspiration for these truffles came from Hannah's recent post on Pana's (previously Conscious Chocolate) raw coconut and goji chocolate, over at Wayfaring Chocolate. I had seen the chocolate in a few health food stores near me, but always resisted buying it on account of the price and a lack of certainty over whether I would like it. After reading Hannah's post I was sure I would like it, but the price remained an issue. Having recently spent a small fortune on coconut ice cream, expensive raw / vegan chocolates are temporarily off limits.

Given this, I thought I would make a truffle ball equivalent. Except I then left coconut out, which means these aren't really an equivalent at all. Nonetheless, they are very good.

I found these truffle balls to taste a bit like chocolate brownies, but with a hint of goji berry. They are chewy and chocolatey and sweet in the way that truffle balls manage to be - not cloying, not sickly, and not artificial. I liked them a lot.


You do need to like goji berries to like these, but dried cherries or cranberries would work well as an alternative if goji berries aren't your thing.


Chocolate, almond and goji berry truffle balls
Quick, easy, delicious and perfect for Christmas
Vegan and high raw
Makes 28 small balls or (wait for it) a smaller number of larger balls


Ingredients
1/2 cup raw almonds (~75g)
1/2 cup pitted dates (~75g or 16 dates), roughly chopped
1/4 cup goji berries (~37g)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (~37g)
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch sea salt

1/2 - 1 tsp water, if needed

Method
Combine all ingredients except the water in a food processor and process until combined, about 3 minutes. Add water gradually if needed, until the mixture clumps together and forms a ball.

Roll the mixture into about 28 small balls (~ teaspoon-sized serves) and then refrigerate until set, about 1 hour. Store in the fridge but serve either from the fridge or at room temperature.



I ate this batch myself (for taste testing purposes, you understand) but think I will be making another set to share before Christmas. The fact that they can be made quickly and in advance is another bonus, and unlike some truffle balls I've made they hold their texture well out of the fridge.

Submitted to Ricki's Wellness Weekend 6th - 10th December 2012.

Have you started Christmas food preparations (or, for you particularly organised people, nearly finished them!)?

How do you feel about goji berries?

42 comments:

  1. These are awesome! I've made something similar before and the chocolate and goji berries just work so well! Love it :)

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    1. Thanks Gabby - I once put goji berries in a chocolate coconut butter and I'm now thinking I need to re-visit that too! It is a magical mix, and seems perfect at this time of year.

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  2. These look fab, Kari - I think I would just make a batch and eat them myself - I'm glad you aren't one to judge ;)

    I like goji berries, but I don't LOVE them if you know what I mean? I think they are an acquired taste, but I like their health benefits.... when you combine them with chocolate though, I'm sure that is a combo to LOVE!

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    1. I don't super love them either actually - I go through phases and generally rate all other berries above them :) As you say, though, when paired with chocolate they suddenly become all that much better!

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  3. yay for bustin out the holiday foods!! little dessert bites are way too awesome, and i am so lame, i've never actually had goji berries!!! buuut, i have to say i've never met a berry that i didn't like so i'll go out on a limb and say this would be true of the goji too. :)

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    1. You will just have to try these and see :-)

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  4. Very festive! Love this idea. I have started making Christmas looking freckles for people. I will slowly make my way towards cookies and then nougat. I'm exhausted thinking about Christmas.

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    1. Christmas freckles are a great idea! I've never thought of that. It sounds like you have a good list of food plans, but I hope the exhaustion settles down before Christmas gets nearer xo

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  5. These look wonderful! Love the chocolate hearts too.

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    1. Thanks - the hearts were one of my favourite creations last year :) They were super easy as I used little silicon moulds.

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  6. These look tasty! I was just having a conversation with some co-workers about Goji berries! Chocolate and berries always make a great combination. :)

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  7. These do look wonderful and very Christmasy. I'm not surprised you ate the whole lot your self! It would certainly be hard to stop at one xx

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  8. I can never find goji berries so I use cherries instead..equally yummy!

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    1. Definitely! Cherries would be beautiful in these.

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  9. I have to admit... I've never even heard of goji berries. I'm too uncouth for this recipe!

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    1. That's ok, you can have a cherry or cranberry version ;)

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  10. Oh how fabulous! I"m glad my chocolate gluttoniness was able to inspire some of your kitchen magic. I'd be even gladderer if my stupid*ss blog wasn't broken, or if BlueHost would actually try to help. CRY.

    I need chocolate.

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    1. :*( You definitely need chocolate. And/or some of these truffle balls. And/or peanut butter. I hope BlueHost becomes helpful soon.

      Your chocolate consumption (gluttoniness? never!) always inspires, but this was a particularly tasty outcome - thank you!

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  11. yes yes yes! i love this idea! making an appearance on my holiday cookie tray for SURE!

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    1. I'm so glad you like the look of them!

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  12. Mum was making cointreau truffles with weetbix of all things in them last night. She has promised to save me one so I will have to see what they are like.

    I love making truffles but as we are driving from Canberra to Adelaide this year I just don't think they would be the same at the end of a 13 hour probably hot car ride. Even an esky couldn't help that. I may make some biscuits but I think I will be doing minimal holiday cooking this year - very odd!

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    1. That length of drive definitely complicates cooking and baking efforts! I am very intrigued by your Mum's truffles so please share how you found them when you try yours :)

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  13. I have never had a goji berry. Odd huh? I would love my first experience with one to be wrapped in chocolate just like this though! OH, and I have never made truffles...this would probably be a great place to start with both then!! ;) Very cute pics~!

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    1. Thanks Teri :) And yes, chocolate is definitely a good way to introduce yourself to goji berries!

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  14. These look so tasty and I love how they're filled with superfoods. chocolate+goji berries = total health food. :P

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  15. This is my first visit here, and everything looks so delicious! MMM!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Dayna :)

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  16. love your christmas food ideas banner - sounds like there will be some interesting christmas ideas to come - I am not sure about goji berries - went through a phase of using them and then not sure why I stopped. But I do love berries and chocolate - esp for christmas treats so these sound like a great idea

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    1. Thanks Johanna - and I am a bit the same with goji berries really, they come through my kitchen in phases (I think I forget about them sometimes).

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  17. These look yummy and look like they would be great to bring to holiday parties. Raw goji berries still haven't won me over, they are a little too chewy for my taste but I make a lot of bite/ball raw type desserts for the holidays. They are always so simple and delicious. Hope you are having a happy holiday season in Australia!

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    1. Thank you - and you too in America!

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  18. What a nice recipe! Recently I found a great App for this holidays - everyday there is new dishes to discover and cook/bake yourself! I hope you will all like it!

    Karen

    https://www.facebook.com/smartcaruk/app_538476539514757?ref=ts

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  19. I had all the ingredients so I whipped up a batch. We didn't bother refrigerating them and ate the whole batch in seconds. DELICIOUS!!!!

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    1. Oh, I am so pleased! Thank you for taking the time to tell me, I always love to hear when people have made my recipes (and even more so when they enjoy them). I ate quite a few straight from the bowl before refrigeration too :-)

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  20. I just made these for the 3rd or 4th time. We can't get enough of them!! Not only are they DELICIOUS, but they take no time to make!! Thank you!!!

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    1. Oh, I am so glad! Thank you for taking the time to let me know - I really appreciate it :-)

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