Sunday, May 11, 2014

Vegan cherry ripe balls, for Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day in Australia today, and I believe in the US and Canada too. After a week of intense rain (when Perth rains, which granted is not all that often, it really rains!), we had a gorgeous autumn day with blue skies and sunshine.

Mundaring Weir, Perth hills

We celebrated the day with a picnic at Mundaring Weir, about an hour east of Perth. It was a lovely outing and we were even graced by kangaroos at our picnic spot.

Spot the kangaroos...

There are a number of dishes I'd like to share from the picnic, but for today, I am highlighting these cherry ripe balls. They are surprisingly reminiscent of commercial Cherry Ripe chocolate bars, but with far fewer ingredients.

 


These were well received by everyone present, and you can make them in under 5 minutes. It would take that long to get a Cherry Ripe chocolate bar from the shops! I know I'll definitely be making them again.

The balls feature both dried cherries (the slightly tart kind) and glace cherries. I know that glace cherries are awful really, but they work beautifully in these, and are the main source of sweetness. If you absolutely can't stand them, I recommend subbing in some dates as well as extra tart cherries, to make sure the balls are sweet enough. Trust me, though, that the glace cherries are worth it!


Cherry ripe balls
These truffle balls are reminiscent of commercial Cherry Ripe chocolate bars, but with a less refined ingredient list
Vegan
Makes 18 small balls
Food processor required

Author: Bite-sized thoughts


Ingredients
3/4 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup dried cherries (the slightly tart, real cherry variety)
1/2 cup glace cherries
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder

Extra 1/4 cup or so of desiccated coconut, for rolling

Method
Combine the walnuts and cherries in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add the coconut and cacao/cocoa and process until the mixture is well combined. These balls require less processing than many fruit/nut balls, so take care not to over-process.

Using clean hands, roll a generous teaspoon of mixture into a ball. Coat in the extra coconut. Set on a plate and repeat for the remaining mixture.

Set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or the freezer for at least 1 hour; store in the fridge.


Did you celebrate Mother's Day today? And are you a chocolate-cherry fan?

28 comments:

  1. Glace cherries! That takes me back. We always kept a container of them in the baking cupboard growing up (though I don't really remember them being used for baking...) and I would occasionally sneak 1 or 2 if I was feeling naughty ;)
    Your landscape pictures are so gorgeous! I don't think I've ever seen such blue sky and water.

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    1. I would occasionally sneak a spoon of brown sugar from our baking cupboard ;)

      We do have amazingly blue skies here. I like the coziness of cloudy skies too, but suspect I will miss the open expanses of blue when we move!

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  2. These sound delicious. I love the cherry and cocoa combination. Thanks for sharing the landscape photos. I would love to see kangaroos, at a picnic. I hope to visit Australia one day!

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    1. I hope you can visit and you get that kangaroo!

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  3. It looks like a gorgeous place for a picnic - and a lovely treat - my mum loves cherry ripe so I bought her some chocolate with cherry and coconut for today - hope it is a posh version of cherry ripe - but it wont be as healthy as these

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    1. Mother's day isn't a day for healthy really ;) My mother and mother-in-law are both cherry ripe fans too - I wonder if it is a maternal thing, generation thing, or universal love!

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  4. Yum, those look delish! I love nut-fruit truffles like these, cherry chocolate sounds like a great variation.

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    1. I don't know why it took me so long to try it in truth!

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  5. I've never had the pleasure of eating Cherry Ripes. I do love cherries so might just makes these someday.

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    1. I can't believe you've never had a Cherry Ripe! I thought they were one of those things everyone had tried at least once - please do make these as a step towards the experience at least :-)

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  6. We had beautiful weather for Mother's Day too. I love cherry ripe bars. I can totally understand why these were so popular. I love dried cherries too as they do add that lovely tartness and I actually don't mind glace cherries! My Archie eats them by the packet. I'm glad these can be made so quickly and with so few ingredients xx

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    1. I am glad to find someone who doesn't dislike glace cherries - I quite like the odd one myself but always feel juvenile when eating them! I'm glad you had good weather for your Mother's Day too and hope you had a lovely day.

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  7. Can't agree more on a lovely autumn day, as evidenced by your equally picture-paints-a-thousand-words photo...I could munch on those chocolate balls and finish 'em in one sitting. Burp! Lol! Thanks for sharing!!!

    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

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    1. Bahaha...love the imagined burp ;) I probably could have polished off a decent share of the batch myself, if it wasn't a social occasion!

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  8. I do kind of have a soft spot for glace` cherries. Somehow they manage to be both good and bad at the same time. What a fun mother's day treat!

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    1. Good and bad in just the right way ;)

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  9. Not really a cherry ripe fan - though i'd still give these a shot!
    I had to stop and think when you said an hour east lol - then I realised we are on the other side of the country..... All i could think of is how inland we'd have to be to be able to drive an hour East and not fall in the ocean ;-) random thought... i think it's probably bed time for me lol

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    1. Teehee, I feel the same when you guys talk about going west ;)

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  10. That first photo looks like you could fall straight into it. Beautiful. These cherry ripe balls are a great way to get chocolate with a hit of sugar. A great idea. I know it is wrong but I just love glace cherries

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    1. I am delighted at how many glace cherry fans there are! You could easily have a few straight up while mixing these together...

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  11. These are so pretty, Kari! And omgness....I can't believe you picnic right next to kangaroos, that is too legit! Silly question as I have no idea what kangaroos are like. But are they usually pretty friendly and tame, like, enough to be near them? :D

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    1. They can actually be quiet aggressive, but usually only the male ones and if you confront them - but as they're also pretty shy around humans, you wouldn't have much of a chance to confront them anyway because they'd bound away from you :-) These ones were obviously used to humans as they must live near the picnic area in the native bushland, so they were pretty tolerant of us nearby. I don't think I could have got any closer without them heading off though!

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  12. As an American, I can't tell you how giddy it makes me to be like, LOOK THERE' S A KANGAROO JUST HANGING OUT RIGHT OVER THERE. And those cherry balls look delicious!

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    1. I understand! I was like that about so many things when I visited the US :-)

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  13. What are cherry ripe bars? I feel left out now..I do heart the cherry + chocolate combo! And I love you for adding coconut ;). On mother's day, we spent the day (actually the whole week) at the hospital as my father-in-law is in critical condition. I did get to FaceTime my mom who's in Korea so that was lovely. Sounds like you had a wonderful day! I hope to encounter a kangaroo one day...

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    1. Oh no, Min, you don't know cherry ripe chocolate? Is it not in America?! Or most likely, it's not in Korea and you have been too healthy in your American days to check out your local candy bars :-) They have a chocolate coating and a cherry-coconut filling!

      On a more serious note, I am so sorry about your father in law :( My heart breaks for you and your family.

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  14. I just love raw dessert balls, and these sound like a wonderful flavor combination! Looks like you had a beautiful day! I'm so jealous you have kangaroos roaming around!

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