For many Swedes “Chokladbollar” (lit. chocolate balls… yes, I can see how things might be lost or found in translation here) is the very first thing you learn how to bake. Because it’s ridiculously easy and, in fact, a no-bake-just-stir-affair. Think of it as a white trash version of raw food.
Most of us can remember the afternoons when we came home from school and made obscene batches of chocolate ball dough, skipped the forming of balls-part, and just ate it with spoons straight out of the bowl. And how we, while eating, nodded our heads in sheer wonder, because this stuff was just TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.
Ok, now, 25 years later, I still like Chokladbollar, but they could do with a bit of improvement, a bit of refinement. Also, it’s actually really easy to make them much healthier than in the innocent age of my youth, the 80’s, when refined sugar was considered harmless, not unlike the Amphetamine-spiked “energy-pills” in the 60’s.
In the original “classic” recipe for Chokladbollar you use rolled oats. Raw rolled oats. And to me raw oats are not pretty tasteful nor very easy to digest. So what we do here is: 1. We cut down on the oats and invite a mix of tasty and healthy stuff to join in, namely almonds, hazelnuts, sun seeds, shredded coconut and buckwheat flakes. And 2. Here comes the real trick – then we TOAST it! Yes, we toast it. To all the Swedes out there, let me tell you, this is a total game changer. This will make your chocolate balls crackle and pop with tasty, toasty, nutty flavors.
Naturally you can play around with what seeds/nuts/grains you use here. Flax, sesame seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds and what have you. Or why not use dried figs or apricots instead of dates. Also feel free to experiment with the seasoning: cinnamon, cardamom, fresh ginger, grated zest of orange or lime and so on. So apart from all the other great features of this recipe, it’s also a phenomenal cleaning-out-your-cupboard-recipe!
Ps. Yesterday my husband and me could be seen sitting in the sofa watching the last episode of The Honorable Woman and eating this concoction, with spoons, straight out of the bowl, shaking our heads in sheer wonder of how effing yummy it was.
- 2 cups / 5 dl of roughly equal parts of these nuts/seeds:
- Rolled oats (gluten-free if you want to)
- Sun seeds
- Buckwheat flakes
- Shredded coconut
- 15-20 pitted dates
- 6 Tbsp of cacao powder
- 80 g of salted butter/ or unsalted + a small pinch of salt
- 4 Tbsp cold coffee
- 2 tsp vanilla sugar/1 tsp vanilla essence
- Optional: 1 tbsp of almond butter (or any other type of nut/seed butter or a neutral oil)
- Optional: 1 tbsp of maple syrup/unrefined sugar/coconut sugar
- Toast the nuts and seeds in a dry, medium hot pan (put in the almonds, hazelnuts and oats first, toast for 3 min, stir frequently, then add the rest of the seeds, etc and toast for another 3 min). Mix in a food processor. Let cool a bit. Add dates and blitz some more. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Taste. If you want it sweeter, add more dates or sweetener of your choosing. If you want it more moist, add some water or oil.