London, 18th December 2012 – When I was a child I used to prepare biscuit chocolate balls, so this was probably the first sweet treat that I made all by myself. A few weeks ago I saw a chocolate balls recipe at the Italian food blog Cocomero Rosso, posted by Mariangela and I immediately felt for making them again. I like Mariangela’s recipe because it is an adult version of this popular children’s treat. Her recipe does not contain biscuits and no raw eggs. In recent years I have tried to avoid eating raw eggs, even in my ‘classic’ Tiramisu’.
I have modified the original Mariangela’s recipe slightly to suit my taste: I have replaced dry figs with dates, Strega liqueur with Dom Benedictine and added my favourite festive spices: cinnamon and ginger.
These treats are easy to prepare and you can decorate them the way that you like, I used broken mixed nuts, sesame seeds and grated chocolate.
I suggest serving a strong cup of coffee, like espresso, accompanied by a piece of this indulgent chocolate ball. This is the perfect way of ending a special festive meal.
I am entering this recipe into the December We Should Cocoa cooking challenge. This is a monthly chocolate blogging event that is hosted by Chocolate Teapot and Chocolate Log Blog. The ingredient for this month is Cinnamon and is hosted by Choclette over at Chocolate Log Blog.
I also submit this recipe into the December One Ingredient cooking challenge. This is a monthly blogging event that is hosted by Franglais Kitchen and How to cook good food. The ingredient for this month is Ginger and is hosted by Laura over at How to cook good food.
Finally, I am entering these chocolate treats into the December Tea Time Treats cooking challenge. This is a monthly blogging event that is hosted by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked. The ingredient for this month is Chocolate and is hosted by Kate over at What Kate Baked.
Recipe with step by step pictures
TARTUFINI CON CANNELLA E ZENZERO
(Cinnamon and Ginger Chocolate Balls)
Adapted from Cocomero Rosso blog
SERVES 20, PREP 20 MINUTES, COOK 5 MINUTES
- 60 g caster sugar
- 60 ml water
- Dom Benedictine, to taste (I added one tablespoon)
- 130 g mixed nuts, roughly crushed
- 130 g plain chocolate, broken into pieces (minimum 74% cocoa)
- 130 g dates, pitted and cut into pieces
- ground cinnamon, to taste (I added one teaspoon)
- ground ginger, to taste (I added one teaspoon)
- coating: sesame seeds, crushed nuts, finely grated chocolate.
Dissolve the sugar with water in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Simmer until you have a sweet syrup. Add the liquor and set aside to cool.
Place the nuts in an ungreased frying pan, stir often over a medium heat until toasted and golden brown in colour.
Blend the toasted nuts, chocolate, dates and spices until you get a coarse chocolate mixture.
Add a little of the syrup to the chocolate mixture and mix until you have a soft but workable paste (I had some syrup leftover).
Roll one heaped teaspoonful of mixture into a ball and then, roll in the coating. Store the chocolate balls in the fridge.
Serve with a strong cup of coffee.
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