Mrs. Paleovirtus and Paleovirtus Jr. were heading out on a shopping expedition.
“What are you going to do with yourself, then”, they enquired, unable to stifle sly grins as they clocked the state of the kitchen.
“Oh, tidy up the kitchen, play with the cat”, I said, “knock up an experimental batch of chocolate balls…”.
“Sounds interesting”, they said. “Let us know how you get on”. And with that they were off, discussing shoes and perfume, or something equally girly.
Once order had been restored to my counter-tops, and the cat was suitably exhausted and contented, I turned my attention to the matter of cocoa based delicacies.
Even as a short-term tourist up here, you’ll be hard pushed to avoid an encounter with Swedish chocolate balls. They’re everywhere, and for many people a coffee break simply isn’t a coffee break without one.
The Name of the Rose
All food has a social history behind it, and the humble chocolate ball is no exception.
It’s best that you are aware that the chocolate ball at times has been at the centre of real controversy. Nothing to do with the recipe, although as with all food there is often a heated debate about best practice.
No, the innocent looking chocolate ball has, and can still, kick start quite serious arguments because of its name.
When I first came to Sweden in the mid-90s, and heard what some people called chocolate balls, I was stunned, and, it has to be said, appalled.
Thankfully that offensive term is rapidly dying out, and, in my opinion, rightly so.
Just be aware of the fact that some people have very strong opinions about this, so tread carefully.
This Paleo version comes from Swedish celebrity Annika Sjöö’s excellent cookbook “Annikas Paleokök”, which gives a Paleo twist to many a Swedish classic.
They turned out exceptionally well.
I messaged my womenfolk the above picture with the text “10 left. Numbers dwindling fast. No guarantees regarding life expectancy. Move fast to avoid disappointment.”
They were on the next bus home. Wise move.
Paleo Chocolate Balls
- 10 Medjool dates, pit removed
- 2dl almond flour
- 2 tsp vanilla powder
- 3 tbsp 100 % cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp water
- chopped hazelnuts – about 100g should do it
- Small bun / muffin / cake cases
- Chop the medjool dates. Place in a food processor.
- Sieve the almond flour, to remove any lumps. Add the vanilla powder and the cocoa powder, and mix well. Add to the food processor.
- Add the coconut oil and water to the food processor. Process the mixture until you achieve an even mix.
- Place the chopped hazelnuts in a small bowl. Wet your hands with cold water, and take a lump of the mixture slightly smaller than a golf ball. Carefully roll it out into a smooth, ball shape.
- Drop the chocolate ball into the chopped hazelnuts. Using 2 teaspoons, carefully roll the balls in the chopped nuts, coating them evenly.
- Carefully remove the balls from the chopped nuts, and place them in the small bun / cake cases.
- For best results, chill in the fridge for a while to firm them up a bit.
The hazelnuts can be replaced with the finely chopped nuts of your choice, or even desiccated coconut.