I recently was chatting with a friend of mine who has elementary school-age kids. She was complaining to me that her daughter’s teacher requested that she prepare chocolate balls for the end-of-year class party. When I asked her why she was upset about this, she said that chocolate balls can be prepared by kids, that she’d rather bake a nice cake.
And so I got to thinking that although chocolate balls are easy to make, there’s no reason not to add a few special ingredients or toppings that transform them into fun and fancy treats. The end of the school year is the perfect time to try out one of these recipes.
You can easily make chocolate balls parve, dairy or vegan, and add an assortment of colorful and tasty toppings. Serving them in cupcake holders makes them feel even fancier, and is the easiest way to serve them to a big bunch of kids, since you don’t need to hand them out on plates or napkins, and there’s no slicing involved.
Preparing chocolate balls is also a great way to get rid of leftover cake, wafers and cookies. And just watch an adult take a bite out of a chocolate ball and you’ll see a big smile spread over his face, as memories from childhood surface.
Here’s wishing all of the schoolchildren and their parents a wonderful summer holiday!
• To prepare chocolate-covered balls, break up a bar of bittersweet or milk chocolate (or a combination of the two) into pieces and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Melt in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until smooth. Insert a stick into each ball, dip each ball in the melted chocolate and then place on a plate. Put in the fridge to set for a few minutes, and then cover with toppings. Place back in the fridge to set completely.
• You can alter the texture of the chocolate balls by adding a little cream cheese, yogurt or chocolate pudding.
• You can form a long roll with the mixture and wrap it well with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, you can slice the roll into small pieces.
• If the mixture is too moist, add more cookie crumbs, or put it in the fridge for a few minutes before forming the balls. CHOCOLATE BALLS THAT CHILDREN LOVE
Everyone – children and adults alike – love chocolate balls. You can make them simply with cookies and chocolate, or coat them with colorful sprinkles, coconut flakes or cocoa powder.
Makes 20 balls.
300 gr. Petit-Beurre cookies or leftover cake
¾ cup sugar
6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
150 gr. butter, softened
100 gr. chocolate, broken up into pieces
1 Tbsp. chocolate liqueur
¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
¹⁄3 cup milk, at room temperature
20 cupcake holdersToppings:
Chocolate shavings, colored sprinkles or candles, coconut flakes.
Place the cookies or Petits-Beurre in the bowl of a food processor and blend. Pour the crumbs into a bowl. Add the sugar and cocoa powder and mix. Pour in the softened butter and mix well.
Pour the milk into a small pot and heat over a low flame. Add the chocolate and mix well. Add the crumb mixture and mix. Add the chopped nuts and mix again.
Wet your hands and then form balls from the mixture. If the mixture is too moist and the balls don’t form well, place the bowl in the fridge for an hour before making the balls.
Place toppings on a plate and roll balls in the toppings. Place balls inside cupcake holders and keep in fridge until serving.CHOCOLATE CAKE BALLS WITH NUTS
Makes 35-40 balls.
1 container (250 ml.) sweet cream (dairy or parve)
200 gr. bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp. instant coffee
1 tsp. rum extract
2 Tbsp. brandy
½ cup brown sugar
700-800 gr. leftover cake (or cake and cookies)
½ cup hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
Roasted coconut flakes
Chopped roasted nuts mixed with 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Pour the cream into a bowl and heat for a few seconds in the microwave. Add the chocolate and heat for a few seconds at a time until melted. While stirring, add the cocoa powder, coffee, rum, brandy and brown sugar. Mix well.
Place all the cookies and leftover cake in a large bowl and crush with your hands. Alternatively, you can put them in a food processor and process. Pour into a large bowl and then pour in chocolate mixture. Mix well. Get your hands wet and form balls. If the mixture is too moist and the balls don’t form well, place the bowl in the fridge for an hour before making the balls.
Place toppings on a plate and roll balls in the toppings. Place balls inside cupcake holders and keep in fridge until serving.VEGAN CAROB BALLS
This is a great healthy alternative made with dates, coconut oil and crushed nuts. Healthy toppings can include sesame or chia seeds.
Makes 20-25 balls.
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar-free silan
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
6 Tbsp. carob powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup almond, coconut or soy milk
100 gr. coconut oil
5-6 cups assorted nuts
½ cup light seedless raisins
1 cup roasted sesame seeds or coconut flakes
Add brown sugar, silan, maple syrup, carob powder, salt, vanilla and almond/coconut/soy milk to a small pot. Heat over a low flame for 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly. When it begins to thicken, remove from the flame and add the coconut oil. Stir well.
In a food processor, mix nuts (partially or completely ground). Add to heated mixture and mix well. Put in the fridge for 1 hour until the mixture sets a little.
Take out of the fridge. Take 1 tablespoon of the mixture and form 3-4 cm.-diameter balls with your hands. If desired, roll the balls in the sesame seeds or coconut flakes and then place in cupcake holders. Store in the fridge.Translated by Hannah Hochner.
Text and styling: Pascale Perez-Rubin
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