Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Apricot and Goji Balls dipped in Dark Chocolate
Healthy decadence. That's how I categorise these balls. I love food that is healthy but on the verge of naughty. There's a fine line between the two and where you draw that line depends on what you consider to be healthy. I think it's food that is as close as possible to its natural state, with little processing.
Chocolate is definitely processed, however, I think that organic fair traded dark chocolate (70% Cocoa solids) can almost be
considered healthy! Especially when used in the small quantities of this recipe.
You could, of course, exchange 'raw' dark chocolate (where the cocoa beans haven't been roasted and ground, but are whole, dried and then ground). Raw cacao beans are jam packed full of goodness and couldn't be remotely described as naughty unless you ate them daily and in large quantities. There will be more on raw cacao beans and making raw chocolate in future blogs.
In any case, apricots are the star of this little treat and they are definitely healthy. They are high in iron, calcium, silicon, phosphorus and potassium as well as vitamins A, C & E. Eating a variety of nature's bountiful offerings can only see you buzz with health and happiness.
Enjoy every mouthful, knowing you are eating some of nature's finest fruits.
2 cups dried apricots (soaked for 30 mins in boiling water)
1/4 cup goji berries
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup currants
1 and 1/2 cups almonds
1/4 cup maple syrup
Blend almonds into a fine meal in your food processor. Then add the apricots and process together until apricots have been broken down and mixed with the almond meal. Add the desicated coconut and blend until it has mixed through. Spoon into a bowl and hand mix in the currants and goji berries. To keep all the balls the same size, fill a 1/4 cup measure for each ball. Roll into a neat shaped ball and place in the fridge for 1 hour to 'set' firm. Then dip in the chocolate.
Melted dark chocolate for dipping
50gm organic fair traded chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
Roughly chop or shave the chocolate into a bowl and sit the bowl over a saucepan with a good inch or two of water in it. Make sure the bowl fits over the edge of the saucepan so no steam can escape and spoil your chocolate.
It's important not to let any water into the melting chocolate or it will begin to separate and go lumpy. It is equally important not to boil or overheat the chocolate. Once most of the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat and allow the heat in the chocolate to finally melt the last of it. Stir it from time to time to encourage melting.
Then 1/2 dip the balls into chocolate and turn upside down with the apricot balls mix resting on the plate. The chocolate on top will slowly drip down the sides of the ball forming a lovely dripping finish to the balls.