I would normally have baked lamingtons for Australia Day. However, my oven was still out of action, so I had to think of a Plan B! I thought bliss balls would make a tasty alternative. Keeping with an Australian theme, I chose to use macadamia nuts. Did you know Macadamia nuts are indigenous to Australia?
The first time I made them, I had to try and lightly toast the macadamia nuts the best way I could by using a fry pan, which this was not ideal, but it did lessen the raw taste. The next couple of times I made them I used my oven, and the lightly roasted flavour made all the difference to the end result. I added a layer of decadence to my bliss balls by dipping them into raw chocolate before rolling them in the coconut.
You can use coconut oil in place of the cacao butter. However, the chocolate coating will melt more quickly on your fingers once out of the refrigerator.
For accurate cup measurements, I sift the raw cacao before measuring to make sure there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed.
The bliss balls are best eaten straight from the refrigerator.
Recipe Update: I have modified the original recipe to improve on the texture, as they became a little fragile once taken out of the refrigerator for any length of time. By increasing the dates from 8-10, and adding almond meal and cashew butter, it greatly improved the structure of the bliss balls. For extra flavour, I also increased the cacao powder and vanilla extract. I tried freezing a few of the bliss balls, and I’m happy to say that they defrosted very well.
176g (6.2 ounces or 1 cup) macadamia nuts, lightly toasted
134g (4.7 ounces or approx. 10 medium sized) Medjool dates (weight was taken after the seeds have been removed)
96g (3.4 ounces or 1 cup) desiccated coconut (I use this brand)
56g (2.0 ounces or ½ cup) almond meal/flour
20g (0.7 ounces or 4 tablespoons) raw cacao powder (I use this brand)
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon (15ml) coconut oil, melted (I use this brand)
2 tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons (30ml) unsalted cashew butter (I use this brand)
1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons (45ml) raw cacao butter or coconut oil, melted (I use this brand)
15g (0.5 ounces or 3 tablespoons) raw cacao powder (I use this brand)
1½ tablespoons (22.5ml) pure maple syrup
72g (2.5 ounces or ¾ cup) desiccated coconut (I use this brand)
Line a tray with baking paper or parchment, then set aside.
Add all the dry ingredients to a food processor and process until quite finely chopped. However, you still want the nuts to have a little bit of texture.
Next add the wet ingredients and process until it is well combined. The mixture will have a thick paste like consistency.
Take 20g or 0.7 ounces, which is a firmly packed and slightly heaped tablespoon, of the mixture, and squeeze and shape into balls. Place them on the prepared tray.
To make the chocolate coating, add all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk everything together. I like to use a small whisk to do this, as it helps disperse any small lumps in the cacao powder.
Have the bowl of coconut close to the chocolate bowl. Then, using a fork to balance the bliss ball, dunk it into the chocolate and gently drag the fork along the rim of the bowl/jug to scrape off any excess. If the chocolate starts to thicken too much, just give the chocolate a quick zap for a few seconds in the microwave, to make it runny again.
Now toss the bliss ball through the coconut until it’s completely covered, applying gentle pressure to help the coconut stick.
Place the bliss balls on the prepared tray. Once all the balls have been rolled in the coconut, place them in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours to allow them to firm up.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse