One of my favourite chocolate bars growing up was the Cherry Ripe, with it’s delicious sweet cherries and coconut filling, smothered in dark chocolate. Oh the memories, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. So I decided to experiment and make a healthier version of my favourite chocolate bar.
Although there is almond meal in these bliss balls, you can barely taste it, it’s all about the cherries and coconut and of course chocolate. The cacao butter and cacao powder give a delicious smooth chocolate flavour, which compliments the rest of the flavours.
The best thing about bliss balls is they are so easy to make. All you need is a food processor, Vitamix, Thermomix or something similar, to blitz everything together. Remember to double check to see if all the seeds have been removed from the cherries. It’s not the greatest task to have to remove chopped up bits of seed from the mixture, or to almost break a tooth when you uncomfortable crunch it between you teeth. Been there…..done that!!
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. With any leftover raw chocolate, I make raw chocolate super food bites. They are so simple to make and taste great.
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.
Recipe Update: For a thicker chocolate coating, I increased the raw cacao powder from 10g to 20g. In the cover picture, you can see that have double dipped the bliss balls to give them a thicker chocolate shell. If you choose to double dip them, you will need to let the first coating set before you dip them in the chocolate again. You will also need to increase the chocolate by a quarter.
2 teaspoons (10ml) chia seeds
96g (3.4 ounces or 1 cup) desiccated coconut (I use this brand)
84g (3.0 ounces or ¾ cup) almond flour/meal
100g (3.5 ounces or a firmly packed ⅔ cup) sweet dried cherries
70g (2.4 ounces or approx. 6 medium sized) Medjool dates, at room temperature
27g (1.0 ounces or ⅓ cup) raw cacao powder (I use this brand)
3 tablespoons (45ml) pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons (30ml) cacao butter or coconut oil (I use this brand)
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) pure vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
60ml (¼ cup) raw cacao butter or coconut oil, melted (I use this brand)
20g (0.7 ounces or 4 tablespoons) raw cacao powder, sifted (I use this brand)
2 tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
First, mix the chia seeds in 30ml (2 tablespoons) room temperature water and set aside until a thick gel forms, which takes about 12-15 minutes.
Line a tray with baking paper or parchment, then set aside.
Add the bliss ball ingredients and the chia gel to a food processor and process the mixture until it becomes a sticky paste, which will take about 30 seconds or so.
Take 20g or 0.7 ounces, which is about 1 tablespoon, of the mixture and roll into balls, before placing in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
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. The chocolate will have a thin and syrupy consistency.
You can use a skewer or a fork to dip the bliss balls into the chocolate. If you’re using a skewer, you don’t need to pierce the ball too far in, just enough to make it stable enough to dip into the chocolate. If the chocolate becomes too thick to work with, gently reheat it in the microwave for a few seconds.
Gently place the choc-dipped bliss balls on the prepared tray. There will be a hole where the skewer was inserted, so dip your finger into the chocolate and dab over the hole to cover. Once all the balls have been coated in chocolate, place them back in the refrigerator to set fully. Don’t worry if you get any cracking in your chocolate once refrigerated, as I had small to medium sized cracks in my coating once they were set.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse