Yep, it’s dates again! These are based on a recipe from Vegan Campaigns, but I had to use substitutes for pretty much everything except the dates, so here’s my version in full:
100g ground almonds
125g mixed chopped nuts (the cheap type from Morrisons, which is mostly peanuts with some walnuts and almonds)
A few teaspoons of each type of coating you want (I used cocoa, dessicated coconut and, prompted by a last minute whim, 3 crushed ginger biscuits with half a teaspoon of ground ginger mixed in)
(Makes about 40 balls.)
- Whizz the dates with some water in a food processor until they’re a fairly smooth mixture (I used about 200ml water, but the mixture was a bit thinner than I wanted, so 100ml would probably work better).
- Add the date purée to the nuts and sultanas, and mix up with a spoon/spatula.
- Put each of your ingredients for the coating (the coconut, cocoa, biscuit crumbs, or whatever else you’re using) in a little bowl.
- Pick up a little bit at a time of your date-nut-sultana mixture and roll it into a ball, then drop it in one of the coating bowls and roll it around until it’s covered in the stuff.
- Transfer the coated ball to a plate/tray, and when all of the mixture is rolled and coated, put the whole lot in the fridge until chilled (I left them for about an hour).
I found this process went easier once I’d got JC’s help, so I’d recommend having an extra pair of hands for the coating stage. (He did the rolling-it-into-a-ball and I did the coating, to prevent any of the cocoa/coconut/crumbs getting into the mixture bowl – but if you’re making them all with the same coating then cross-contamination wouldn’t be an issue.) It’s great fun to make if you don’t mind getting your hands messy, especially the coating part.
The coconut ones were nice, the cocoa ones not quite as good, and the ginger ones were gorgeous. So, next time I make them I’m going to experiment with different kinds of biscuit crumbs – particularly my favourite biscuit of all, the mighty Hobnob!
ETA: I’m happy to report that the nut & date balls taste even better after 24 hours in the fridge, especially the cocoa ones which taste much more chocolatey!