SUNDAY SWEETS: CHOKLADBOLLAR




Chokladbollar (chocolate balls) are a staple sweet in virtually every Scandinavian café and kitchen and, once you've tasted them, it's easy to understand why. If you find yourself grasping for the biscuit tin mid-week, try making these ahead of time and storing them in the fridge for an indulgent treat whenever the mood takes you. Nobody but you will know they only took a few minutes to make.


One of the great things about these chocolate balls is their versatility. Because they are so easy to make they are the perfect recipe to try out with little hands and you can have fun with the toppings so each time you make them you can experiment a little more, depending on your tastes.


The classic decoration is rolled in desiccated coconut but they also taste great rolled in cacao nibs, chopped nuts - pistachios work well - or a little pearl sugar. Have fun with them. These store well over the course of a week in the fridge (if you can make them last that long) but can also be frozen too. They are also gluten free.


Blitz 2 cups (approx 200g) rolled oats in a food processor and set aside. You want to end up with a coarse meal with a few bigger bits left in. In a large mixing bowl cream 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (115g) together with 1/4 cup (50g) natural cane sugar. Next add 1/4 cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder and pure vanilla extract. I like to taste the vanilla so I give it a good glug but a teaspoon is a great start. Blend these together then add in the oats and a pinch of salt. This is where I deviate from the traditional recipe and add the holy trinity of Scandi spices - a pinch of cardamom, nutmeg and a generous amount of cinnamon. You can also dilute a ground coffee in a small amount of hot water - a seriously small amount, teaspoon sized - if you fancy an extra caffeine hit.


Discard spoons and mixers at this stage in favour of your hands. Mix the ingredients together and roll into little balls - about a tablespoon's worth of mixture for each one. Roll in your preferred topping - here I've used a linseed-chia seed mix, desiccated coconut, cacao nibs and pearl sugar. Pop onto a baking tray and into the fridge to set.


Serve with hot coffee, great friends and good gossip.


I'd love to know what your favourite toppings are. Let me know in the comments below.


This recipe has been adapted from Anna Brones & Johanna Kindvall's brilliant book Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. It's full of simple, beautifully illustrated recipes that are easy to make and taste delicious.


See you next week!


Keep wondering,

Laura


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