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Author Notes: Tastes like a candy; almost acts like a health food. Can be made in a single bowl and the only cooking is done in a microwave for less than a minute. Endlessly variable, since you can use different nuts, different kinds of chocolate, and different flavoring for the powdered sugar dusting. Versatile too, since they're equally good as an afternoon snack or a postprandial treat with coffee and whatever else you're drinking. They also store well. Here's my original concoction, inspired by a chocolate covered raisin cluster recipe I saw in an "extra feature" on the DVD of Cinema Paradiso. This is scarcely a recipe and more of a concept, but a nearly foolproof one, despite the sketchy quantities. —Baguette & Beurre
Serves really depends
teaspoons Water, or other liquid -- leftover coffee is great. I suppose an alcohol -- whiske, rum, liqueur -- would also work, though I haven't tried it
Dark chocolate -- a chunk off the Trader Joe's pound and a half bars works quite well, but you can also go darker if you want to, such as an 80% or 90% bar
Raw cashew pieces -- not whole; the recipe also works without nuts, if that's an issue
Powdered sugar -- I use organic, but that's not required
Optional: turmeric, Yemenite coffee spice, cinnamon
The coconut! Finely flaked dried unsweetened.
- Put the chocolate and liquid in a microwave bowl, and heat for 30 seconds. Check to see if enough chocolate has melted so that the rest will follow when stirred. If not, continue microwaving in 10 -15 second increments, adding liquid if necessary. be careful, you want the chocolate melted and smooth, but not too liquid or the balls will be too soft. This step can be done in a double boiler, of course, but then these would just be coconut balls, not super easy ones.
- Stir the chocolate to make sure it's all melted. Then immediately add coconut and nuts by the spoonful, until the mixture is thick enough to roll into balls. the chocolate can absorb a fair amount of coconut, so you might want to keep adding some until the mixture is a bit stiff. Not too many nuts, or the balls might fall apart.
- Take the mixture by the spoonful and roll into balls. Set on waxed paper to completely harden. The drier and stiffer the mixture, the shorter this will take.
- Roll the balls in powdered sugar to make them prettier and add a bit of sweetness. If you're feeling adventurous, and are interested in adding more "superfood" type ingredients or simply want to up the flavor profile, mix a pinch or two or three of turmeric and/or other spices into the sugar before rolling. I used turmeric and a bit of Yemenite coffee spice that I bought in Israel -- a quick google search says it (Hawaji) is a mixture of ground cardamom, ginger, anise and fennel seeds. For easy rolling and storage, mix the sugar in the bottom half of a sealed storage container -- such as those plastic takeout dishes -- add the balls, put the top on, make sure the seal is tight and shake. Warning, though the tumeric and spices lift these out of the ordinary they give the balls a slight yellow-greenish color that's not quite as attractive as the plain ones. The upside is they are easily distinguishable from the plain if you want to make both. Enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Coconut