Chocolate and peanut butter. Need I say more? This is by far my favorite combination in desserts. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
So I figured what better way to incorporate this lovely combination other than by making peanut butter balls covered in delicious melted chocolate. Naturally I wanted to find a way to make this using only healthy ingredients. Using dates as the sweetener and spoonfuls of creamy peanut butter, you got a simple yet succulent filling. For the coating I went for using only melted dark chocolate, which is completely vegan and sugar-free. The end result was the perfect sweet treat.
If you managed to keep them away from ravenous family members long enough to take a picture, you are immensely more successful than I am. I left the kitchen for twenty minutes, only to return to an empty plate. I had to remake an entire batch whilst fending off my sisters to get these shots. I really do hope you appreciate the slightly exaggerated struggle I went through.
- 1 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter (preferably creamy) *
- 1 cup dates
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/4 tsp Maldon salt
- 150 grams sugar-free dark vegan chocolate *
- Place the dates, water, salt and vanilla essence in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Stir the jar of peanut butter thoroughly before using. Add in the peanut butter and process further. The finished product should be a relatively thick dough which is easily gathered into a ball, without being too sticky.
- Shape into small balls (I made exactly 22) using your hands and place them on a baking tray or chopping board lined with parchment.
- In a small pot, break the chocolate into chunks and warm over low heat, stirring frequently. Once roughly half of the chocolate pieces have melted, remove from heat and stir until completely smooth. With two spoons, dip the balls into the melted chocolate and stir so it gets coated all over. Place them back on to the baking tray. Repeat for the remaining balls. Save any leftover melted chocolate for later.
- Place the tray in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes before serving. Optionally you can dip a fork into the leftover melted chocolate and drizzle it on top of the balls to create an elegant look. I did not bother with this since I had a certain hungry sister hanging over my shoulder, eyeing the goods. If you do decide to make a pattern, you need to re-freeze it after for another 10-15 minutes; until completely firm.
Additional notes (*):
To achieve the best consistency as well as health-benefits, I recommend only using 100% natural peanut butter for this recipe. When you read the label, the only ingredients should be roasted peanuts (and optionally salt) on the label. The highly-processed brands made with added oil and sugar will most likely not work as well. Preferably you will use a creamy version, but chunky can be used at a pinch. Keep in mind that if it is a bit dry, you might need to add in a few tablespoons additional water!
If you were wondering about which type of chocolate I use; the brand is named “Plamil”. I personally love the one with added shelled hempseeds. With any luck you should be able to find it at your local health food store or you can buy it online!
Store any left-overs in either the refrigerator or freezer. They will hold for at least 2 days in the afore mentioned and probably up to 2 weeks in the latter.
Best wishes and happy cooking!