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ROLOS AND RAW ROLO BLISS BALLS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Raw, Dessertdanielle coppermanComment

Caramel is almost on a par with chocolate in my opinion. I love the rich, creamy taste sensation of chocolate but is there anything more delightfully, mouth-wateringly confusing than the sweet ‘n’ salty combination? This recipe came about when i succeeded in making healthy millionaire shortbreads (recipe up tomorrow). Having proven it was possible to make a healthy caramel, i didn’t want to stop there and couldn’t wait to work it into brownies, muffins and raw chocolate treats. Rolo’s sprang to mind immediately and the lead up to Easter seemed the perfect time to give them a go. I would personally recommend making these if you only make one of my easter recipes this year. They are much easier than the eggs, don’t require buying any egg moulds and taste just as good, if not better!

FOR INDULGENT COCONUT CARAMEL

2 Tins Coconut Milk (use the solid coconut fat from each and only 1 tablespoon of the liquid)
3/4 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar 
1-2 Teaspoons Himalayan Pink Salt, to taste
1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract.
3 Tablespoons Almond Butter or Cashew Butter
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Maca Powder - optional

METHOD
In a medium saucepan, melt the cacao butter or coconut oil depending on what you prefer. The cacao butter tastes better but they both act similarly in setting the caramel after the boiling process. Once melted add the rest of the ingredients and whisk. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes on a medium to high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 35 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes to ensure the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan, or worse, burn. Transfer to a bowl and set in the freezer for half an hour. Check on the caramel after 10 minutes and give it a stir. The coconut oil may separate a little so if this happens, transfer to the blender and blend before the coconut oil becomes completely solid. The cacao butter will be less likely to do this. Once the caramel is set but not entirely solid, remove from the freezer.

When the caramel has hardened, take teaspoonfuls of the mixture at a time and roll in to balls in your hands. Place on a plate and then leave in the freezer again to remain stiff whilst you prepare the chocolate.

FOR EASY, RAW ALMOND CARAMEL
(Makes 26)

INGREDIENTS

6 Tablespoons Smooth Almond Butter
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Fresh Seeds From 1 Vanilla Pod
1 Tablespoon Coconut Palm Sugar or Coconut Nectar
8 Medjool Dates
3-4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, room temp
1/2 Teaspoon Maca Powder - optional

METHOD
Simply blend all of the ingredients together in a high speed blender for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. This caramel won't be gooey like the heated version, but leave it to set in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes until it hardens. Then use a spoon or a small scoop to form the chewy mixture into balls.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE

100g Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil
6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
1 Teaspoon Agave, Coconut Palm Sugar or Date Syrup
Pinch of Himalayan Salt (optional - the caramel is pretty salty itself so you can choose to leave this out)
2 Tablespoons Coconut Milk - if you want a milkier, milder chocolate

METHOD
In a heatproof bowl over saucepan filled with boiling water, place the cacao butter, agave and salt. Whisk until the cacao butter or coconut oil dissolves. Gradually add the cacao powder and whisk continuously to avoid any lumps. When everything is combined and fully melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan and set aside. Get the Caramel Balls out from the freezer and form into rolo shapes with a little squishing at the sides. Keep them in balls if you’d prefer or even make them into long rectangles for a curly-wirly or twix kind of snack. Anyway, if using the balls like i did, roll them gently in the chocolate until fully coated and place on a plate. Refreeze for 2 minutes, then repeat this process 2 or 3 more times to ensure a thick, crunchy layer of chocolate. You could also pour the chocolate into mini cupcake cases and simply take a small spoonful of caramel to place in the middle. Then top the caramel with more melted raw chocolate to make a caramel ‘cup’ - similar to a reese’s peanut butter cup, but in my opinion, far more delicious!


RAW ROLO BLISS BALLS
These are a little easier and simpler to make. Once the dates are smoothly blended there is nothing to worry about. I know a lot of people have difficulty blending dates effectively and i even know someone who’s Vitamix got defeated by a bunch of dates. They are strong, sticky little things so be careful. If you don’t have a very powerful blender i would suggest soaking them for a few hours before blending. However, if you begin this recipe by breaking the dates down with a little water, everything should go smoothly. If you are confident in the power of your blender simply chuck everything in at once and let it do all the work for you.

FOR THE CARAMEL FILLING

1 1/2 Cups Soft Medjool Dates (or unsulphered apricots)
6 Tablespoons Almond Butter, optional
2 Tablespoons Cashew Butter or Tahini
2-4 Tablespoons Water or Plant Based Milk
1-2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
4 Tablespoons Ground Almonds, optional
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
2 tablespoons Coconut Milk, solid parts only
1 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
Dash of Organic Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Seeds

METHOD
Place the dates and the water into a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until a smooth paste begins to form. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again for another 2-3 minutes until everything is combined and smooth. Pour into a bowl and set in the freezer for half an hour. It should be firm to touch and when it is, take a teaspoon and begin to form the mixture into balls. Place the balls on a plate and then set in the freezer again whilst you prepare the raw chocolate coating.

FOR THE RAW CHOCOLATE COATING

100g Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil
6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
1 Teaspoon Agave, Coconut Palm Sugar or Date Syrup
Pinch of Himalayan Salt (optional - the caramel is pretty salty itself so you can choose to leave this out)

METHOD
In a heatproof bowl over saucepan filled with boiling water, place the cacao butter, agave and salt. Whisk until the cacao butter or coconut oil dissolves. Gradually add the cacao powder and whisk continuously to avoid any lumps. When everything is combined and fully melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan and set aside. Remove the Caramel Balls from the freezer and roll them gently in the chocolate until fully coated. Place on a plate and refreeze for 2 minutes, then repeat this process 2 or 3 more times to ensure a thick, crunchy layer of chocolate.