One of the things no one warns you about is that once you reach a certain age (for me that was about 20!), your life will feel like somebody just pressed the fast forward button, and the weeks just fly past you before you’ve even had a chance to take a breath.
There is actually a scientific reason for this, and the reason behind it is simple; it’s simply a matter of ‘anticipation and retrospection’**. For most of us, we measure time by events we are looking forward to in the future, and we wait and wait for them to come, and then finally they arrive, only to disappear in the blink of an eye. So the older we get, the more milestones in our lives we have to look back on, and the farther and faster they seem to become distant memories. So now you know why time speeds up, and maybe it’s a lesson to us to just appreciate being in the moment more, and not be constantly waiting for something more exciting to happen. Just be.
This is basically my way of saying I am so sorry about the inconsistency in my postings! I’ve just been stepping back and just ‘being’, enjoying my life and the people around me, and in my head, I aim to post a new recipe once a week, but then life happens and a month has just completely passed me by ( seriously, March, April and May what happened to you guys?!).
Life has been well and truly getting in the way since Christmas, and I am officially about to become a bonafide, fully paid up member of the elusive adult club. Or at least, I think that’s what happens when you sell your soul and get a mortgage, isn’t it?! I’ve technically been an adult for 7 years, but I still just feel like an imposter, and this whole buying-your-first-house thing is a big, scary new journey that I don’t know a whole heap about! Scary, but also super exciting to be able to take such a big leap with Nick. We’ve been bouncing between various flats and houses for 5 years now, so I can’t wait to put some roots down in a city, Bath, that I’ve wanted to live in since I was a child (have you seen this place before? It’s SO beautiful).
But shoot, you guys are here for chocolate, so let’s discuss my chocolatey balls, because they truly put Ferrero Rocher to shame! I’ve actually never been a huge fan of them if I’m honest (I mean come on, how hard would it be to toast the damn nut in the centre?!), but since I saw my buddy Anthea from Rainbow Nourishments’ incredible photo on Instagram of her raw Ferrero Rocher’s, I haven’t been able to get them out of my mind!
Now if we’re being honest, my Ferrerro ‘Rawcher’ (do you see what I did there?!) aren’t really raw at all because I went all out and rolled them in toasted hazelnuts (and used maple syrup and coconut cream because they make these so much better!), but I’d really suggest you do the same because they taste so much better that way!
The silky smooth truffle centre is really where the magic happens here, and I was surprised just how no similar, no, better actually, the melt-in-your mouth hazelnut filling tasted compared to the real thing. It’s way less sugary, and that allows every bit of that lovely chocolatey, Nutella-like flavour to shine through. And paired with the coating of super dark chocolate and toasted nuts, well, we’re on to a winner here chaps!
Now I should warn you now that the centre of these raw Ferrero Rocher is so damn messy to make, and you need to make sure it’s as hard as possible before rolling it into balls because the coconut oil melts in your hands as you shape them, and things can get a little chocolatey! If you need to, get them into a rough ball shape, then freeze them for half an hour or so to firm them up before re-rolling them. The rest of the recipe, well it couldn’t be any simpler really!
**Yaffe, P. Ubiquity Volume 9, Issue 39 (October 28 – November 3, 2008).
- 125g smooth chocolate hazelnut butter (if using plain hazelnut butter, add 50g cacao powder)
- 2 Tbsp (heaped) coconut oil
- 50ml grade A robust maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp (heaped) cacao powder
- 60ml coconut milk (canned) + 2 Tbsp (heaped) coconut cream
- Optional:1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Optional: (if using a blender): 20g roasted hazelnuts for a stronger Nutella taste
- 50g cacao butter
- 35-40g cacao powder (add more if you desire a thicker consistency)
- 25ml grade A robust maple syrup
- Substitute: 100g raw or dark chocolate
- 20 roasted (or blanched) hazelnuts
- 140g roasted hazelnuts (chopped into small pieces)
- To make the hazelnut truffle centres: Place the hazelnut butter, cacao powder, vanilla bean paste, coconut oil, maple syrup and the coconut milk and cream in a blender (or a medium sized bowl if you don't have a blender) and blend until smooth before transferring to a medium-sized bowl. Place the mixture in the freezer to firm up. Mine took roughly 2 hours to harden.
- Line a tray with baking/greaseproof paper.
- When firm, remove the truffle mixture from the freezer, and use a melon baller, or small spoon, to scoop out balls of the mixture. Press a hazelnut into the centre of the ball whilst the mixture is still in the melon baller, before gently removing and rolling in your hand to create a ball - make sure your hands are cold! The mixture melts quickly in your hands, so if you need to, roughly shape the balls before placing them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden before reshaping.
- Place the balls on the tray, and put them in the freezer to harden whilst you make the chocolate coating.
- To make the chocolate coating: melt the cacao butter over a bain marie. Add the cacao powder slowly, stirring constantly, then add the maple syrup and coconut milk powder if using and stir to combine until it resembles melted chocolate.
- Place the hazelnut truffles balls on the end of cocktail skewers, before dipping them into the chocolate mixture. Then allow the excess chocolate to drip off each ball before rolling them in the chopped hazelnuts to coat. If you're feeling fancy, coat them in another layer of chocolate!
- Place the raw Ferrero rocher's back on the tray, before returning them to the fridge for an hour before eating.
If you want to know more about the ingredients used in this recipe, check out my ‘Raw Pantry’ page!