Recipe: Bliss balls - great snack!

Adapted from a friend's recipe (which I believe she got from the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation program) this is a decadent-looking snack without the guilt trip! A  friend creatively called them "Healthy Ferrero Rochers" but I've since discovered most people call them bliss balls. I brought these to work one day for an afternoon tea and people gobbled them up! There is no refined sugar in this recipe - the sweetness comes from the dried fruit, cocoa powder and honey (which you can tailor to your liking). Having these bliss balls prevents me from reaching for the chocolate bars during any the mid-afternoon slumps! (although it can be hard to stop eating the bliss balls after one or two after you start!) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw nuts (I used peanuts and walnuts but you could also use cashews, almonds or pecans)
  • a handful of toasted coconut (you can buy it in a packet already toasted)
  • 1/2 cup seeds (I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup dried pitted dates (check for and remove pits)
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used dried blueberries, cranberries, and cherries but you could also use dried goji berries, apricots, and currants)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp of honey

Method

  1. Finely chop nuts, seeds and coconut in the food processor. Scoop about 2 tbsp of mixture out and reserve on a plate.
  2. Add dates, dried fruit, essence, cocoa powder, spices and honey to food processor until combined.
  3. Roll into balls before rolling around in the reserved nuts and seeds mixture.
  4. Keep in airtight container and eat within a week or so (if they last that long!)

Chairman and Yip

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Roasted duck pancake with shitake mushroom
There was a complex combination of flavours and textures (juicy roast duck pieces, chives, shallots, shitake mushroom, a crispness of the chestnuts, and sweetness of the hoisin sauce). Unfortunately, I felt like the duck was chopped too finely and wished I could taste more of the duck flavour. It could have been San Choy Bao filling in a pancake with hoisin sauce.

 

Grilled field mushrooms with cashew and herb pesto
Delicious pesto sauce, very nutty flavour. The mushroom was cooked just right.
Pan fried Kurobuta Rich River (Vic) pork cake w/ red wine vinaigrette
Looked and tasted like a rissole. Flavours were lacking, all I could taste was pepper. Red wine vinaigrette tasted extremely subtle (read: diluted). It was cooked well, crispy on the outside and not dried out on the inside, but there weren’t any herbs or spices to “accessorise” the pork cake.

Sesame crusted Ocean Trout with cinnamon infused soy

This dish was the highlight of the meal. The fish was cooked to perfection – melt in the mouth. Crust was deliciously crunchy. Absolutely stand out dish.
Pan-seared Chicken with honey pepper and black bean sauce Chicken was a bit tough and very peppery. Could not taste the honey nor distinguish the black bean sauce.

Chocolate fuentille with orange and caramel sauce

Pyramid of mousse – chocolatey, smooth and creamy and light. The biscuit base was also surprisingly light and had a slight crunch to it. It was paired well with the mousse.
Service was prompt and seamless. Could not fault it. They passed the Water Test (water glasses never empty or bottle water promptly replaced) with flying colours.

I’m not sure the quality of the food completely met all my expectations (due to the hype) but it was still a spectacular meal!

Food Avenue rating: 8/10

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