Monday, March 4, 2013

Chocolate-Coconut Balls (Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, and Gluten-Free))

For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Veena's blog:  Veg Nation:  An Ode to Vegetarian Food.   Veena lives in India, and I had big plans to make one of her authentic Indian recipes.   I've been teaching my boys a lot about other cultures, and this month we happened to be studying India. The boys and I were going to take a trip to our local (authentic) Indian grocery store and learn as much about their food as possible.

I had it all worked out in my mind:  it was going to be  perfect!   

But I foolishly procrastinated.  And then today, the day I planned to go to the Indian grocery (3 days before the reveal date), Timothy got a stomach virus, and I was hit with the realization that if I were to also get sick, there's no way I could make the Secret Recipe Club deadline.

So I had to scrap the authentic Indian cooking dream and go with something more familiar to me:  chocolate. 

And Veena's Chocolate Coconut Ladoo are delicious.  (Ladoo (also written as Laduu) refers to an Indian sweet treat that is rolled into bite-sized balls.) 

Due to some dietary changes that we've had to make around here, I swapped out the sweetened condensed milk that Veena used with a homemade sweetened condensed coconut milk.  Also, Veena used 2 tablespoons of drinking chocolate...I used 3 tablespoons of straight cocoa to avoid the dairy that was lurking amongst every version of powdered "drinking chocolate" I had in my pantry.   

I am not much of a microwave user, but I followed Veena's microwave instructions to the letter and was grateful for them.  The microwave saved me a lot of preparation time as I spent most of my morning running back and forth from the kitchen to Timothy's sickbed.

Thanks, Veena!  As soon as possible, my children and I will be back to your blog to study Indian culture and food!

Chocolate-Coconut Balls (Dairy Free, Nut Free)
Makes 16 tablespoon-sized balls

1/2 cup sweetened condensed coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cup shredded (unsweetened) coconut + additional 1/4 - 1/2 cup for rolling
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

In a microwave-safe bowl, mix the condensed coconut milk and the water.  Cover with a paper towel (it may splatter while it's cooking) and microwave the mixture for 2 minutes.  Carefully remove the bowl from microwave.

Whisk the cocoa powder into the milk/water mixture.  Once the mixture is smooth, add in the shredded coconut.  Stir well and microwave for about 2.5 minutes, stopping to mix every 30-45 seconds.  The mixture will be thick.

Carefully remove bowl from microwave and allow mixture to cool for 5-10 minutes.  When cool enough to touch, scoop out tablespoon-sized amounts of the mixture and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands.

Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup of shredded coconut in a shallow bowl. 

Roll the chocolate-coconut balls into the shredded coconut to coat.

Serve warm or at room temperature.  Store uneaten treats in the refrigerator. 

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Veg Nation


Sara said...

Fantastic!! These look so delicious...the perfect little treat! :)

Beth @ Good to be the Cook said...

I can't believe THOSE are made from FOUR ingredients!! WOW, they look amazing. STopping by from SRC March Reveal, thanks for sharing!

AmandaE said...

These look delicious, great SRC pick! I'm a huge fan of coconut - and chocolate, so will have to give these a try.

Cooking Rookie said...

Yum, they look perfect! Such a delicious snack!

Lisa~~ said...

I love and cook a lot of Indian food but chocolate and coconut is always a winner in my book. I'm going to make these for my daughter, always looking for allergy safe treats for her.

If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC entry Loaded Potato Soup.


Miz Helen said...

Your Chocolate Coconut Balls look yummy! Thanks for sharing and have a good week.
Visiting from Group B SRC
Miz Helen

Claire @ Claire K Creations said...

What a wonderful way to teach your kids about other cultures. Sorry you didn't get to make your curry but you really can't go wrong with chocolate and coconut can you?

Katrina said...

Yum! I'm off to check out your coconut sweetened condensed milk!

Heather said...

these are so simple and delish looking. might be able to do them. love the new header. so beautiful.

Sarah said...

these sound like a great snack! sorry your little boy is sick :(

Elizabeth said...

wow- these look amazing! yay for src :)

Camilla M. Mann said...

Those look delicious! Question: any suggestions for a non-microwave version? I don't have a microwave. Thanks for sharing. Sorry to hear your son is sick.

Moviegirl03 said...

Four ingredients to such a beautiful dessert. Looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

Lovely photo... and I'd be interested in seeing how you made the coconut condensed milk.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I have to make these. I have a friend who LOVES chocolate and Coconut ( like me) and she has a birthday coming up. They look DELLICIOUS!! Thanks for sharing.

Ginny said...

Hi Camilla: I think it would be very easy to adapt these to a stove-top cooking method (as opposed to the microwave). I will try it and repost the recipe here soon! Thanks for asking!

Unknown said...

Anything coated in coconut is a winner in my book. Your photos are beautiful too!

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