Chocolate Bliss Balls with Cranberries and Cacao

Who can resist a chocolate Christmas ball once the Festive Season is in full swing? And what if they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar free and vegan to keep healthy options on a roll? These blissful chocolate balls tick all the boxes, but more importantly taste so delicious that you’ll be keen to make them any time of the year for a self-loving treat.

Chocolate Christmas Balls

One of my favourite Christmas memories as a kid was every year, without fail, Mum would make Rum Balls and White Christmas. She would be the first to admit she wasn’t a frequent baker, but these were always part of the Christmas tradition. And us kids absolutely loved scoffing these down, feeling so grownup that we were allowed to have such decadent treats that included alcohol. Anyone relate?

Christmas Cranberry Balls

Admittedly there’s no rum added to these chocolate balls, although you’re in charge in your kitchen so it’s up to you whether you add a tablespoon or two! However the shape of the balls, their snowy coconut dusting and their sweet, yuletide flavours thanks to the subtleness of the cranberries play straight into the memory banks and make me feel like a kid again. And isn’t that a magical feeling at this time of year.

cacao and cranberry bliss balls

Christmas Chocolate Balls with Cranberries and Cacao

Makes 14

 Ingredients

½ cup dried cranberries

1 cup unsalted cashews

1 cup Medjool dates, seeds removed

1 cup desiccated coconut

2 tablespoons cacao

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon vanilla powder or extract

pinch of sea salt

desiccated coconut, extra for rolling

Thermomix Instructions

  • Place cranberries in small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave the cranberries to soften for a few minutes, then drain in a colander
  • Place cashews in TM bowl and blend 10 seconds/speed 9
  • Add all other ingredients and blend 20 seconds/speed 9 or until a dough forms
  • With damp hands roll the mixture into balls, roll again in desiccated coconut and either pop in the freezer for 20 minutes or straight into the fridge to set for a few hours

Food Processor Instructions

  • Place cranberries in small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave the cranberries to soften for a few minutes, then drain in a colander
  • Place cashews into bowl and blend on a high speed until a nut powder has formed
  • Add all other ingredients and blend on a high speed until you have a nice dough consistency
  • With damp hands roll the mixture into balls, roll again in desiccated coconut and either pop in the freezer for 20 minutes or straight into the fridge to set for a few hours

TIPS: Goji berries make a great swap with the cranberries, simply follow the soaking instructions in step 1.

These will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 weeks and are the perfect treat to pull out when guests arrive. Or of course if you’re simply wanting to get into the Christmas spirit.

Friends dropping in? How about adding some chocolate bark to the balls, a perfect match for a platter of sweets and treats.

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