These Chocolate Dates Balls are a delectable blend of dark chocolate and luscious date paste, creating a heavenly bite-sized delights. With just 3 to 4 ingredients and no refined sugar and no cooking, you can make these easy simple gluten-free sweet snack!
You don't need an occasion to indulge in this naturally sweetened chocolate date balls. These sweet balls make a great option to gift for a Chocolate day, Valentine's day, etc. I mean, you don't have to wait for an occasion, rather make today for yourself and keep snacking...
This was inspired by my dried fruits and nuts loaded dates energy balls recipe. I wanted to make a nut-free sweet balls with store-bought date paste and chocolate for my chocolate loving soul. These can be served both as dessert or snack with a cup of chai or coffee. I stored them in a jar on my coffee table and we slowly snacked on them through the week while binge watching The Diplomat. Is it a dessert or snack - mind game, I tell ya!
Let me tell you, this is a very basic chocolate date ball recipe without any nuts or seeds or oats. I wanted to keep this purely chocolate and dates with a bit of flavouring to bring out the best of both. The dates chocolate mixture comes together while kneading with coconut oil. Does this sound like brownie date balls made in a sugar free kitchen?
- date paste - I have used store-bought date paste. If you cannot source, make your own. I have included a recipe guide below.
- dark chocolate chips - use whatever dark chocolate you have in hand.
- cocoa powder - helps in giving structure to the dough.
- vanilla extract
- coconut oil
See recipe card for quantities.
You need a good food processor or grinder to process the dark chocolate chips to almost fine texture with a bit of granuels. The tiny chocolate bits will add the burst of flavour when you start chewing. bliss. I couldn't capture the images of the processing steps but these images will give you an idea on the required texture.
Reserve a tablespoon of semi-ground chocolate chip for rolling in the end. Add all the ingredients - date paste, ground dark chocochips, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla extract. I added a pinch of ground cinnamon for flavor, which is optional. Keep some coconut oil by the side to help you knead.
As you mix, using your hands (you may wear gloves to protect your nails), gently incorporate the coconut oil. Knead until you achieve a smooth and tight dough that maintains its shape. At this point, you can taste and adjust the flavourings.
Now, divide the dough into equal-sized balls. I like to keep them bite-sized so made 16 to 18 balls. May have eaten two in the process. (we all do that, right?)
Next, you just have to roll each chocolate date balls between your palms to make them smooth. Lastly, roll them in cocoa powder or ground chocolate until coated. Serve in a platter or store in a jar.
Note: Please note that if you used cocoa powder to coat the chocolate date balls, they won't stay dry for lonh. The cocoa powder will be absorbed and in a few hours there won't be much diffrence between the two.
How do you make date paste?
I am so grateful that date paste is easily available here in UAE. Though you can make date paste at home with minimal effort, it requires a lot of dates. So try to buy in bulk whenever you find a good offer. You can use any variety of dates, such as Medjool, Mabroom, Khudri or Deglet Noor.
- Start by removing the pits before measuring out your desired quantity of pitted dates. I would suggest using 2 cups of tightly packed pitted dates. You can make more and store for other date paste recipes.
- Place the pitted dates into a bowl and cover them with warm water. Let them soak for 10 to 15 minutes or until they soften.
- Drain and transfer them to a food processor or grinder. You can use the drained water in smoothies or tea.
- Process the dates until you get a thick and smooth paste. You can add a small amount of water to help start the process. Be cautious not to add too much water, as it can make the paste runny.
- Transfer the date paste using rubber spatula and use in this recipe. If you have excess, refrigerate in airtight container.
- date paste - If you cannot source date paste pack, then use pitted and soaked dates to make the paste. (refer above or recipe notes) Though not tried, I bet you can experiment with dried figs or raisin paste?
- dark chocolate chips: Instead of chips, you can use your favourite dark chocolate bars. I like to keep it dark chocolate as it will cut and balance the sweetenes of dates.
- vanilla extract - you can use any other flavouring like ground cinnamon or cardamom. You can even use some pumpkin spice!
- coconut oil - I find this adds to the taste but you may use olive oil.
As I mentioned, this is a simple recipe with minimal but not limited ingredients. The possibilities of variations are endless.
- flavourings- Apart from vanilla, you can add more flavours that pair well with dates and chocolate. I read chilli pairs well with chocolate, I really want to try next time. You can aslo try ground ginger like I did in Date syrup granola recipe.
- dried fruits, nuts or seeds: If you like to add crunch to these sweet balls, then add roasted and finely chopped nuts like walnuts or dried fruits or seeds. Rice krispies are another great addition.
- indulgent truffles - Make these richer and decadent but dunking in melted chocolate. Pipe some melted white chocolate for sweeter snack.
- vegan: make sure to use vegan dark chocolate or raw cacao powder.
- coconut flakes: Coat the balls with coconut flakes as we know chocolate cocount are pair made in Bounty heaven.
- peanut butter: Might I suggest piping some creamy peanut butter over these balls. They will look and taste great!
You only need a food processor or mixie grinder to process the chocolate. You will also need it if you are making your own date paste. Always use for the dry ingredients before wet.
Choose an airtight container to store the chocolate date balls. A plastic or glass jar with a tight-fitting lid works well. Make sure the container is clean and dry before using it. Store the container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. You don't have to refrigerate.
To easily coat the date balls with cocoa powder or ground chocolate without handling it too much, add one in the the bowl and shake in circular motion aiming to coat. This method will guarnatee less product usage and even coating. Alternatively, you can add the powder to a cake baking pan and place all the date balls in it. Shake the pan on the counter until the date balls are evenly coated.
Typically choco balls are made of a combination of ingredients that include chocolate, sugar, milk solids, and various flavorings. The exact composition may vary depending on the brand or recipe being used. My choco date balls recipe includes date paste, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla and coconut oil.
Chocolate date balls are sometimes called truffles due to their resemblance to the truffle mushroom and has nothing to do with the taste. The name "truffle" may evoke thoughts of the savory fungi, but chocolate truffles are a sweet and indulgent treat that has borrowed its name only for its visual resemblance to the truffle mushroom
Chocolate date balls can be coated in a variety of ingredients to add flavor, texture, and visual appeal. My favourites are cocoa powder, chocolate shavings, chopped nuts, sprinkles, desiccated coconut, coconut flakes, crushed cookies or biscuits, decorative sugar or edible glitter, etc.
Homemade chocolate date balls are healthy if consumed in moderation keeping with the recommended balanced diet and portion size.
Looking for other sweet snacks like this? Try these:
Looking for recipes using date paste?
Chocolate Date Balls
- 200 grams date paste (approx ¾ to 1 cup)
- 100 grams dark chocolate chips (approx ¾ to 1 cup)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder (optional)
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Add the 100 grams dark chocolate chips to a food processor or grinder and pulse until they turn to grainy dust. Reserve 1 to 2 tablespoon for coating in the end. If you are making your own date paste (see notes) use the same food processor without washing to process the soaked and drained dates to paste.
- To a large bowl, add the 200 grams date paste, ground chocolate chips, 2 tablespoon cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder (if using). Mix everything together using hands and 1 tablespoon coconut oil until incorporated. The dough should not be sticky nor dry with cracks. If sticky, add cocoa powder and if dry, add coconut oil.
- Divide the dough into 15 to 20 equal sized balls. Smooth each one by rolling between your palms.
- Roll each date ball in a bowl of reserved ground chocolate chips or cocoa powder. You can do this one by one or dump all in a shallow cake pan and shake to coat.
- Serve immediately. Store in clean and dry airtight container on counter. These last for several days if stored properly. Avoid wet hands or spoons.
- Place 2 cups of tightly packed pitted dates into a bowl and cover them with warm water just enought to barely cover. Keep the bowl covered for 30 minutes or until the dates are softened.
- You can use any variety of dates, such as Medjool or Deglet Noor. Drain the dates and transfer them to a food processor.
- Process the dates until smooth and thick. You may need to scrape down the sides of the food processor a few times during the process.
- Transfer the content using rubber spatula and use it to make these sweet chocolate balls.
If you have tried making this Chocolate Date Balls recipe or any other recipe on But First Chai, then please don't forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! I would be really happy to know how it turned out for you. And if you happen to take any photos or videos, please share them with me on Instagram @butfirstchaai so I can see and share your feedback!