Salted Caramel Walnut Balls

Perfect for entertaining, these delectable salted caramel nutty delights won’t last long amongst guests 

Craft, recipe and styling Sarah Heeringa. Photography Amanda Reelick

1 1/2 cups dried dates, pitted
1/2 cup boiling water 
1 tsp soft brown sugar
¼ tsp salt 
2 tbsp flax seed, ground (linseed and flax seed are different names for the same seed. I used Ceres Organics ground linseed) 
200g walnuts
200g Fairtrade dark chocolate
1 tbsp coconut oil

Chop the dates in half and combine in a bowl with the water and sugar. Leave for several hours (ideally overnight) for the dates to soften. Tip: To skip this step use medjool dates, which are soft and sweet and can be simply pitted and used as is. 

Put the dates mixture and salt in a food processor and blend until they form a smooth mixture. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed. Add the ground flax seed and combine. 

Once the date mix is smooth, add the walnuts and pulse to chop the walnuts into small pieces while retaining some nutty chunkiness. By now the mix should be a thick, rough paste.  

Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Using a tablespoon and with clean, damp hands, scoop out small balls and roll them into walnut-sized balls. Place on the prepared baking tray and freeze for 30 minutes, or overnight, to set.

Break the chocolate into pieces into the metal bowl with the coconut oil and slowly melt using the double boiler. 

Remove the bowl from the double boiler and one by one, drop the frozen balls into the warm chocolate mix. Use a fork to gently turn each ball so it is fully covered with chocolate. Use the fork to lift each ball from the bowl of melted chocolate. Hold the fork above the bowl and with a knife, scrape any excess chocolate dribbling through the bottom of the fork before carefully transferring the ball to the baking tray. Once all balls are covered with the chocolate mix, return the tray to the freezer to set. 

Once set, you can stack the balls in a sealable container with layers separated by baking paper, and store for several weeks in the fridge. Serve straight from the freezer or fridge. For softer truffles, allow them to first come to room temperature.

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