Easter is a wonderful time of year. Here in Melbourne it could be a beautiful sunny long weekend, or it could be a cold and rainy one. Whichever it decides to be we are all grateful for the four day weekend, and the opportunity to catch up with family and friends. Not to mention the food!
As a child we would go camping with other families. Days were spent riding our bikes, fishing, picking flowers, and turning our bike helmets into Easter Bonnet creations with tin foil!
Hot cross buns were something that i hated as a child- until they started making the chocolate flavoured ones! I used to hate raisins and dried fruit in general. My adult pallat has changed all that and i am now in love with the flavours of the original hot cross bun.
The spices is what makes a hot cross bun so special to me and makes me want to go back time and time again until they are all finished. I wanted to make a healthy whole foods treat that captures those flavours, without the refined flours and all that sugar.
My version is refined sugar free, gluten free and dairy free (the dark chocolate I chose for the crosses is dairy free too.) These bite sized treats are full of protein, calcium and magnesium from the almond and hazelnut meal, so they are not only delicious but nourshing the body as well. You could have one at breakfast time on Easter Sunday and not feel like you’re starting the day off badly.
These Hot Cross Bun Balls (although not hot!) are so easy to whip up with minimal ingredients. The time consuming bit is applying the dark chocolate cross. I don’t have a piping bag or anything special like that, so i simply spooned the melted chocolate into some cling wrap making a little pouch with it, then pricked a small hole into the bag. Voila! Makeshift piping bag. Make sure you work fast as the chocolate starts to cool and harden quite quickly. As you can see, mine turned out quite rustic looking (my artistic skills are developing slowly) but I think that’s what makes them charming.
What’s your favourite thing about Easter? The chocolate rabbits? Easter egg hunts? Leave me a comment and let me know. Wishing all my readers a safe and happy Easter. xx
- 1/2 cup of Almond Meal
- 1/2 cup of Hazlenut Meal
- 4 teaspoons of mixed spice
- 3 teaspoons of cacao powder
- 2 teaspoons of cacao nibs
- 1/4 cup of coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of rice malt syrup
- 1 square of 90% dark chocolate (i used Lindt)
- Combine the almond and halzenut meal, cacao powder and nibs, and mixed spice into a bowl.
- Melt the coconut oil and add to the dry ingredients.
- Add the rice malt syrup and mix all the ingredients together until they are wet.
- Create small balls with the mixture using around 2 teaspoons of the mixure per ball. Use your hands to press the mixture into shape. If the mixture is not sticking well add a teaspoon of water to the mixture.
- Leave the balls to set in the fridge while you move on to the chocolate crosses.
- Melt the square of dark chocolate in a metal bowl over a small pot of boiling water.
- Once melted, spoon the chocolate onto a square of cling wrap. fold and twist each corner of wrap together to make a tight ball with the chocolate.
- Remove the balls from the fridge, Prick the cling wrap to make a tiny hole in the cling wrap and start to make your crosses on each ball, working quite quickly.
- Put the balls back into the fridge until ready to serve.
– If you like the mix spice flavour a little stronger feel free to add another teaspoon or two.
– You can substitute the rice malt syrup with maple syrup or honey if you prefer and you are not avoiding fructose.
– Decorate these treats anyway you like. For me i went with the crosses to make them feel more like Easter treats, and sprinkled with dessicated coconut as the finishing touch.