My all-time favourite ice cream back in the day was baci. Baci, in Italian, means “kisses”. I have just started learning Italian so I figure this was an appropriate place to start: I absolutely adore the choc-hazlenut combination.
Let it be said though, this is not a rich, sweet creamy dessert. But they are delicious, healthy, choc-hazlenut energy balls all the same! You could easily press it down into a container and cut it up into brownies too if preferred.
1.5 cups hazelnuts
1 cup Medjool dates (pitted)
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup pepitas
1/4 cup raw cacao
1 T rice syrup (or agave nectar)
1 T coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
It really is as easy as putting it all in a food processor and waiting for it to combine. I find the balls work better though if you grind the hazelnuts down before adding anything else, however. I don’t mind if the pepitas are still chunky in the balls, a bit of texture is good I figure.
I add the rice syrup more for moisture than sweetness – if you like extra sweet, you may even need more but if you’re not a huge sweet tooth, you could well leave the rice syrup out and use 1 T of water. It just helps to combine the mixture.
My last tip on making balls is to use a melon baller if you own one? It helps for measuring for the same sized balls and also begins a perfect round shape 🙂