Thursday, April 10, 2008

Chocolate Balls (Chokladbollar)

Chocolate balls are one of the first things any Swedish child will learn to bake. Be it in the kitchen with your Mum or in the Kindergarten with the teachers, every child will have gotten their hands, face and most likely clothes dirty with the would-be cookie dough. You see, you do not actually bake the chocolate balls, just combine the ingredients, form them into balls and let them rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. In no time at all, you will have delicious, home-made candy!

I must have made hundreds, if not thousands, of batches over the years, most of them long since forgotten. There is, however, one occasion I will always remember. I was probably six or seven years old, and my parents and most of my siblings were out of the house. This was especially remarkable on its own, since my Mum was a homemaker stuck with three daughters and two sons (quite a few years later, another sister decided to join the family and turn us into an even eight), so you were never completely alone. On this day, though, I was alone save for one of my older sisters (or was it my younger brother? My memories fail me). She was hardly interested in taking care of me (and if it was my brother at home, I apparently cared little for him!), so I was left alone to do whatever I felt like.

And what could a little girl of six years old possibly get up to on her own?
Why, she baked, of course!

Since I was so young I had never really baked on my own, and chocolate balls were the easiest and most instantly gratifying things I could think of. So I started making chocolate balls. As it turned out, I did not really have the patience to sit and wait for the butter to soften, so I thought I would be clever and melt it. This turned out to be a rather bad idea; instead of producing a cookie dough that was firm but soft, I was left with a rather runny sort of batter. Still, it tasted good. And that was the only thing I cared about.

100 g butter, softened
300 ml porridge oats
100 ml sugar
2 tbs cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla sugar (can be omitted)
2 tbs strong, cold coffee (can be substituted by milk or water)

In a bowl, carefully mix everything toghether, making sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Scoop up a small amount in your hand and roll it between your palms to form a ball. Cover the balls in pearl sugar or shredded coconut.
Let the chocolate balls rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour.