Hello world … I’m your whe-ey girl
I’m your ch ch ch ch ch cherry bomb
Am I feeling a bit pleased with myself? Just a bit. OK, quite a lot actually.
While baking and making lots of sweet stuff for family and friends for Christmas, I started feeling a little left out of the picture. Mostly because over the holiday season, I still want to eat as healthily as possible and stick to my fitness goals. Right, if my trainers read this, they’d laugh hysterically, but I’ll keep my delusions about being on track over Christmas, thanks. I have to deny myself any respectable indulgence in nougat, pandoro, panettone, and most cookies due to food intolerances anyway. All the things I associate with Christmas in my Italian family.
Thank the gods for chocolate. I could never be allergic to you, dearest Cacao
As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been a bit crazy mad with the cherries as they are in season now … and might I add, they are exceptionally good this year. Cherries are synonymous with Christmas here in Australia. I love all cherries but especially the sour cherry varieties. They are usually in season for a few short weeks, and are getting harder to find fresh, as unfortunately the market hasn’t really taken off here. Well, you know …
WAKE. UP. FOLKS!!!
Not only are they the bomb in baking, desserts, and with chocolate in any shape or form, they are also REALLY REALLY good for you. They are lower in sugar than sweet cherries, have ZERO fat, and a number of fairly well-run studies have shown sour cherries to be a fantastic aid in muscle recovery after hard workouts. So, I’m thinking, this obsession with Morello cherries is JUSTIFIED. And even more so now that I’ve tossed them into these fabulous protein chocolates for Christmas!
I’m rather chuffed at how delicious these are. Of course, I had to throw in some almonds, and there are cherries so in went the coconut. A little vanilla, a little spice … a chocolate coating and voilà! You have yourself a sweet treat for Christmas day, or anytime. You’re getting some decent protein, some healthy fats, and good carbs so you don’t have to feel guilty.
I’ve suggested about 80 grams of chocolate for this. It really depends on what molds you use in terms of size (surface area to coat) and the thickness of the chocolate coating. I used a silicon mold for mini muffins to make these as little cups. While silicon molds make life easier for unmolding baked goods, chocolate is a little different and will crack if you need to apply a little pressure. How do I know this? Guess … well, I got to taste them straight away by eating the broken ones
I would suggest you line the moulds with mini-muffin or mini-cupcake liners so you can use a thinner chocolate coating if you wish and can just peel off the paper lining. Of course, you can use chocolate molds for making these but I’m assuming most of you probably don’t have them. I do but the molds are smaller and frankly, mmm mmm I didn’t want them to be smaller!
As usual, this recipe is made using only fresh ingredients and a good quality unflavoured whey protein. If you use a flavoured whey, try to choose vanilla for this and consider how sweet your whey powder is before adding the coconut sugar to the recipe. I tried using pure stevia extract to sweeten the filling mix the first time around but it was horrible. The coconut sugar? Perfect. You can also think of it as getting some extra iron and zinc, both of which are good things you won’t get from sucralose or aspartame, right?
These will make sure you don’t lose any of that energy to move, power to lift! over the holidays.
I have included the macros below the recipe. Make, eat, enjoy!
These are best made the day before you want to eat them as chilling in the refrigerator allows the filling to develop both in flavour and texture. Otherwise, make at least several hours ahead of serving.
Makes 8 mini muffin sized bombs
35 grams almond meal
60 grams unflavoured whey protein (I used Professional Whey NZ WPC)
15 grams unsweetened shredded coconut
10 grams coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 or 2 drops almond extract (optional)
30 grams pitted Morello/sour* or sweet cherries
water or coconut water
80 grams dark chocolate (e.g. Lindt Excellence 90%)
*If you cannot find fresh sour cherries, they are becoming more widely available frozen or you can just get the preserved ones in jars. Try to find the ones that are preserved in just water, without added sugar. They are usually imported from Europe and available in many supermarkets and delis. Thaw and/or drain them well before using.
Combine all ingredients except the cherries, water, and chocolate in a large bowl. Add a little water (or coconut water), about 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork, until you get a smooth creamy mixture. You want it to be batter-like in consistency – not runny or sloppy and not too stiff.
Chop the cherries finely. Stir through the whey mixture until combined. Taste and adjust for sweetness.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water or in a microwave. Stir to cool slightly. Pour about 2 teaspoons into each mini-muffin cavity and work it up the sides as evenly as you can. you can use a flat bladed knife to do this. Place in the freezer for a few minutes to set.
Fill each mold with the cherry whey mixture. Cover with the remaining chocolate. Freeze to set the chocolate.
Very carefully unmold the bombs on to a tray.
They can be stored in the fridge for a few days.
I have provided macros based on using sour cherries and the unflavoured whey I indicated in the recipe. If you use different ingredients and a different whey, it may change the macros somewhat.
I have also based the macros on using Lindt Excellence 90% chocolate. You can honestly use whatever dark chocolate you love. My preference is for other brands personally, but the Lindt Excellence is rather good and easily accessible at supermarkets and chocolate shops. If you use less chocolate for a thinner coating, the calories and other macros will come down a bit too.