I created these Vegan Chocolate Salty Balls when I had a vegan South park fan visiting and everyone else was tucking into some chocolate, toffee and fudge treats that had come from the seaside.
It’s a flexible recipe and I’ve tweaked it about a bit depending on what’s available at the time. I prefer almond milk, but soy works. I use a sunflower based margarine, but friends have reported good results with other choices. If you’re not vegan and want a more whole food version, then you can of course use butter and milk.
The key element for customization is the “vegan junkyard mix“. Whilst this recipe lists almonds, coconut and sultanas, you can mix it up. The almond harvest this year looks to be poor, so you may want to switch in any other sort of chopped nut. Peanuts will reduce the overall cost.
At Christmas I’ll often include candied cherries, and dried cherries work well in the mix, as do chopped dried apricots or dates. Raisins work just as well as sultanas. I hate candied peel, I believe them to be the devil’s toenails, but if you like them, and I’m sure some weird people do, then go ahead and add those to your mix.
Just make up the mix with your favorite “vegan junk” and experiment – but not with dried banana chips – they turn out nasty.
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine
- 2 cups soft brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup cocoa (not drinking chocolate)
- 1/2 cup nut butter (peanut is fine, but you can get fancy if you like)
- 2 1/2 cup oats
- 1 1/2 cups junkyard mix (try 1/2 cup each coconut, raisins, chopped almonds)
- Mix together the oats and the junkyard mix and set aside
- In a saucepan bigger than you think you’ll need melt the butter and sugar together, stirring all the time
- Add the salt and cocoa
- When the sugar is dissolved in the butter add the milk and slowly bring the mix to the boil, stirring all the time
- Boil gently for two minutes, keep on stirring
- Remove from the heat, add the nut butter and stir until it has dissolved too
- Add the junkyard mix and stir until it’s fully incorporated
- Allow to cool a little until you can use a spoon to form it into balls, and aren’t scared to touch it if those balls go wonky
- Put the balls on greaseproof paper, rice paper or a silicone baking sheet to cool