Coconut and chocolate balls
These chewy chocolate balls are great as a treat and the filling in the middle can be adjusted to include any variety of nuts or spices.
For the balls
- 20g/¾oz palm sugar, grated
- 225ml/8fl oz just boiled water or coconut water
- 300g/10½oz glutinous rice flour
- 100g/3½oz sesame seeds
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
For the filling
For the balls, put the palm sugar and 200ml/7fl oz of just boiled water or coconut water in a bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and gradually stir in the sweetened water until it comes together to form a dough (you may not need all the water). Knead briefly until the dough is smooth and pliable. Keep the dough covered with a damp tea towel to prevent it from drying out.
For the filling, place the cocoa, coconut, sesame seeds, oil and sugar in a bowl. Gradually pour in the coconut milk, mixing all the time, until you have a thick paste.
Take a small piece of the dough (approximately the size of a golf ball) and use your hands to flatten it into a disc that's approximately 10cm/4in wide. Place a teaspoon of filling in the centre and wrap the dough around to encase the filling. Roll the filled dough in your hands to form a smooth ball. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling to create about 16 balls. Work quickly to prevent the dough drying out (if it does get hard to handle add a trickle of water to soften the dough).
Tip the sesame seeds onto a plate and roll the balls in the seeds until they are well covered. If the seeds aren’t sticking well, wet your hands a little and rub the ball this will help the sesame seeds stick.
Place the vegetable oil in a large saucepan and heat to 170C. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Using tongs, carefully lower a few balls at a time into the oil and cook for 3–4 minutes, or until golden and crisp on the outside. Carefully remove the balls from the oil and leave to drain on kitchen paper. Allow to cool a little before serving.
The dough can be tricky to work with but the key to success is preventing it from drying out.