Here's wishing all my friends and readers A Very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful Diwali !!!
Now to my Laddu recipe:
- Almonds - 2 cups
- Peanuts - 1 cup
- Cashews - few (optional)
- Dates - 2 cups (chopped and packed)
- Raw cacao paste - 1 cup (loose shavings from the block)
- Coconut palm sugar - 1 cup
- Cardamom - 4-5 (skin removed)
- Toast the nuts either in oven (350 degrees for 10-15 minutes) or on medium heat on a pan. Let them cool down.
- Once the nuts have cooled down completely, add them to a high speed blender or food processor and process till they are coarsely chopped.
- Add dates and continue pulsing till everything starts to flow freely and becomes a coarse meal. You will be a able to hold them to shape at this point. Transfer to a bowl.
- Powder the coconut sugar and cardamom to a fine powder. Add to the nut mixture.
- Melt the cacao shavings on warm water till you get to a creamy liquid consistency.
- Now you can start making the laddus. The trick with good laddu is to roll it to shape while the mix is still warm. So do the next step in batches.
- Keep the cacao cream over warm water so that it stays warm and liquidy. Divide the nut mixture into different batches, add cacao (proportionately), mix and immediately start rolling them into walnut sized balls. I apply a little pure homemade ghee on my palms so that my laddus get a nice desi aroma :-)
- Optionally you can add a few pieces of chopped roasted cashews to each laddu while rolling them.
- This will make around 30-35 laddus.
- Enjoy and Happy Diwali!!
PS: You see some white laddus in the picture - they are the white versions of the same laddus - just replaced the cacao paste with cacao butter and omitted the dates.