I had a few left over muffins and wanted to make something flavorful out of it. Here we go, I made these no-bake cognac cake balls. These cake balls mature in flavor with age. Store for a few days before serving, so their flavors mingle and soften. They will keep well for several weeks.
Cognac Cake Balls
Adapted from joyofbaking
Makes 35-40 balls
1 1/2 cups toasted, coarsely ground Almonds (hazelnuts,walnuts or pecans can be used)
1 1/4 cups finely crushed left over Muffins or Cake (crushed shortbread, graham cracker crumbs, crushed biscuits, crushed cookies or crushed wafers can be used)
1/2 cup Sugar (powdered)
2 tablespoons Cocoa powder (dutch processed or unsweetened)
2 tablespoons Agave nectar or honey (liquid glucose syrup or golden syrup can be used)
1/4 cup Cognac or Rum (I used Courvoisier VSOP Fine Champagne) *If you do not want to add alcohol, replace it with orange or apple juice
Toast the nuts to bring out the flavor. You can use the oven, microwave or stove top.
For microwave toasting, spread nuts evenly in a flat microwavable dish. Cook on high power for 3 to 4 minutes for 1/2 cup of nuts or 4 to 5 minutes for 1 cup. Stir a few times during cooking. Microwaved nuts will continue to darken after being removed from the oven.
To oven toast, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Put the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.
For stove top toasting, cook over low heat in a frying pan. Stir constantly while browning nuts.
All nuts should be cooled completely. Chop the nuts finely with a knife or place the nuts in your food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Transfer to a large bowl.
Process the cake in the processor to make finely crushed crumbs. Add the crumbs to processed nuts. Add sugar, cocoa powder to this mixture. Add Agave nectar and Cognac, and mix well.
After mixing the ingredients together, the batter can be quite sticky. To prevent your hands from becoming a mess, chill the batter for at least 30 minutes before shaping into 1 inch or 2.5 cm balls.
When the balls hold together firmly, it can be coated with powdered sugar, cocoa powder or rolled with sugar granules,coconut flakes or chocolate sprinkles. I did not bother to coat it.
Keep the cake balls in an airtight container placing waxed paper between the layers to prevent sticking. Store the cake balls in the refrigerator. These Cognac cake balls are an epicurean’s delight.