Confession time: I hoard specialty cacao products
When I am traveling or living in a new country, I like spending time searching for the specialty chocolate shops and purchasing specialty cacao and chocolate to add to my chokladbollar. After living in Switzerland and Belgium, (a chocolate lovers dream!) I tried all kinds of cocoa powders and different chocolate products to my recipes. It was a bit geeky, but each time I experimented, there would be a new discovery. Currently in my pantry, I have cacao powder from Italy, France, The Netherlands, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sweden, England, and Switzerland.
In addition to a good basic cacao powder, I think it is important to experiment a little with different types of cocoa powder to get varying results. Basic chokladbollar recipes are basic, baking at home should be fun so have a little fun experimenting with different powders. The more you put into the mixture, the more depth of flavor the balls will have. I like my balls to have a bit of complexity.
It is important to note the kind of style and flavor of chokladbollar you want to make. Do you want more of a milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, or a mix of all the above! You do not have to just stick to one cacao powder for each batch of chokladbollar you make. I like to experiment a little and mix 2-3 different cacao powders in a mixture. By doing this you are creating a depth in flavor.
Vit chokladbollar / White Chocolate Balls
Around Christmas time, a lot of mint, peppermint, cinnamon, and white chocolate products start to show up in stores and specialty chocolate stores. I am not a white chocolate fan because it is usually too sweet for my tastebuds and I am also lactose intolerant so it is rare to find me eating white chocolate. However, I have friends and family who love the taste of white chocolate. I found a white chocolate cocoa powder at my local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf cafe in a set of three so decided to purchase the set since I really wanted to make a batch of vit chokladbollar for my friends and family. The milkiness of the white chocolate cacao powder from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf really captured the essence of what I wanted in my white chocolate balls.
"Bougie" is short term slang for bourgeois and I have named these as Bougie Balls because I was so excited to use the specialty valrhona cacao powder I purchased from Ahlgrens konfektyr in Lund's saluhallen (food market). This batch also contained truffle sea salt from a trip to Milan and real vanilla bean from a shop in Gothenburg. It was the epitome of my jetsetter life in a chokladbollar! The richness of the cacao powder was really smooth and dark with earthy notes. They are probably the best chokladbollar batch I have made thus far.