10 Medjool dates, torn in half, pitted
1/2 cup (125ml) hot espresso
1/4 cup (60ml) coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (250g) hazelnut meal
1 1/4 cups (220g) bukinis (roasted buckwheat from health food stores)
1/2 cup (60g) cacao nibs
1/2 cup (50g) cacao, plus extra to dust
1/3 cup (35g) chocolate protein powder
20 whole roasted hazelnuts
Combine dates, espresso (or substitute warm water), coconut oil and vanilla in a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to soak. Using a stick blender, puree until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine hazelnut meal, bukinis, cacao nibs, cacao and protein powder. Add date puree and a pinch of salt, and stir until sticky and combined.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and grease hands with a little coconut oil. Compress and roll the mixture into 20 walnut-sized balls. Make an indent in the centre of each with your thumb, add a whole hazelnut, then reform the ball around the hazelnut. Transfer to prepared tray and chill for 30 minutes to firm up. Dust with extra cacao to serve.