February 21, 2016

A Mini Break and Bliss Ball Croquembouche

How to make Raw Vegan Bliss Ball Croquembouche - Recipes by Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

I’ve learned that in order to avoid getting run down, I have to plan as vigilantly for relaxation as I do for work. Sometimes it is as simple as taking a walk in nature, and other times it requires removing oneself from the grid with a full change of scenery.

The Ocean - Bliss Ball Croquembouche Recipe by Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

We three, Queen Suebah and Little Chef, hit the road for a beautiful honest to goodness long weekend off. No work, no writing or social media, no shopping or housework, just a delicious mix of fun and rest all wrapped up in one at our little coastal cottage.

Anna & Little Chef + a Bliss Ball Croquembouche Recipe by Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Ten hour long sleeps, fresh sea air, swims in the ocean, sunshine and healthy deliciousness equals the goods! If you are anything like me, it is nice to have healthy things to eat when you’re in holiday mode, especially when you can just pop them in your mouth, with no cooking required.

The Ocean - Bliss Ball Croquembouche Recipe by Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Ya’ll know how simple and easy bliss balls are to make, see my Raw Vegan Strawberry Bliss Ball recipe. I decided to channel NQN and turn an already tasty treat into a spectacular 3 flavour Bliss Ball Croquembouche tower. 

The croquembouche bit is very straightforward, and nothing like the traditional toffee, spun sugar and cone you might be familiar with, to build this beauty I carefully stacked the balls using toothpicks to secure in place.

Bliss Ball Croquembouche Recipe by Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Chocolate Bliss Balls

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes

  • 1 cup of raw cashews
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tbsp of raw cacao powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp of water

Step 1: Mix the nuts in your food processor.

Step 2: Add in the dates then mix well.

Step 3: Add in the cacao and a pinch of salt.

Step 4: Add in the water – more or less depending on the consistency. You need the balls to stick together, but still be able to roll them.

Step 5: Roll them with the palm of your hands to form balls, then gently roll in raw cocoa powder.

Bliss Ball Croquembouche Recipe by Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Apricot Bliss Balls

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes

  • 1 cup of macadamias
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup (or more!) of dried apricots

Step 1: Process the nuts in your food processor until reasonably fine but still a little crumbly. 

Step 2: Add the rest of the ingredients except the dried apricot. Process until a dough forms.

Step 3: Add the apricots and pulse until combined. If you over-process it you won’t have chunks of apricot in your bliss balls, which I personally like but you may prefer them more subtle. 

Step 4: Roll spoon full’s of the mixture into balls with your hands.

Bliss Ball Croquembouche Recipe by Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

I’d love to know, are you a beach or mountain mini breaker? And do you eat healthy snacks like this when you are on holidays?

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shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Bam's Kitchen - May 11, 2016 Reply

Good for you Anna! Your little puppy is just adorable. I am so jealous…10 hours sleeps, walks on the beach and awesome food. Now on to your mile high delicious balls. These are so beautiful and love your food styling in a stack. I am sure my youngest boys would polish off this stack in a nanosecond.

    Anna - May 12, 2016 Reply

    Thanks Bobbi! 🙂 And yes, Little Chef is adorable. That day at the beach, he had all the sand to play on and he wanted to be sat on my lap to take in the serenity. Lol!
    10 hour sleeps, super relaxation and bliss balls = My happy place! The balls didnt last long in my household either, I noted my housemates were sneaking into the fridge and chomping on them secretly, guess they are really addictive too. 🙂

Rosemary - May 8, 2016 Reply

How beautiful and delicious. Amazing pics of the croquembouches. You are right, mini-breaks are important and necessary. Just wish I prepared for them as vigilantly as I do for work 🙂 In terms of favorite location, will take what I can get, though I have a preference for being by the water 🙂 Have loads of fun and R&R 🙂

    Anna - May 8, 2016 Reply

    I look at you guys and the adventures you are having and wonder, does a mini break for you involve going home and spending the week with family and friends? 🙂

Jen Sotolongo - May 6, 2016 Reply

This croqembouche is so beautiful with all the colors! I love making balls, they’re great little packs of energy and so easy to make and take along on the go.

    Anna - May 7, 2016 Reply

    Thanks Jen, it really turned out super pretty and tasted fantastic too.
    I agree, they are a winning dessert/sweet treat, perfectly simple to make and great for a quick fix while exercising or on the go. 🙂

Sahar - May 6, 2016 Reply

The croquemboche looks soo.beautiful. Love the colors…

    Anna - May 6, 2016 Reply

    Thanks HEAPS Sahar! It sure is a beauty, I hope you make it one of these days soon. 🙂

Samantha - PlanetBakeLife - May 6, 2016 Reply

Long weekends are the best for getting away from it all and doing something different! I’ve never had a bliss ball before, I keep meaning to make them. Maybe I’ll start with this recipe 🙂

    Anna - May 6, 2016 Reply

    Yeah they are. Almost time for another one! 🙂
    Bliss balls are ACE, so much deliciousness.
    Let me know what you think when you make the croquembouche.

Sue - March 15, 2016 Reply

Ho wonderful to have an absolute beak. I am afraid I have a very hard time shutting off from all social media. We have a kayaking trip in October where we will be completely disconnected. It will be good for me. Now if you could send over some of those beautiful balls that would be marvelous.

    Anna - March 17, 2016 Reply

    It was perfect Sue, like you, shutting off the world is difficult, but I find very good for the soul, we don’t need to be onnnnnnnnnnn all the time.
    Wowza, I am so jelly of your kayak trip in October, it sounds wonderful. You’ll have to pack some bliss balls for energy. 🙂

Hannah - March 3, 2016 Reply

I’m a beach mini breaker. Can’t get enough of the beach!

Snacking on holidays is normally of the unhealthy kind. My mind set is usually ‘Well, I am on holidays…’

    Anna - March 3, 2016 Reply

    The beach really is the best huh?!
    Hmmmm… seems I am a little weird with my healthy eats when on vacay.
    But much respect to the ‘I’m on holidays, calories dont count’ mentality. 🙂

My Inner Chick - February 29, 2016 Reply

Chocolate Bliss Balls!
Are you kidding me?
They are AMAZING.
And I just adore the photo of you w/ puppy!! xxx

    Anna - February 29, 2016 Reply

    Chocolate bliss balls are my favourite too Kim! 🙂
    And any picture featuring my fur baby is a great picture indeed. He is so darn cute.

Sarah - February 26, 2016 Reply

This looks absolutely fabulous – both the “bliss ball” tower and the self-imposed disconnection. I need to plan one of those types of weekends very soon..

    Anna - February 26, 2016 Reply

    I totally and absolutely recommend a mini (planned) vacay Sarah. It was sheer bliss to have that scheduled down time and eating delicious snacks was pretty ace too.

Krista - February 25, 2016 Reply

I’m SO glad you made time to get away with your loves, Anna!! It sounds absolutely wonderful and so refreshing. Your dessert is STUNNING! 🙂

    Anna - February 25, 2016 Reply

    It was PERFECT Krista! Such a lovely thing to do for myself, crazy that I don’t always schedule time for rest and relaxation. Topped off with these tasty delights, heaven. 🙂

John/Kitchen Riffs - February 25, 2016 Reply

Love the ocean, but not really a beach person. Really enjoy walking on it, but lounging on it gets old. Fast. Anyway, love the bliss balls! Fun read — thanks.

    Anna - February 25, 2016 Reply

    Total opposite for me John! But maybe that is because I do not get to the beach very often.
    Glad you enjoyed the bliss balls and the post. 🙂

Heidi Roberts - February 24, 2016 Reply

There is nothing like sand and sea for de-stressing!

    Anna - February 24, 2016 Reply

    Oh I totally agree Heidi! 🙂 It was the perfect mini break, to enjoy being in the now and not elsewhere virtually.

Kacie - February 23, 2016 Reply

I think these look delicious, yet so healthy too! I’m doing a whole foods diet this week and I bet these would be fine for me to eat 🙂

    Anna - February 24, 2016 Reply

    These little beauties would be perfect for your whole food diet this week. 🙂 Enjoy and let me know what fabulous flavors you come up with.

Elizabeth - February 23, 2016 Reply

Oh and PS, I am so Thermomixing these 🙂 so easy!!!
Liz xx

    Anna - February 24, 2016 Reply

    Brilliant!!! 🙂 I look forward to see your delicious and oh so healthy tower. 🙂

Elizabeth - February 23, 2016 Reply

WOW, such a great thing to take yourself away and enjoy the sun sand sea and nature! Oh and the bliss balls are fantastic!
Oh Babe I am a beach Mini Breaker and Owen is a Mountain Mini Breaker, so now I get both 🙂
Our favourite saying for mini breaks is that we are being kind to ourselves
Liz x

    Anna - February 24, 2016 Reply

    It was perfect Liz, the sun, sea and nature was super rejuvenating. 🙂

    The bliss balls are so tasty, and brilliant cause you feel zero guilts eating them. Haha!

    You know what, having the best of both mini break worlds is freakin fabulous.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - February 22, 2016 Reply

Look after yourself my lovely one!! I feel honoured that you channelled me too. The tower looks fabulous! God your break sounds like absolute heaven! 😀

    Anna - February 24, 2016 Reply

    I will sweets! 🙂 And you are one amazing lady to channel, magic happens when I do. *creepy LOL!
    The tower turned out beautifully, and the planned mini break was just perfect. Def going to make that a regular thing. 🙂

Queen Suebah - February 22, 2016 Reply

Nothing like Mom & daughter (& Little Chef) holidays. Thank you for inviting me along lovely one, I had such a restful time & how nice was our beach.

    Anna - February 24, 2016 Reply

    Oh I hear that! Hanging with you and Little Chef is one of my most favourite things to do. 🙂
    Thank you for being a part of that fabulous mini break, cant wait for our next adventure.
    Our beach is the BEST! 🙂

Elaine J. Masters - February 22, 2016 Reply

I once made a Croquembouche but more traditionally. These are beautiful, healthy and very satisfying.

    Anna - February 24, 2016 Reply

    I have never made the traditional Croquembouche, but I think I much prefer this beauty, much healthier and super pretty too. 🙂

Tim UrbanDuniya - February 22, 2016 Reply

Ooooooh look at you two!! Gorgeous!! And that croquenbouche looks even better than the original version – and healthier!! Great to see you smiling, my friend 🙂

    Anna - February 22, 2016 Reply

    Hahaha! Thanks friend. 🙂 Little Chef had all of the beach to sit on and he was most comfortable on my lap. Haha.
    Let me know which one is your favourite?! Mine is the chocolate one, or if you want to be a piggy, stuff all 2 flavors in your face and experience a taste explosion. Lol!
    Looking forward to seeing you, hugs headed your way. xo

Liz (Good Things) - February 22, 2016 Reply

Just gorgeous… and snap, as we’ve just back from a short seaside getaway too. Love your bliss balls x

    Anna - February 22, 2016 Reply

    Oh thank you so much lovely Lizzy! 🙂
    I did see you were down the coast, wasn’t the weather just perfect?
    And bliss balls are the business. So much deliciousness.

Paula McInerney - February 22, 2016 Reply

What is this sleep you talk of? What is this 10 hours sleep you mention? Give me the pretty croquembouche so I can eat it as I ponder this.

    Anna - February 22, 2016 Reply

    Hahaha…. sounds like you need to schedule in some down time too. 🙂
    I was totally blown away when I woke to find 10 hours had passed, such a treat.

Ana O - February 22, 2016 Reply

It sounds like the perfect weekend getaway. We usually go on road trips around Texas. We need to get away from Dallas from time to time and Texas being such a big state, we love visiting the countryside. Besides, the nearest beaches are not very pretty.

    Anna - February 22, 2016 Reply

    It was magic Ana! And your road trips sound freakin AWESOME! Trips to the countryside are just as beautiful. 🙂

Holly - February 22, 2016 Reply

You had me at chocolate. Yum. Such a cute dog too!

    Anna - February 22, 2016 Reply

    Hahaha! The choccie ones are my fave too. 🙂

Rosemarie - February 22, 2016 Reply

What a beautiful croquembouche! I like how it doesn’t have that toffee around it. I do find that extremely sweet. Love how you went to coast with your doggie!

    Anna - February 22, 2016 Reply

    Thanks heaps Rosemarie! It turned out beautifully. 🙂
    I much prefer the look and taste of this version too.
    And Little Chef loved the coast, seeing him play in the water was so great.

Elissa - February 21, 2016 Reply

Bliss balls are great stuff, and look even greater in a tower like that. Sounds like a nice little break

    Anna - February 22, 2016 Reply

    I only recently discovered the wondrous bliss ball, they are amazingly YUM!
    And yes, had me a lovely little break, already planning the next one.

Mabel Kwong - February 21, 2016 Reply

So good to hear that you are trying to balance work and life, Miss Anna! You and your dog look very happy under the sun. A very pretty picture. We all need those days where we just need to be with ourselves and the world. No work, no social media, completely unplugged to rest and take the world in as it is right in front of us.

You did an amaze-balls job of staking those bliss balls. If you hadn’t mentioned it, I wouldn’t have guessed you used toothpicks to hold them together. They look like the balance really well…

Hope you are well big sis, and here’s to the next week ahead. Sending you lots and lots and lots of hugs and kisses your way xxoo

    Anna - February 22, 2016 Reply

    2015 proved the importance of having a healthy work / life balance, so planning for down time is very important this year. Plus, taking Little Chef on holidays makes everything fun and exciting. Not being connected to the world is difficult, but once I work through the initial wondering what is happening, what am I missing, it is brilliant. 🙂

    I used a couple of toothpicks at the top of the tower to ensure they didnt move about, but if you had enough you wouldnt need them.

    I am great thanks little one. Hope you are well too. Big hugs and loves headed your way. Mwah! xox

Fiona @ London-Unattached lifestyle - February 21, 2016 Reply

hey, what a great idea! a healthy croquenbouche! I know the sort which are filled with cream and covered with chocolate ganache!

    Anna - February 22, 2016 Reply

    Isn’t it the most fabulous snack idea ever?! 🙂 I do hope you get on trying this delicious and healthy snack some time soon.

Eileen | The Food Avenue - February 21, 2016 Reply

Amazing photos as always Anna. And another recipe for Macgyver Boyfriend to make me 😉 I’d like to say I eat healthy snacks on holiday, but that’d be a lie lol. I usually have to diet for a month whenever we get back from holiday!

    Anna - February 22, 2016 Reply

    Thanks my friend! 🙂 Teehee…. love that Macgyver boyfriend makes the food too. Teehee, it really does depend on where I am traveling as to whether a full on diet happens upon my return too. Lol!

hassan - February 21, 2016 Reply

its delicious? I did nt eat it.
Where is my quota ?!!!!

Tandy I Lavender and Lime - February 21, 2016 Reply

Holidays to me are all about indulgence, and lots of walking

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