#SweetFridays – Melcochas de chocolate con coco (gooey chocolate and coconut balls)

I have always been a bit suspicious of people who don’t like chocolate. My mind can’t completely grasp how anyone’s taste buds would say no to that glorious taste. I myself am a self professed chocolate addict, and a day hardly goes by without my body demanding its cocoa fix.

This week we already posted one of my favorite desserts on Monday (lemon pie), but I think the arrival of spring in New York calls for another sweet celebration. Last night I picked up my copy of The Everything Peruvian Cookbook, and browsed through the “Sweet Bites” section looking for a winner. What did I choose? These gooey chocolate balls, of course. Heaven in a bite, for a chocoholic like me.

I changed a few things from the recipe, and made it my own. Here’s the result. Enjoy!


Melcochas de chocolate con coco (gooey chocolate and coconut balls)
Recipe type: Sweets
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 50 melcochas
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  1. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, cook evaporated and condensed milks, and sugar, stirring. When the mixture is hot, add the cocoa dissolved in ⅓ cup water.
  2. Cook, stirring often, until you can see the bottom of the saucepan, about 40 - 45 minutes. Incorporate the coconut butter. Pour in a lightly oiled 8 inch plate or baking tray, and cool.
  3. Put a few drops of oil in your hands, and form little balls the size of marbles.
  4. Roll each ball over grated coconut, and put in candy paper cups.


  1. So is unsweetened cocoa readily available in Peru? Also, have you ever rolled these in nuts rather than coconut? Just curious as my family doesn’t really like coconut. Thanks!

    • Hi Jackie. Yes, it’s easy to find unsweetened cocoa in Peru, I always get it when I’m there, and put a teaspoon in my morning quinoa every day. Peru actually produces some of the best cocoa in the world! And to answer your other question, yes, nuts are good. And the coconut butter is my addition, the original recipe is actually made with regular butter. The most usual covering for these chocolate treats is shaved chocolate, so you may want to try that too.

      • Thanks! I have just never seen it in powdered form there but then again, I have never really looked for it. My sister in law bought some cocoa beans and did the whole process for us from roasting the beans to making hot chocolate but even then it was in a solid form that she shaved for the hot chocolate. Could you tell me how the powdered is packaged or what brand I might look for. Also, do you know where I can buy “american” style brown suger in Peru?

        • I buy my powder at the organic farmers market in Parque Reducto, Miraflores. I do all my shopping there on Saturday mornings when in Lima. I sometimes also buy it in a store called Madre Natura.
          It’s hard to find the darker brown sugar used in the US. When I make chocolate chip cookies in Peru, I sometimes add molasses to make the cookie darker, because our sugar is lighter. Maybe try using Panela?

          • I just got on to add a note since I made these today and I saw your response. Thanks…what is molasses called in Peru? I know I can make homemade brown sugar with molasses also. As far as this recipe, I’m not sure what I did wrong but mine never really set up. I cooked the chocolate for at least 40 minutes, most of that time at a low boil. I manage to shape them in some semblence of a ball but they don’t look like your pictures! lol… but the flavor is really good!

        • Jackie, there are several unsweetened cocoa brands in the supermarket. We like Winters, they have good cocoa.

  2. This recipe will sure delight all chocolate lovers, like my mom!

  3. do you have any vegan recipes?

    • Yes Susy. We have several vegan recipes. We have vegan cupcakes, quinoa and pichuberry salad, portobello lomo saltado, mushroom cebiche, just to name a few. Go to our category sidebar on the left, and click on vegetarian. A lot of those dishes are also vegan.

  4. hello!!!
    I have a question : can I use normal butter instead of coconut butter?
    thank you!!

  5. hi i am doing a project for school. would this pass as a traditional peru dessert. thanks 🙂

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