21 Mar Date-Free Caramel Chocolates
Given that it’s nearly Easter and all, I was inspired to make a healthier version of those ol’ skool caramel creme eggs (you know the ones!). Because who said Easter had to be unhealthy?
It’s fairly well known in the raw food world that if you want to make a dairy free, gluten free, paleo caramel, you just need to blend up some medjool dates or date paste with a sweetener of your choice, and whammo… “I can’t believe it’s not caramel!”
BUT… I ran out of medjool dates when I was about to create this recipe, and I didn’t feel like going down to the shops again, so I was forced to think outside the square. I started turning my pantry upside down. HOW could I possibly create a caramel taste in a raw dessert without the usual key ingredient? There MUST be a way!
Then I found it: A packet of mesquite powder. I often use this mineral-rich superfood powder in smoothies. It has an earthy, caramel flavour that pairs well with nuts and banana.
After a little bit of tinkering (poor Surly Jim had his work cut out being my taste tester!), I created a caramel substitute that is date free, delicious, and I think EVEN better than regular raw food caramel. Why don’t you have a go at this recipe this Easter and tell me what you think?
1 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 c honey (or your choice of sweetener)
3 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp + 1 tsp mesquite powder
125g cacao butter
1/4 c cacao powder
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
Let’s do this!
In a small food processor,* process the cashews, coconut oil, honey, coconut milk, mesquite powder and salt, until smooth. Set aside.
In a double boiler over a very low heat, melt your cacao butter gently until it becomes liquid.
In a blender, whizz the melted cacao butter with the cacao powder, maple syrup and coconut oil.
Set out 15 mini muffin cases (about 4-5cm in diameter at the top is perfect). Fill each case to the 1/3 point with chocolate.
Next, put a teaspoon of caramel mix into the centre of each.
Top up with the remainder of the chocolate.
Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Chocolates will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Makes around 15 delicious raw caramel chocolate treats.
*Note: I use the little bowl attached to my stick mixer for this job.