I realize there has been a lot of sweet stuff in my head and therefore on the blog lately. While I don’t think anyone would object and ask me why that is, I ‘d still like to offer an explanation. There are three reasons for it: 1. The sudden change in temperature that brings about cravings for sweet things (always a good argument), 2. the obligatory, celebratory treats that go with my (and hopefully anybody’s) birthday and the fact that I like to stretch the celebration period out over a few weeks and 3. me, generally, having l o v e d baking and preparing sweet things for as long as I can think. To prevent things (read: waistline, general appearance and how about… health!) from going out of control without giving up this love for sweet things, healthier versions are the only solution.
This chocolate fudge – that to be precise doesn’t contain any chocolate, but merely unsweetened cocoa powder – is gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. It is a delicious treat for an afternoon cup of tea or coffee or comes in just right when you crave that satisfying little sweet something after dinner. I have adapted it from an Instagram post by the lovely Eleanor Ozich from Petite Kitchen where she makes it with peanut butter and a mix of cocoa and carob powder. As I find that the taste of peanut butter can be a bit overpowering, I have swapped it with more neutral cashew butter, and not (yet) being a big fan of the taste of carob (still trying!), I only use cocoa powder. I also added some pecan nuts for a bit of crunch. The recipe is perfect for playing around, so experiment with different nut butters, nuts or crunchy seeds, the combination of cocoa and carob powder, and and and…..
I like to eat this straight from the fridge, but can imagine this, as Eleanor suggests, equally nice out of the freezer during the summer months.
Vegan Cocoa Fudge
Makes eight slices
90g maple syrup or honey (I use maple syrup)
150ml melted coconut oil
140g cashew butter
50g unsweetened cocoa powder (the best quality you can find!)
40g pecans, finely chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
100ml coconut cream
pinch of salt
Line a standard loaf tin (23 x 13 x 7cm) with baking parchment.
Mix all ingredients together with a wooden spoon, pour into the loaf tin and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Cut into slices or little cubes.
You can keep the fudge in the freezer, too. Just take out 1-2 hours before eating, meanwhile keeping it in the fridge.