I made this last night as I was sitting in watching a boxset and wanted something really indulgent to have with a cup of tea. On nights like this I sometimes buy some dark chocolate and have a few squares but last night, I decided to make my own chocolate. I wanted something quite creamy so went for white rather than dark chocolate. The white comes from using cacao butter and cashew butter rather than raw cacao powder. The cashew butter makes it beautifully creamy. The sweetness comes from a generous portion of maple syrup. Unfortunately we don't get a free pass when it comes to maple syrup. While organic maple syrup is natural and unrefined (good) it is still sugar (not so good for anyone following a low sugar diet). To read more about maple syrup read my blog post on 'Maple Syrup, Explained'. For the fruit and nut, I use dried cranberries and almonds, but you can use whatever fruits and nuts you like or have handy. This is a dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free. This takes about five minutes to prepare and then you need to allow about two hours in the freezer for the bar to set.
I should point out that this is a rather expensive chocolate bar. The cashew butter alone cost almost 5 euro. It's definitely not something I would be making every week (due to the maple syrup content and the cost) but as a once in a while treat, it's hard to beat.
1 cup of raw cacao butter
1 cup of cashew butter
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of roughly chopped almonds
1. Melt the cacao butter in a saucepan over a gentle heat.
2. Add it along with the cashew butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. It's worth blending for a minute longer than you would normally blend a smoothie, for example, as it makes the mixture beautiful creamy.
3. Spoon into a bowl and fold in the dried cranberries and chopped almonds. Line a medium sized baking tray with parchment paper and pour the mixture onto the tray. Place in the freezer for about two hours to set. Once set, break into smaller pieces and keep in the freezer until ready to serve.