Friday, 9 August 2013

chocolate cream caramel bars


This is one of those dangerously delicious recipes. I warn you now that these bars are basically addictive, thus they'd be the perfect treat to bring to party or to give to people whom you're trying to bring over to the vegan side (A.K.A. THE COOL SIDE). A mocha version of them will be featured in my upcoming cookbook (out March 2014). If you like things sweet and decadent - you're gonna love these.


I am very happy to be sharing this recipe with you today not just because it's ridiculously good-tasting (that was a bad Zoolander reference) but also because I haven't been sharing many recipes with you at ALL lately. As I'm sure you know, it's because I am busy busy busy working on my book. I promise it will be finished soon and I'll be back here giving you raw vegan recipes out the whazoo.

What. Is. A whazoo. 


chocolate cream caramel bars

Crust: 
1 cup almonds or other nuts 
1 cup dates
Pinch of salt (optional) 

Caramel:
½ cup cashew butter
½ cup coconut oil
1 cup dates

Chocolate cream:
1/3 cup coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons cacao powder
¼ cup preferred liquid sweetener

To make the crust: process the almonds into flour in your food processor, then add the dates and process until it all begins to stick together. Press into the bottom of a lined baking pan (I used a small bread pan) and refrigerate. 

To make both the caramel and mocha layers: just blend the ingredients in each list until smooth. Feel free to add other flavours like vanilla, chili , ginger, etc. Spread the caramel onto your crust, followed by the chocolate cream. Refrigerate until completely set; this will take a couple hours.

125 comments:

Amy said...

<3 it Emily! These sound fantabulous and I would love a few of them right now :)!

Rach_the_vego said...

Look nice - I reckon I might try with peanut butter instead.

Donnie Dellinger said...

wOw, these look fantastic :) does the Caramel mix really taste like Caramel?

Emily von Euw said...

Heck yeah! Healthy caramel!

Brittany @WeHeartVegan said...

I really don't know what I'd do without dates!!

Sweet Faery said...

Oh, these look so good! Do you use extra virgin coconut oil or the deodorized version?

The Vegan Cookie Fairy said...

Ugh. I want one right nowwwww. Purrty please.

Emily von Euw said...

Always extra virgin cold pressed :)

Emily von Euw said...

Well since you asked nicelllyy :)

Heather McClees said...

I adore your natural approach to delicious vegan food, almost as much as I appreciate drooling over your photos!!:) I love this recipe and what is so great about it, is it would be a fantastic dessert recipe to introduce others to raw foods!:) AMAZING!

Jodi said...

I am off to the shop to buy some coconut oil this morning and make these today, thanks so much for your recipe, as always with your photos, I just want to make it straight away!!!! I saw 'jelly slice' the other day, and was really craving a piece, and wished there was a 'vegan alternative' out there......this slice will be delicious I am sure, thank you!!!

Beccy said...

these look freaking amazing! can't wait to make them.

Bridie said...

You're a star, Emily! These do look and sound ridiculously good tasting...haha. Just wondering If I could use peanut butter instead OR, to make cashew butter, do you just blitz them up to a paste? Add any oil? Cheers, from Australia! Ps. you should most definitely make the trek to Australia, one day. And bring your book with you when it's finished!

Emilie said...

this looks stupidly good, and I can't believe the ingredient list is that small... thank you for sharing :)

Mallory Frayn said...

So glad I found this blog. I'm just a vegetarian but I'm always up for trying different options for dessert and baking for various dietary restrictions. Also I am very happy you are Canadian (I'm from Calgary)! Way to represent the food blogging scene in our country.

Emily von Euw said...

Peanut butter would be DELISH in this. Or yeah - blend cashews into cashew butter. I don't add oil but you can, it depends on how powerful your blender is. Haha will do! x

Castro Ntsebeza said...

There is no such thing as a bad Zoolander reference. Proper good job lady.

Anonymous said...

Hi Emily. I'd love to add some vanilla bean paste or vanilla essence into the chocolate mix...how much would you suggest? Many thanks!

jessica said...

I made these yesterday, only I did not have time to soak my cashews to make cashew butter (I wanted these babies NOW!) so I just whipped up some coconut butter and used that for the caramel. These things are amazing, indeed, but I cannot possibly eat more than one in a sitting. They are heavy and filling. So i guess I can freeze the majority of them and eat at another time.
Thanks for the recipe!
Jessica

Maya said...

Jessica thanks for the recepie. I just made them. I used chunky peanut butter and they taste like Snickers bar. I can't believe that something is that simple and easy, and healthy at same time.

Emily von Euw said...

Oh maybe a 1/2 teaspoon?

Anonymous said...

Best raw caramel i've ever tried- OMG. yum yum yum

Nicolette said...

Hi Emily,
Glad I found your blog and these recipes to try. I have been called a "health food nut" since I was 18..now it's more "in" to eat veggies. I am doing a juice fast now but will make these when I am done. They look great! I haven't eaten dates in a while but really like them so I know I will enjoy these recipes of yours.
If you like hearts and one of a kind handmade pottery, gem jewelry and colorful art come check out my Etsy site: www.Nicolettesart.etsy.com :D Just spreading the love... Thanks, Nicolette

Anonymous said...

Hi-
Any suggestions for someone on a low glycemic load diet who can't have dates or figs? So many of your recipes look amazing but I can't have them due to use of dates or figs? Any suggestions for substitutions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Emily von Euw said...

Hmm.. What kind of sweetener CAN you have?

Keith Wilson said...

Anything with a low glycemic load like Agave. I know it is a syrup, so that might be a problem in a dessert where you are forming a crust.

Emily von Euw said...

Nope that's ok! Here's what you do: pulse 1 cup of nuts into powder in a food processor. Add 1/2 cup melted cocnut oil and 1/2 cup of agave. There's your crust! :D

Kristin Roberts said...

I can't stop myself staring at those bars. I wish I could have had that bite. Love it..

Grace said...

Okay, so I made these. I did everything you said but subbed the cashew butter with all natural peanut butter (non-sweetened, just peanuts) since I didn't have any cashew butter.

They were amazing. So good. Like snickers!

Thanks for a yummy recipe! Super decadent and creamy and rich :)

-Grace :)

Keith Wilson said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! will look forward to trying it. We are new to the vegan world, and a few other restrictions make it difficult sometimes.

Lisa Schoenfeld said...

What if you don't want to use the liquid sweetener, suggestions? Can it be left out?

Emily von Euw said...

Are you okay with dates? You can use date syrup (blend dates with water).

Lisa Schoenfeld said...

Yes great. How many?

Kristie Becker said...

Holy coconuts! These are UH-MAZING! I kind of just ate 3 pieces, but it is my birthday so that's OK, right?!

Thanks for keeping my sweet tooth happy :)

Emily von Euw said...

Dude I think I ate 4 it's all good <3

Emily von Euw said...

Hmm... since you only need a 1/4 cup you'll have left overs but this is not a bad thing ;)


Blend about a 1/2 cup dates with enough water to make them to into a syrupy mixture (the amount of water needed varies but it'll be about a 1/2 cup).

Anonymous said...

This looks awesome.
How long do you reckon these would keep for?

Emily von Euw said...

Around a week or so in the fridge :)

Anonymous said...

Would I be able to use almond butter instead of cashew butter with this? Thanks! :) x

Emily von Euw said...

Definitely! Any nut butter will work fabulously :)

Anonymous said...

made these with half pb and half almond butter and i think that i have eaten about half of the batch woops

Rolly v said...

Are there any alternatives to using coconut oil? Thanks :)

Emily von Euw said...

Cacao butter or cocoa butter :)

Marilyn R. Wilson said...

As I move into more of these type of recipes for many reasons, I do wish people would figure out the calories as well. Want to eat healthy, but too easy to over-indulge if you have no idea. Have you ever tried to figure it out?

Olio by Marilyn

Cate said...

Hi Emily! My chocolate cream came out dark and runny like a chocolate syrup, rather than nut-colored and fluffy like your picture. (I used it anyway and it was delicious, but just curious what happened.) I used 2 tbs cocoa/1 tbs cacao and 1/4 cup maple syrup w. the coconut oil and whizzed it up in the food processor. Would the blender have fluffed it out more?

Emily von Euw said...

Hm, how much coconut oil did you use? Actually I recommend making the chocolate cream just with a whisk and bowl because when I have tried to make it in machine in the past, the coconut oil separates.

Emily von Euw said...

Good point! To be blunt: that's not really my mission. I am just here to provide delicious vegan recipes made with whole foods. My readers can choose how much they want to eat, and I trust their judgement. In any case - I'd rather have them over-indulging on these than Snickers!

I'm not saying moderating your food is unimportant, but at this point I think what is MORE important is the TYPE of food we are eating, not how much of it.

X

Maree Butler said...

Hi There,
Going to make these tomorrow and wondering whether I have to melt cold-pressed coconut oil down before adding with the other ingredients or can I just leave how it is?

THanks :)

Courtney said...

I made these last week and they are TO DIE FOR! I will be making these again as soon as I can. I would love an endless supply of them in my home at all times.

Emily von Euw said...

Melting the oil just makes it easier to add to the recipe, otherwise it may not blend in completely. Don't worry - it's still raw!

Cate said...

1/3 cup, as per the recipe. I didn't have any trouble with the oil separating, but now i'm wondering if humidity (I'm on the east coast) could have caused the problem? That often seems to be the culprit with issues of texture...?

Emily von Euw said...

Oh of cooourse. Yep that's it.

Jess said...

These look amazing. I'll probably make them as soon as I figure out what a whazoo is. (So glad I'm not the only one who's wondering what that is.)

Laura said...

I made these already like 4 times now! My skin is really 'glowing' when I eat them. But I eat them a lot, as in A LOT!! Is that ok? Because there are a lot of calories in them. Well my body says it's ok! :-) I really struggle with my mornings, as I do not eat any bread or oatmeal in the morning. But with fruit and a piece of these bars and I have a great start. Also my little boy of 2 years old adores them. Thank you for the recipe!!!!

Emily von Euw said...

Haha Yeah I think I made them twice in one week - so addicting.
I think one a day is fine, and when you combine it with fruit for your breakfast they'll give you energy for the day :D

When I made them I totally binged and ate like all of them myself, but the next day I had a good workout and drank lots of fresh juice - it's just about moderating that balance :) I don't care about calories but I try to keep my fat % to a minimum.

Anonymous said...

I made these on the weekend, after the initial for bite i had to remind myself it's not the sugar loaded caramel slice i used to make... my partner absolutely loved them and YES they are addictive. I was wondering though, how healthy are they, is there much fat in them i know its all about eating in moderation but these seem to good to be true. Thanks for the recipie!!!

Emily von Euw said...

Oh wonderful :D Okay here's the low down: the ingredients are SUPER HEALTHY! They are all super foods. However, these should probably be eaten in moderation because the ingredients (nuts, coconut oil, dates, etc.) are relatively high in calories. Please don't be scared by that though! They are GOOD calories! :) I tend to "regulate" myself to about 1 tablespoon of coconut per day, and a 1/4 cup of nuts. You NEED these foods (and their healthy fats) in your daily diet, just not a huge amount of them. Ya dig? So everyday is fine, or if you're only gonna make them once in awhile, eat a few more ;)

Emily von Euw said...

one* everyday

Anonymous said...

Can you substitute almond flour (store bought) for the cup of almonds you grind yourself? And if so, how much would you substitute? My food processor broke last night and I only have a mini one to use in the meantime; not sure how well it would hold up processing nuts in that.

Emily von Euw said...

Of course! That's what I do - I don't buy almond flour, I make it :) Hmm well if you do it in small batches it should be fine.

Em

Anonymous said...

Thanks! However, if I had to buy almond flour, how much would equal a cup of whole almonds? 1 1/2 cups? Just want to make sure I get the measurements correct in case my mini processor doesn't hold up during the process!

Emily von Euw said...

Yeahh that's about right. Good luck lol!

Anonymous said...

Oh, my gosh. I made these earlier. They taste SO good. Yummy!

unabam said...

hello there! mine came out dark and runny as well but as soon as I put it in the fridge, in no time it became solid.So that layer was thinner then the other two. I also used hazelnut instead of almond. The result was every raw skeptic went crazy for them. :D

Lifeidiot said...

Hey. I want to make them but I have some questions. Do dates have to be used dried or like a watery fruit? And about cacao.. is carob okay? I don't wnat to use cacao. And would amount be the same? Thank you very much!

Emily von Euw said...

The dates should be dried, but still kinda gooey and soft. Carob is always fine to use instead of cacao (for my recipes, anyway). The amount would be the exact same. You are welcome!

Lifeidiot said...

Thank you very much! Can't wait to try them!

Flossie Williamson said...

I made them last night for a party and they were awesome, tasted like millionaires shortbread!! Love your recipes!

Helen said...

I made these at the weekend with peanut butter because that's my most favourite food in the world! I only have 3 left now because they all got stolen by my family so I'll have to make some more.

I used cocoa powder and golden syrup for sweetener because that's all I had but they still came out delicious! I might try your date syrup next time instead of the golden syrup though.

My FAT me said...

Hey,my friend made them and she was so kind to share it with me. I haven't had anything better !!!! Really amazing, love your blog and your food is always looking amazing.

Rosanna Anderson said...

Just made my first raw vegan anything - delicious slice! I had to tweak it a bit to fit the contents of my cupboard: made the base with raisins instead of dates, peanut butter in the middle layer (such a good decision .. mmm..) and some nutmeg/cinnamon in the chocolate cream. So many good flavours. It's great to know there are delicious, quick, not too expensive vegan (chocolate haha) recipes out there. Thanks for putting the recipe up :)

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
Do you need to soak the nuts and dates before processing? If so, how long for each?

Thanks a bunch!

x

Emily von Euw said...

You can if you want, for about 3 hours :)

Megan Edmunds said...

Hello. Could you please give me some examples of what you mean by Liquid Sweetener? I am making them for my newly Vegan daughter. Thankyou

Emily von Euw said...

Sure! Agave syrup, coconut nectar, maple syrup, date syrup, honey (although it's not vegan).... :)

naturallylindsey said...

About how many of these does the recipe make? These look incredibly perfect for a cocktail/birthday potluck/party I'm going to attend but I want to make sure I have enough. I always like bringing healthy indulgences so my "SAD" (standard American diet - not sure if that term is prevalent in Canada!) friends can see how delicious eating well can be :)

Gorgeous blog!

Theresa Hogerheide said...

I made them in an 8 x 8 today. I doubled the chocolate sauce. They are cooling right now.

madeline said...

Emily,

Thank you for sharing this recipe. They were a big hit in a non-vegan bake sale!!!!

faithwanderer said...

I made these last night and they are amazing! I used walnuts instead of almonds for the crust and almond butter instead of cashew butter for the caramel. I love that your recipes make it so easy to substitute ingredients based on what's available. Thank you!!

Mooinca said...

Made these for the man to take to work for a bake sale and within minutes half the pan was gone and he was bombarded with requests for the recipe...Thank you.

hayon shin said...

I just made these and they taste so good! Thank you thank you!!

I just have one questions though - this recipe uses so much coconut oil and I was actually able to get them to work with less coconut oil, but even then it felt like a lot. The coconut oil feeling kinda stays for awhile in my stomach. Is there something else I can replace it with? Does Avocado or silken tofu work?

Emily von Euw said...

Yeah, normally I don't use "this much" in my recipes, although per serving it's really not excessive. Still - you can use bananas, avocados or young coconut meat :)

sunfoodjunkies said...

I made these too. Your recipes are soooo yummy!!

Allison said...

I'm making this for tomorrow :) when you say 1 cup dates, is that whole dates or chopped up? Thank you!

Emily von Euw said...

Either, the amounts don't need to be specific :)

Stefania Bonacasa said...

Made these the other day....they are amazing....
thank you!!!

Not sure if you tried, but I am keeping mine in airtight container in the freezer...DELICIOUSSSSSSS!!

xx
stefi

Emily von Euw said...

oh baby that is a good idea! x

Lauren from The Holy Kale/ Chalkboard Mag said...

Just made these tonight! Made a few skeptics into believers!! Next time I will use a small dish though to make them thicker, mine were a little thin. Thanks for making raw desserts so easy! hugs!

Lizzy Love said...

I just got done making these for the first time n just put them in the fridge to set...... So excited to try them but nervous, not sure if they turned out or not as when I was mixing the Carmel layer in my food processor it separated from the coconut oil for some reason and wouldn't go back together, so I ended up with a really thick paste for that layer n my top layer was super dark n thin like syrup ??? Lol I don't know what happened but I really hope they still taste good as I was suppose to be bringing them to a xmas party tomorrow .... Eek!!! Lol. Thanks for sharing all ur beautiful recipes :)

Emily von Euw said...

Oh coconut oil has a mind of it's own like that - it used to separate randomly for me too. I don't seem to have that problem if I blend it all in a blender, and for as little time as possible. Sorry :( They'll probably still taste great though :}

x

Anonymous said...

Do you soak the cashews before making it to cashew butter? Sorry for the stupid question... when do you usually need to soak raw nuts and seeds? I really want to make and bring this -- and this recipe looks spectacular to bring to a party tomorrow. The host asked me to bring something vegan (since she knows I am a vegan). Thank you for time!

Viv
New York, NY

steve said...

I made these recently. Ridiculously tasty.

Emily von Euw said...

Not a stupid question! You can soak them for about 4 hours, then dehydrate. Or leave them as is (but it IS better to soak and then dehydrate). Don't try to make cashew butter out of soaked cashews that haven't been dehydrated because it won't be creamy. They need to be dry. Same goes for other nuts. Cheers!

x
em

Sarah said...

I've made these at least three times. Each time they come out a little different, and each time they are amazing! I love sharing them, too, since they amaze people quite a lot. And every time, someone asks me for the recipe! Way to go Emily!

Anonymous said...

I did make these and they were delicious. Bottom fell apart a bit but I think if I had added a couple of more dates that would have been prevented. Also, I used agave for the top layer (as my liquid sweetener) and it didn't come out as high however it tasted delicious (next time I think I will try maple syrup). Love your enthusiasm and will try lots of your recipes. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Loving the Zoolander reference- I applaud you!

Anonymous said...

After drooling over your photographs for weeks now, I finally tried these caramel bars and they are insanely delicious! I love everything about your blog and am absolutely in awe about your talent, both in terms of cooking and your photography skills, and also enjoy reading your often very touching and honest stories that go with them. Although I'm quite jealous that someone so young can be so incredibly creative, I gotta say: you absolutely rock! Thank you for this great website! Anna x

heidi said...

hi emily,
i am not a vegan or even a vegetarian, but your beautiful blog may change my outlook. i eat mostly whole foods, and i think i may try to pass off these insanely mouth-watering looking bars as 'normal' to my kids, and see what they think. your photographs are beautiful. do you mind sharing the type of camera/lens that you use? also, do you use photoshop or any other software to retouch? thank you!

Emily von Euw said...

Yippee! That is the best thing for me to read :) Thanks so much. I used to use a Canon T2i with the standard lens but I just got a Canon 5D - I still have the standard lens but I just ordered a 50/1.8 :)

Heather Graham said...

I follow the blood type diet, and cannot have coconut. Would date paste/Walnut oil be able to replace coconut oil?

Anonymous said...

I finally made these because they looked so darn good and they are pretty tasty. I will say, however, that the chocolate cream layer is deceptive in the pictures. If you follow the recipe the chocolate cream layer turns out to be a very thin, dark frosting as opposed to a light chocolate colored whipped-like layer...it was nothing like that at all so I was disappointed in that respect. The caramel layer was runny as well and not as thick as presented in the picture. I think she also poured this recipe into a small, deep dish so the layers would look about an inch thick...the recipe does not tell you what size of pan to use so I guess you can figure it out via trial and error..overall they are very good but just a bit misleading.

Corey said...

Made these for a party last night. They are so yummy! Everyone loved them even the non-healthy eaters. Thanks for the recipe. I would like to feature this recipe on my blog, if thats cool with you. They are seriously my new favorite treat!

Emily von Euw said...

Fab! Share away! But please link back here :) x And gimme your blog's URL because I wanna see it :)

Monique said...

Amazing - I loved them! Thanks for the great recipe! :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree about the comments in regards to the chocolate layer. I use all the same ingredients for chocolate in other recipes and they never turn out looking like they do in the pictures above. Still tasty, but i would love to know if the pictures are of this exact recipe.

Sandy Wessel said...

This is my favorite dessert EVER!!! Seriously! I spoke last night at my Mom's group about health and fitness and made these, everyone ate them, LOVED them and then I told them how healthy they were. All except 1 wanted the recipe because she didn't like the coconut taste. Any suggestions? Refined Coconut oil perhaps?

Emily von Euw said...

Haha yess!! Hmm and yeah, that would probably work, or use cocoa butter or cacao butter instead :)

Angela Stark said...

Tried these yesterday! So yummy! a few other posters commented on the chocolate layer turning in to a dark syrup - not like the middle layer which was thick and creamy just like the picture...is there something missing in the recipe list to give it that creamy consistency? any other ideas? would REALLY love to know! thanks!!

Emily von Euw said...

Even after you put it in the fridge? Hmm I'm not sure... it's possible I didn't remember an ingredient :S

Anonymous said...

My husband made these today for my birthday! You could pass them for cooked. Wow these are amazingly fluffy, with perfect texture, carmel goodness and an almost marshmallow-like layer. A little goes a long way. This is definitely my favorite new raw dessert. I cut the tray up and froze them, no more sharing, lol. My 9 yr old went nuts for these too. Ok I'll share with her.
BTW I asked him to add salt to crust and cayenne to cream when I sent him the recipe in an email with header: My birthday cake? Hint hint! Thanks Emily

Corey said...

Hi Emily! You asked that I share my blog with you if I posted the recipe. So, here it is :) Thanks again for the amazing recipe!
http://www.domestic360life.com/featured/chocolate-cream-caramel-bars/

Pennie O'Connor said...

These look great. My liquid sweetener is Liquid stevia but it's very strong (eg. 2 drops = 1 teaspoon sugar) so I feel that 1/4 cup of it would be waaaaayyyyy too much! Do you know how I'd use liquid stevia in this recipe?

Emily von Euw said...

@Pennie - you could! Just be careful with it, and add a bit of water to make up for the lesser amount of liquid.

Anonymous said...

I made these and they are DELICIOUS and super easy !

Wendy Rockwood said...

I'm new to this Vegan world...What type of liquid sweeteners should I use? Can you give me a few options. I want to make this soon!! =)

Carrie in the up said...

I made these bars yesterday but my bottom layer did not stay together. When I cut the bars the bottom just crumbles. Any suggestions on what I did wrong?

Emily von Euw said...

@Carrie - Try adding more dates next time, or a bit of water :) You need more moisture.

Emily von Euw said...

@Wendy - agave syrup, coconut nectar, or date paste :D I like coconut nectar right now.

Angelika Schweitzer said...

OMG these are amazing!

I added some hazelnut butter instead of liquid sweetener.
Even my non-vegan friend loved them. I didn't tell him what they were, but you should have seen his face when I did!

katie said...

Hi Emily :)
I am so excited to try this recipe. I'm new to the vegan lifestyle and therefore also new to vegan raw desserts! I've looked at other recipes and sometimes they say to soak your dates. Do you soak your dates for this recipe? Or is it common knowledge to always soak your dates? Thank you!!!!

Emily von Euw said...

@katie - i dont soak my dates!

Doro said...

Hey Emily,

these are honestly one of the best treats I ever had. I've been making some lifestyle changes lately and prepared these for a couple of friends who were very... suspicious? about raw vegan food. I think it's safe to say these won them over! Not in a way to change their eating habits as well, but I can tell they were surprised big time by how amazing they tasted! Thank you for this recipe and the wonderful work you're doing on your blog!

Best wishes from across the ocean :)

Anonymous said...

I just made these. I was amazed. They were so delicious. I Never knew you could make such delectable deserts from raw ingredients. Definitely going to try out more of your recipes.

Sarah Fawcett said...

OMG I've just discovered you and immediately ordered your book, I CANNOT wait for it to arrive!

Sarah Fawcett said...

Oh dear, I made these last Monday, every single person without fail that has tried them absolutely adored them. I'm hooked and now have instructions from my yoga buddies to bring some to class on Monday - I know what I'll be doing this weekend and I've picked out a couple of recipes from Rawsome Vegan Baking to trial this weekend too - hope they're just as successful!!

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