chocolate tahini caramel delights

imagine a giant peanut butter cup... change the peanut butter into tahini-cashew butter. add a bite of caramel in the middle. turn it into an ice cream version. then make it vegan and raw. the final result is this recipe.

i wanted to do something with the sesame seed butter we had, and also make a fancier spin on a PB cup. so here ya go. i hope you like them... okay, you'll love them. unless you're crazy, or have a phobia of chocolate (actually a legitimate disorder, it is called xocolatophobia). the raw caramel is also divine in the middle. i ate the extra on it's own with an organic apple.

the ice cream part was actually a mistake, but the kind that makes things better (don't ya love those? they're kinda rare). my chocolate recipe had too much liquid and so didn't solidify like normal chocolate. i had to freeze it to make it harden, but it ended up even more delicious as a frozen treat. let's hear it for helpful mistakes!

these photos were taken with my brand new camera (new to me anyway... got an excellent deal on good ole craigslist for a basically unused canon T2i... thank you, internet!) and i couldn't be happier with them. such an improvement not only over the little beginners one i have been having to use the last couple months, but even my previous DSLR! i am a happy camper.

a funny thing to note: i prefer using a picture quality setting called "RAW", it essentially means the photo is unprocessed and completely unedited, saved just as i took the photo whereas JPEG photos are changed slightly to be saved as such. it is funny because (as your clever little mind may have figured out) my photos are just like my food! RAW and UNPROCESSED.

time to giggle. 

my weekend has been pretty lovely. we are back to normal vancouver weather - rain. i love it. i missed it. i am glad it's returned. have you noticed the rain makes everything cozier? when you are inside anyways... getting stuck in the pouring rain and wind while waiting for a bus doesn't exactly compare to snuggling with your boo by the fire with raw hot chocolate and a kitten...

everything is better with a kitten.

ginger chocolate cups with sesame-cashew butter & caramel: makes about 9

ginger dark chocolate:
1 cup dates, soaked in just enough water to cover them
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup cacao 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder (or 1 teaspoon shaved ginger root)
1/8 teaspoon salt

sesame-cashew butter:
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed butter)
1 cup raw cashews

raw caramel:
1 cup dates, soaked in water for few minutes
1/4 cup agave/maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

to make the chocolate, blend all ingredients (including the soak water from the dates) until smooth. you may need to add some more water if it's too thick. you could also add a liquid sweetener. set aside in a bowl.

to make the nut butter, blend together the tahini and cashews until smooth. set aside in a bowl.

to make the caramel... you guessed. blend all ingredients until smooth. and yes... set it aside in a bowl.

now the assembly *cue epic music* cover the inside of lined cupcake tins with half of the chocolate. put in the freezer for 10-20 minutes until hardened. put in a layer of sesame-cashew butter, then a dollop of caramel. put back in freezer for 10 minutes. then cover the top with another layer of nut butter and then chocolate. let them set in the freezer overnight, somehow they are better the next day. i topped mine with a cashew to make 'em cute.