Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
For the past week 3yo S and I have been quarantined with a nasty virus. We were stuck at home, unable to go anywhere or see anybody. And just as we were starting to feel better we developed cabin fever; aka when you go slightly nutty because you can no longer stand to see the same 4 walls. To pass the time we watched many Pixar movies, played Buzz Lightyear (I was Jesse) and Madagascar (I was Gloria the Hippo because, according to S, we both have big tummies). We also did some cooking or, as I like to call it, medicinal baking. I have found the best ‘medicine’ to be Caramel, and when teamed with Chocolate it’s a very easy pill to swallow.
These Fruit and Nut Caramel Chocolates come after the huge success of my Fruit and Nut Chocolate recipe. Both Chocolates can be adapted to suit your tastes (and in my case whatever I have left in the cupboard) and don’t take much time or skill to make… only no one will ever guess because they are that good!
These Fruit and Nut Caramel Chocolates are made using my favourite caramel sauce recipe. In more traditional caramel recipes (i.e. the ones with loads of butter and sugar) the caramel will go hard (like toffee). I have tried to emulate that by adding coconut oil to the caramel sauce but it never works (isn’t the definition of insanity continually doing the same thing expecting a different result?). Instead of going hard it separates and I am left with an expensive layer of white goo. So the caramel in these Fruit and Nut Caramel Chocolates is not hard but gooey and soft; just like it should be! It will firm up when left in the fridge, and this is an important step as it allows the caramel mixture to be shaped before being dipped and covered in home made, dairy free chocolate (or store bought if you prefer). And then you have to wait 30 excruciating minutes before you can eat them… eat them all!!!!!!
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Cream
- 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- dash of Salt
- 1/3 Cup dried Cranberries (other dried fruits can be substituted)
- 1/3 Cup chopped Macadamia pieces
- 100 grams Chocolate, melted (see recipe below)
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa
- Place the coconut cream and maple syrup in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a rolling (slow) boil over a medium high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the mixture has thickened and darkened in colour (it will reduce in volume by half).
- Add the vanilla and salt and stir to combined and remove from the heat.
- Allow the caramel sauce to cool slightly before using.
- Take the slightly cooled caramel and add the fruit and nuts. Mix until well combined.
- Pour/spread the caramel in a small, lined baking tray or plate and place in the fridge to cool and thicken. Allow at least 1 hour (up to overnight).
- When the caramel mixture has cooled (it won't go stiff but will be firm to handle) take small spoonfuls of the mixture and form into patties (ie slightly flattened balls). Place the patties into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Dip the caramel patties into the melted chocolate and coat on all sides.
- Place the fruit and nut caramel chocolates on a lined tray/plate and place in the freezer to set for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Store and Serve from the freezer.
- Place the coconut oil in a small saucepan and melt over a very low heat.
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and stir til combined.
- Add the cocoa and stir until combined.
- If not using immeditately, place in a lined tray and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- If using immediately (as melted chocolate) allow it to cool slightly.