The Herb Diaries

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Gooey Chocolate and Caramel Bars


DSC_0356I know, without any doubt, where my sweet tooth comes from. I have a certain family member who just LOVES chocolate. Not only is this an annoying addiction to have inherited, but she makes a brutally honest judge. Nothing sweet that I have made so far has really impressed her. The usual response is that it is ok, but she would rather have a square of chocolate. Until I made this…
DSC_0328DSC_0334It is sweet, sticky and incredibly indulgent. And it is completely sugar-free, gluten-free, raw and vegan, packed full of amazing healthy coconut oil, lots of fibre from the dates, and tons of nutrients and vitamins from the nuts. Words cannot do justice to how good it tastes – something this delicious shouldn’t give you glowing skin, a clearer mind and a natural energy boost! So put down the chocolate and go and make this…


For the base

1 cup of dates
1 cup of hazelnuts
1 cup of almonds

For the caramel

1 cup of dates
2 tbsp cashew nut butter
Pinch of sea salt

For the chocolate

1/2 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of raw cacao powder

DSC_0329 Method:

Blend all the ingredients for the base until a sticky crumb forms. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper, then pour the base mixture in, and press down evenly. Put the tray in the fridge so the base can firm up.
For the middle layer, blend all the ingredients until a completely smooth caramel forms. Spread this over the base, and put the whole thing back in the fridge.
For the chocolate layer, melt the coconut oil over a very low heat and stir in the raw cacao powder. Pour/spread this evenly over the caramel.
This should really all go back in the fridge for an hour to fully firm up and make it easier to cut, but when we make it at home it doesn’t often get that long…

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75 thoughts on “Gooey Chocolate and Caramel Bars

  1. I am drooling! They look great!

  2. OMG – these look insanely good! Can’t wait to try! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Looks gorgeously yummy!
    Great to have someone to blame for your chocolate addiction… particularly as family members often take the credit for all our angelic habits πŸ˜‰

  4. These look delicious – will be giving them a go!

  5. I know dates are a big part of this recipe, but do you have any options for substitutes for those allergic to dates and figs?

    • I will have to have a think for you Cindy – I think the base could work well with banana and a bit of coconut oΓ―l to firm it up, but I am just not sure about the caramel… My best guess would be raisins – can you eat those? You would just have to really blend then completely smooth. Let me know if this works and I will let you know if I have a better idea!

  6. Oh wow, these look so incredibly good – Im drooling all over my keyboard here πŸ˜‰ Yum!!

  7. I am not vegan or vegetarian, but I’m excited to try these with my daughter as a healthier alternative to some of the junk she tries to get me to make πŸ˜€

  8. These look AMAZING!

  9. I am looking forward to making this! But I was wondering what will happen to the coconut oil since it hardens up in the fridge and I feel as if it will completely melt if I leave it out too long. How will I make this layer stay gooey??

    • Hi Galit, What I do it put them in the fridge to firm up, then just make sure you remember to take them out again 10-15 minutes before you eat them. I think it will depend how warm the room is, but usually coconut oΓ―l softens up pretty quickly. Hope thats helpful!

  10. Pingback: Raw Chocolate and Caramel Bars | Wausau News

  11. Does it have to be cashew nut butter? It’s the only ingredient I’m missing and I don’t have any cashews to make some with either! These look so good I want to lick the screen.

    • No it doesn’t have to be. You could use almond butter or another nut butter (I think the taste of peanut butter might be a bit overpowering…). you could skip it out all together, I think it just makes the caramel a bit creamier… if you make it then put a photo on instagram for me and #theherbdiaries !!

  12. Oh My! Just poured the hot chocolate on the filling.
    The crust and the ‘caramel’ taste both delicious! The caramel taste almost like real caramel! πŸ™‚
    Thank you soooo much for this recipe, can’t wait to eat the whole thing πŸ™‚ you made my day!
    Greetings from Holland

  13. Just posted a pic on Instagram and tagged you πŸ™‚

  14. can I print this out I don’t see anywhere that says copy !!!!

  15. Reblogged this on Honk If You're Vegan and commented:
    I started seeing a physical therapist last week to help out with some neck pain (probably from too much blogging – hehe!). Anyway, I was excited to hear that my therapist is doing a 21-day raw vegan challenge. She’s doing great with it and has inspired her father-in-law, who has diabetes, to adopt the diet too. I ran across this recipe and just had to share it to give her some inspiration. Overall this is a very healthy recipe, but it does have oil, so it doesn’t fit with my plant-strong diet. Maybe I’ll see if I can create an oil-free version one of these days.

  16. just looking at this makes me happy!

  17. Thank you for sharing this article quite interesting and, hopefully true happiness rays began to warm our hearts and make the heart glad, when we can share it with sincere to each other. Affectionate greetings from Gede Prama πŸ™‚

  18. These look sooooo phenomenal! I’ll have to make them soon. YUM!

  19. Pingback: Friday 6: Smart Balance, Silk Athlete Discount and MORE | Fit Running Mama

  20. These look absolutely amazing. I am going to be making these ASAP!!

  21. These look delicious. Can’t wait to see if I can pass them off to my teenage son. I don’t use coconut oil. Would anything else work? Thanks!

  22. These look so decadent! I love that you did a nut-based caramel. So smart!

  23. This slice just seems to have the perfect combination of raw, vegan and natural-ness! It looks incredibly delicious, I can’t believe you made caramel and chocolate with no animal products whatsoever! I have never seen a vegan caramel recipe before, so this recipe will be given a trial for sure! I have a question though, is there any other oil I can possibly use in place of the coconut oil for the chocolate?
    – Izzy

    • Thanks Izzy thats so great to hear. I’m not sure of another oil you could use because it would have to be one that is solid at room temperature otherwise the chocolate would never set… If you don’t like the coconut taste I would suggest youjust melt some high quality dark chocolate over the top. Hope that is helpful!

      • Alright, thank you very much for the tip! That sounds easy enough to tinker with. It’s just that I am not sure I am ready to invest in coconut oil which is not used often in our Thai/Chinese kitchen.. However, the mixture of coconut oil and cocoa powder, would be, I imagine much healthier (where I can adjust the amount of sugar) than dark chocolate. Definitely would come with all the benefits of coconut oil too.
        – Izzy

      • I love using coconut oΓ―l in Thai cooking – it gives your stirfries a delicious taste! You should give it a go!

      • What sort of stir-fries? That sounds interesting πŸ™‚

      • Any sort you like! You can use it as the oΓ―l in any of your recipes and it gives them a very subtle coconutty flavour – its great in Asian cooking

      • It’s just that Thai stir-fries all have very different flavours – from spicy to “sweet and sour” stir-fries or stir fries with herbs like basil and chili. I just wanted to know which ones you have tried with the coconut oil. But I will consider that! I know lots of Thais will be slightly apprehensive about using a new oil in their cooking.

      • Completely up to you! I am sure its not a very authentic way of cooking thai food but it tastes delicious! All my stir fries are always very spicy and sour with lots of herbs so it is just a case of experimenting rather than sticking to recipes. Do what ever suites you

  24. Did you see Dr Oz yesterday? He says that caramel coloring is very bad for us!! And they put it in everything now!

  25. These look amazing. I love the 3 layer idea, especially the cocoa frosting!

  26. This is a must try, I can’t wait to make this!

  27. Am I dreaming? This looks to good to be true! I must try it! πŸ™‚

  28. Wow – delish, so easy to make and really healthy all natural ingredients, have to try these and am so Pinning this, thanks! Do you know the nutritional value of each bar?

    • No sorry I don’t because I try not to concentrate too much on the exact quantities – As long that I know I have made them using pure and healthy ingredients and I am eating a balanced diet I am happy. Sorry not to be more helpful!

  29. I just found your blog and after seeing this recipe I immediately had to follow you- I’m OBSESSED with homemade healthier versions of baked goods. These look so good, I can’t wait to try them! Looking forward to reading through more of your blog! Feel free to check mine out any time, I write about living an organic lifestyle on a budget πŸ™‚

  30. Thanks for sharing! These look delicious!!! Anyway, I nominated your blog for a Liebster Award… Here is the link back to my blog post on it for more info:

  31. I just made this delicious sweet dish and absolutely love it! I actually can’t stop eating it, simply amazing! Thanks so much for sharing.

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