Christmas usually means there are lots of sweet treats around.  With so much temptation it’s great to have a back up that you know is delicious and homemade, so you’re ready for when you decide to indulge! The time off work is a great opportunity to experiment in the kitchen, and one of the triumphs I’ve created is this recipe for Raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Slice.

As ready-made treats usually contain processed sweeteners, preservatives and other nasties, it’s a healthier and tastier to make your own.  This Raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Slice is deliciously festive and a great balance of crunchy and smooth caramel textures.  The chocolate is laced with warm and fragrant Christmas spices that add a richness, and the freshness of the orange balances these flavours perfectly.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Slice with Christmas Spices

Raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Slice with Christmas Spices Zoom

As the slices are raw, the cacao and maca retain all their goodness and antioxidant properties. Oats contain a good amount of the minerals Manganese and Magnesium. The raw cacao powder is full of flavanols, plant-based antioxidants that help support heart health.

These are great as a light dessert if you’re having a big meal such as a Vegan Roast, or just as a sweet treat because after all ’tis the season when cautious eating is abandoned…

INGREDIENTS

Oat base:

  • 100g Whole Organic Oats
  • 100g Mixed Cashews and Walnuts
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • A splash of almond milk

Date caramel layer:

  • 2 cups Medjool Dates
  • 1 cup mixed Cashews & Walnuts
  • 2 tbsp melted Coconut Oil
  • 2 tsp Maca Powder
  • 1/3 cup Plant-based Milk (e.g. Soy or Almond)
  • 1/2 tbsp Maple Syrup

Chocolate truffle layer: 

  • 40g Cacao Butter
  • 35g Coconut Oil
  • 5 tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
  • 3 tbsp Maple Syrup (or alternative sweetener)
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 5 Freshly Ground Cloves (to grind use a pestle & mortar)
  • 1 tbsp Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1 tsp Orange Zest
  • Pinch of Himalayan Salt to taste

Raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Slice with Christmas Spices - Tower

METHOD

For the base: Blend all the oats and nuts together until ground into fine pieces like breadcrumbs.  Add the coconut oil and maple syrup and continue to blend. Add splashes of milk little by little until the mixture is sticky and doughy, and holds together when pressed between fingers.

Prepare a shallow dish, with sides an inch or so high, line with cling film. Firmly press the mixture into the dish.

For the caramel layer: Blend all ingredients together and process until smooth and caramel like. You may find there are small chunks of dates that won’t blend but this is ok.  Pour the caramel onto the base and spread evenly. Pop into the fridge to set whilst you make the top layer.

For the chocolate topping: Melt the coconut oil and cacao butter in a glass bowl by resting the bowl on top of a small pan with an inch of gently simmering water in the bottom. Make sure there is space between the bottom of the bowl and the water. You don’t want the mixture to get too hot, just to melt. Once melted, take off the head and mix in the maple syrup and orange juice. Then add in the spices, cacao powder and other dry ingredients. Have a taste of the mixture and add more spices or salt to taste.  Pour the mixture onto the caramel layer and return to the freezer for 10 minutes or until set.

I recommend using your sharpest knife to carefully cut up the pieces so that the chocolate doesn’t crack. You may want to let these warm slightly before cutting.  You can store your raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Slice in an airtight container in the fridge – it will keep for about 3 days.  Here’s to a little indulgence and wishing you a fabulous 2017!

Ruth x

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