raw chocolate, cherry and coconut bars

  • 6 soft fresh dates (120g), pitted
  • 1 cup (80g) desiccated coconut
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (225g) cherries, pitted+
  • 100g raw organic 70% dark chocolate++
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

coconut base

  • 1 cup (150g) cashews
  • 1 cup (80g) desiccated coconut
  • ¼ cup (90g) rice malt syrup
  1. To make the coconut base, line a 20cm square slice tin with non-stick baking paper. Place the cashews, coconut and rice malt syrup in a food processor and process for 1–2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture comes together. Press the mixture into the base of the tin, using the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.
  2. Place the dates, coconut, coconut oil and vanilla in the cleaned food processor and process for 1 minute or until the mixture comes together. Add the cherries and process for a further 30 seconds or until just combined. Pour the cherry mixture over the base and spread evenly. Refrigerate for a further 30 minutes or until firm. 
  3. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (the bowl shouldn’t touch the water) and stir until melted. Add the vegetable oil and stir to combine. Pour the chocolate mixture over the slice and smooth the top. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Remove the slice from the tin and, using a hot knife, slice into bars. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 20

+ You can use frozen pitted cherries in place of the fresh cherries – thaw and drain well on absorbent kitchen paper. 

++ Raw organic chocolate is available at health food stores and specialty grocers. If you can’t find it, you can use 70% dark chocolate. To keep the chocolate raw while melting, use a sugar (candy) thermometer to ensure it stays under 42°C (107°F). 

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