A few weeks ago, I was challenged by my childhood best friend to make vegan chocolate covered caramels. Of course, I took this to a whole other level. I couldn’t make just any vegan chocolate covered caramels. Mine had to be healthy, vegan chocolate covered caramels…ones that are made of only pure ingredients, with no refined sugars. I was certainly up for the challenge.
Dates really are like nature’s candy. They have such a natural caramel taste, I new they would be perfect for the caramel center. If you’ve ever eaten a date out of the fridge, then you know they also have that caramel chew…and the right color too. They were made to be the center of my chocolate caramels. Thank you, Mother Nature.
I removed the pits from the dates and placed them in the food processor with some melted coconut oil. The coconut oil gives it such a nice flavor. It also helps the consistency to be more caramel like when you put them in the freezer. The coconut oil hardens when it gets cold, so the date center gets a lot chewier. Process the dates for a few minutes. When you think it’s done, process it for an extra minute. By the time it’s done, there will be a big, smooth ball of what looks like caramel, all clumped together on one side of the food processor. Remove the huge date ball, and chill in the freezer for a few minutes.
During this time, you can think toppings. Since these were for my chocolate lover best friend, I decided to dip the caramels into my raw chocolate. You can see the recipe for that here. It’s so simple and easy to make. It uses only raw cocao powder, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup. It hardens when it gets cold, making the perfect outer shell to my date caramels. Most importantly, it’s pure food love approved, chocolate that is super good for you too. I also rolled some of the caramels in shredded coconut, which came out swimmingly, if I do say so myself.
Once the date paste gets slightly hard, you can remove them from the freezer, and roll them into balls, around a large teaspoon worth for each ball. Dip them into the chocolate, and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or plate and put back in the freezer to harden. I like to keep them in there and eat them frozen, but you can try keeping them in the fridge too if you like them softer. They just need to stay cold or the chocolate will melt.
My chocolate covered caramels were not only pure food love approved, they were best friend approved too. It always amazes me how with just a few, simple, 100% pure and natural ingredients you can make a decadent dessert. They truly are guilt free!
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 ½ tbs. melted coconut oil
- Shredded coconut (optional)
- Raw chocolate:
- ¼ cup raw cocao powder
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tbs. 100% pure maple syrup
- Place dates in the food processor with melted coconut oil. Process for a few minutes until very smooth.
- Place date paste in freezer to harden slightly.
- Make batch of raw chocolate by mixing all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Remove date paste from freezer.
- Make large teaspoon size balls with the dates.
- Dip into chocolate, and place onto a parchment lined plate or backing sheet.
- Can roll some into shredding coconut or add some coconut on top of chocolate.
- Place in freezer until hardened.