May 13, 2017

Dark Chocolate Almond Cheesecake Bars

Dark Chocolate Almond Cheesecake Bars

When I was younger, my mom used to make the most unbelievable magic bars. The ones with the caramel and almonds and coconut and chocolate with just a sprinkle of, you guessed it, magic. Having since discovered my dairy sensitivity, the heavy cream that was a showcased ingredients likely wouldn’t make my stomach feel so magic, or my joints for that matter (when I consume dairy, I feel the oddest pain in my knees and shoulders, which is sometimes common of food sensitivities¬†– as I type this¬†sentence I am so glaringly aware of the aging process and that I sound like an octogenarian). So I put a little twist on the classic recipe as a treat for Mother’s Day, though this time they’re not only dairy free, but also gluten free and vegan with natural sugars from only maple syrup. Recipe below!

the what:

the chocolate layer

  • 3 bars dark chocolate (I used Taza Wicked Dark – only 2 g of sugar per serving)

the almond layer

  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (if nut butter isn’t salted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • cinnamon

the cheesecake layer

  • 1.5 cups cashews, soaked overnight in water, or at least 4 hours
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemons juice
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

the how:

  1. Line 8×8 tray with parchment or wax paper.
  2. Heat 2.5 bars dark chocolate until liquid and pour into bottom of pan. There should be enough to fill the bottom. Place in freezer until it hardens.
  3. Melt almond butter with coconut oil and remainder of ingredients in caramel almond layer.
  4. Take tray out of the freezer and add the second layer on top. Place back in freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Once the caramel layer is slightly hardened, drain cashews that were soaking overnight.
  6. Add cashews and remainder of ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Scoop cashew mixture on top of second layer, and spread until smooth.
  8. Melt remaining 1/2 chocolate bar and drizzle on top.
  9. Let freeze for 2-3 hours.
  10. Keep in freezer and serve cool.

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