Dark Chocolate Freezer Fudge
No-bake, vegan, gluten-free, grain-free
Ah, those summer days. They are longer, sunnier and, of course, hotter but we still want those sweet treats! I don’t know about you, but when I get in from the lovely humid weather, the last thing I want to do is turn on my oven. So hello no-bake wonders.
Growing up, I never liked this certain coconut-chocolate bar, but as an adult it became my jam. I made the mistake of reading the ingredients on that back and decided that I need to make something similar but without all the junk.
These bars are somewhere between that certain candy bar and fudge, but all delicious, the perfect amount of sweetness and, right from the freezer, they are a perfect cool treat for the summer. Did I mention that all the work is done by the food processor? Now you have to make them.
Want a raisin? How about a Date?
The majority of the sweetness comes from the dates. Dates really are the fruit version of brown sugar. Medjool dates are my preferred since they are super sticky, moist, sweet and the perfect
binder for these fudge bars.
Whenever I make something that required blending dates in a food processor, I soak them in boiling water. It softens the dates, rehydrating them slightly and that makes them easier to blend.
Cashew, bless you.
Fun fact: cashews are not actually a nut. They are the pit of a fruit. But they are still so yummy, buttery and perfect for these fudge bars. Most fudge is made with butter, but I use cashew butter AND whole cashews instead for the rich, buttery flavor and all important fat that you need in fudge.
Much like the dates, when I am going to be blending raw cashews, much like when making cashew milk, I soak the raw nuts to soften them up so they break down easier and become smoother in the end. If you don’t have the raw cashews, you can use almonds. I have no tried this recipe with just cashew butter.
Everything is better with chocolate.
Welcome to my life motto. Dark chocolate is always in my fridge. Always. To get the fudge-like texture for these bars, you need to use melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder. It just gives you that moisture and chew that we all love. I opted for the Wicked Dark bars from Taza Chocolate to keep things on the less sweet side, but if you prefer a less intense chocolate, try the Taza Deliciously Dark bar or a 70% cocoa content vegan chocolate.
Whatever chocolate you use, just go for the one that is dark. And no cocoa powder.
Let’s get our chocolate on.
1/3 cup (43g) raw cashews
6 pitted medjool dates (112g)
1 cup (95g or about a bar and a half) Wicked Dark Chocolate
2 tbsp (34g) cashew butter (raw cashew butter is best if you can find it)
45g (1/2 cup) unsweetened coconut flakes
20g (1/4 cup) toasted coconut flakes**
In a small bowl, combine the dates and raw cashews. Pour boiling water over them, just enough to cover. Let sit for 15 minutes.
While the dates and cashews soak, melt the chocolate in a medium bowl set atop a saucepan of simmering water. It will take about 15 minutes for the chocolate to fully melt. Once it is fully melted, remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
After the 15 minute soak, drain the water from the dates and cashews and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cashew butter and pulse to combine. You will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. Keep blending until the nuts and dates are nearly smooth.
Pour the melted chocolate into the food processor with the date-cashew mixture. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes on high.
Scrape the chocolate date mixture into a bowl and fold in the unsweetened flaked coconut.
Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper. Scrape the coconut-chocolate mixture into the line loaf pan and use a spatula (or your clean hands) to press the mix evenly around the pan.
Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the top of the chocolate mixture in the pan. Press the topping into the fudge so it adheres. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Slice into squares and enjoy straight from the freezer! Keep these in the fridge for your continued snacking!
** Now let’s toast some coconut. Place the 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes into a dry skillet over medium high heat. Do not leave the stove; coconut burns quickly. Keep the coconut moving over the heat until you start to see it turn golden brown. Remove from the heat (it will keep toasted in the pan) and place in a small bowl to cool slightly.