Salted Caramel Chocolates (dairy free)

dairy free salted caramel chocolates - quirky cooking

A few months ago I decided I needed a homemade version of  Salted Caramel Chocolate that would be dairy free and soy free. I looooove salted caramel chocolates. So I raided my pantry drawer and freezer to see what I could make them out of (which is generally how my recipes begin!), and started blending up handfuls of cashews, macadamias and coconut, with a little coconut sugar, to use as a base. I added to that some raw cacao butter, pure maple syrup, vanilla protein powder and some salt, blended it for ages until it was smooth, and froze it in molds. It was delicious!! (Thankfully I weighed everything as I went and wrote it down, just in case it worked – phew!)

But then our family went onto the GAPS diet, so the recipe was set aside as we couldn’t have most of those ingredients, and the only sweeteners we have now are a little bit of honey and some fruit (fresh and dried). But I kept thinking about these yummy little caramels, waiting for the time we could add a bit of coconut and cacao butter back into our diet, and planning ways to tweak them so we could have them again.

By the way, it’s amazing the things you can do if you know it will be worth it in the long run, and since our focus has been on gut healing, we decided we could survive without chocolate for a while. We actually kept off it for five months, can you believe it?! Then Christmas came along and I decided to try introducing a little bit of (homemade and naturally sweetened) chocolate, just for special occasions, now and then. I figured it would be best to start with less cacao powder, as that can be irritating to a sensitive tummy, so these salted caramel chocs made another appearance! This time layered with my raw dark chocolate (made with just 20g cacao powder) and both sweetened just with a little honey.

They were a hit!!

dairy free caramel chocolate - quirky cooking

I also made some swirled caramel chocolate bark… Mmmm!

quirky cooking - dairy free caramel chocolate

dairy free caramel chocolate - quirky cooking

Here we are a few months later and it’s nearly Easter… Time to think about chocolate again! So yesterday I decided to try another version, using raw Medjool dates instead of the honey to sweeten, to give it a richer caramel flavour. And it’s soooo much better!! I’ve used 80g dates and that’s sweet enough for us, but if you want it sweeter just add a couple more.

If you don’t have 200g cacao butter, you can use a mixture of coconut oil and cacao butter, or even all coconut oil, but it won’t have that same ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ chocolate texture, just so you know. (And if you make it with coconut oil you will need to keep them in the fridge or freezer so they don’t melt.)

For a nut-free version, you could just replace the nuts with dessicated coconut (same weight as the nuts), it just won’t be quite as creamy.

Ok, here’s the recipe… Enjoy!

UPDATE!

It’s been six years since I first shared this recipe, and it’s TIME FOR AN UPDATE! I worked out a simpler and more fool-proof way to make it, so I’ve adjusted the recipe once again. For those of you who tried to make the old version and had trouble with the chocolate splitting, I apologise! The mixture got too hot with the previous method, hence the splitting (sometimes). This new version shouldn’t split, and I think the flavour is even better with the roasted cashew (or cashew-macadamia) butter. Hope you like it!

Note: All the ingredients for these yummy chocolates are available at The Source Bulk Foods who have various stores all around Australia.  Click here to find your closest store!

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Salted Caramel Chocolates

  • Author: Quirky Cooking

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Place cashews (and macadamia nuts if using) on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. (Alternatively, you can use activated nuts rather than roasted nuts.)
  3. Meanwhile, melt cacao butter for 5 minutes/60C/speed 3 in Thermomix, or melt in a saucepan over medium-low heat on stovetop. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Blend cashews (and macadamias if using) for 30 sec/speed 9 in Thermomix, or in a blender on high speed, until a paste begins to form. Scrape down sides of bowl and blend for another 1 min/speed 5 (medium speed) until it becomes a smooth butter.
  5. Add dates, vanilla and salt to bowl and blend 30 sec/speed 6 (medium speed) until mixture is smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  6. Once the melted cacao butter has cooled down and is barely warm (but still melted), pour back into bowl and mix 20 sec/speed 3 (medium-low speed) or until smooth. Don’t mix on high speed or while still hot, or mixture could split. (Note: If your mixture DOES split, add a drizzle of coconut cream while heating gently at 37C and stirring on speed 3, until mixture comes back together.)
  7. Pour mixture into moulds, or into a lined baking dish (to be cut into squares), or onto lined trays to make a thin bark. Freeze until set hard, then pop caramels out of the moulds (or break bark into pieces) and store in a container in the fridge or freezer.

Notes

Storage:
Chocolate will last for months in the fridge or freezer, but make sure it is in airtight bags/containers as it can absorb other flavours due to the high fat content.

Variations:
– Try swirling the caramel chocolate with my Dairy Free Raw Chocolate or layering the two in small moulds.
– To make this nut free, swap the nut butter for coconut butter.

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 Salted Caramel Chocolates Quirky Cooking

This post is sponsored by The Source Bulk Foods stores.

39 thoughts on “Salted Caramel Chocolates (dairy free)

  1. Alicia says:

    Hi Jo, I’m just wondering if you have any idea what quantities you used in the version with coconut sugar, maple syrup and protein powder? I’d love to give these a go but I would prefer not to use dates.
    Thanks so much, I love your work xx

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Alicia – This is the post. Hope this helps 🙂

      Salted Caramel Chocolates
      Today I had a sudden urge to make some dairy free ‘salted caramel chocolates’ (because the kids wouldn’t let me eat the Loving Earth ones I bought for them to take to camp – argh, they’re soooooo gooood!!)… So I raided the cupboards for ingredients and threw a few things together, and this is what I came up with. The kids loved them! (And I have a whole dish left in the freezer that they don’t know about…) 😀 *insert evil laugh*
      Here’s how I made them!
      Note: If you’re a late night cook like me, I’ll just warn you that this is a bit of a noisy recipe, so if you have sleeping kiddies you may want to hold off til morning. If you can. 😉
      Salted Caramel Coconut Chocs
      Place in Thermomix bowl:
      – 50g activated or raw cashews
      – 50g raw macadamias
      – 200g shredded or desiccated coconut (preservative free)
      – 60g coconut sugar 
      Blend 1 min/speed 9, using spatula to help it along as needed. 
      Add:
      – 200g raw cacao butter, finely chopped 
      – 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
      – 30g pure maple syrup or 20g honey (optional)
      – 3 Tbspns Nutra Organics Thriving Protein Exotic Vanilla powder
      – 1/4 tsp fine salt
      Cook 10 mins/37C/speed 6. (It’s a bit noisy, but it helps the mixture to be really smooth.)
      Pour mixture into molds or a rectangular lined dish, and place in freezer to set.
      Store in the fridge or freezer. Makes lots. 😀
      #dairyfree #glutenfree #grainfree #naturalsweeteners #treat #chocolate #thermomix #quirkycooking

  2. Charde says:

    Hi there, Macadamia nuts are very expensive in Hong Kong is there another nut I could use instead? Thanks, Charde

  3. Megan says:

    Hi
    I made the salted caramel for the first time and it tastes like eating straight cacao butter. Where did I go wrong? Could I use it in something else?

  4. Dominique says:

    Hi Jo, I made these today and the mixture is quite grainy? I used all macadamias due to my daughter having a cashew allergy. I also freezed the cacao butter, nuts and coconut as suggested. Thanks!

    • QuirkyJo says:

      It has a coconutty texture, won’t be as smooth as chocolate without coconut in it, but you can just keep blending for longer if too grainy.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Hi Jo,

    Did you grease the molds before pouring in the mixture? Just wondering if they will be easy to get out without greasing first. Thanks.

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  7. Mel says:

    Hi Jo,
    Would it work to use a smaller quantity of coconut butter instead of dessicated coconut, or does that basically turn into butter anyway with all my blending? Thank you and Merry Christmas 🙂 xx

  8. Cassandra says:

    OMG that was totally devine !!! I can’t believe it . I’m a fellow throw it together and create without fuss so I adapted it a bit to avoid dates but boy !!!!its beautiful , blending so long is the key and I had no problem with splitting . Thanks Jo

  9. Pina says:

    Do these taste similar to the loving earth salted caramel chocolate ? Yum yum. Going to make this today

  10. Prue says:

    Help. Mine just split and is very grainy. Can I rescue it? I made these last year for Easter and they were delicious. Maybe it is still too hot this year.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      I think it would’ve been because it got too hot. :/ Try reblending while drizzling in coconut cream, until it comes back together!

  11. Cristina says:

    Hey. I can’t wait to make these today. How many servings will i get from these quantities? Thanks!

  12. Melissa Cairney says:

    Hi Jo, I’m allergic to coconut so just wondering if it would affect the recipe if I omitted?

  13. Nikki says:

    Just wondering is there any other way that the mixture can be mixed, as I don’t have a thermomix bowl. Could it be done in a Nutri Bullet? I often use a Nutri Bullet to blend almonds.

    Thank you.

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  15. Michelle says:

    Hi Jo…

    On your date free version of this recipe as posted on 30 July 2015… at the end it says:

    “Cook 10 mins/37C/speed 6. (It’s a bit noisy, but it helps the mixture to be really smooth.)
    Pour mixture into molds or a rectangular lined dish, and place in freezer to set.
    1 min speed 9, then scrape and 10 min/speed 5.
    Store in the fridge or freezer. Makes lots. 😀
    #dairyfree #glutenfree #grainfree ”

    Just clarifying… does it need to be blended again 1 min speed 9, scrape down then 10 mins speed 5?

    OR is cooking at 10mims/37oc/speed 6 sufficent?

    Thanks heaps

  16. Michelle says:

    Hi Jo,

    I was wondering if I could use vanilla bean paste instead? I don’t have any beans 🙁 Thanks!

  17. Amy says:

    boohoo I rarely have fails and mine split. I did watch your video AFTER Jo and noticed that in your written instructions, the second step is 1 minute. But in your video its only 30 seconds. I think this is where mine went wrong, as the 1 min was too long prior to the 10 minutes. I did use all cashews though, maybe that made a difference.
    Thanks anyway 🙂

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Ok yes basically you just want to blend it until it’s smooth, but don’t let it get too hot! If it splits, add coconut cream until it comes back together. x

  18. Camille says:

    I had fun making theses tonight, but as mentioned I had to add 200g of coconut cream for it to come together or it separated

  19. Janie says:

    Hi Jo, I just made your new version of the recipe today to celebrate Easter Sunday, and used 100 g cacao butter chips (that’s all I had) in step 3, then added my soft/solid coconut oil and mixed it together for 10 seconds, which liquefied the coconut oil and cooled the mixture straight away. Used all cashews, made a slab for the freezer, and they turned out beautiful. Thank you soooooo much! Janie, @cookwithjanie xo

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