Sunday, 21 August 2016

No-bake chocolate peanut butter coconut squares (vegan and gluten-free)

Spontaneous baking is my favourite kind of baking.

I mean sure, there's no actual baking involved in these, but you know what I mean.

Life's been so busy of late that I haven't managed to get creative in the kitchen for a while, which is really rather sad.

My flatmate and I were going to go to a party today, but then we both decided we weren't feeling it (which may have something to do with the fact that we're still recovering from a big Friday night), and having the day to myself, with no plans, has been thoroughly enjoyable.

Hence, spontaneous baking. Well, refrigerating. But whatever.
In exciting news, the kind people over at Panasonic have offered me the opportunity to have a play with some of their wonderful kitchen appliances, and so today, finally having the time to set it up, I used my new food processor for the first time.

And I think I'm in love with it.
Is it weird to be in love with a kitchen appliance? I don't even care. It's so shiny and sleek and IT CAN DO SO MUCH!

It blends, chops, spiralises, washes lettuce, juices citrus fruits and so much more, and it's absolutely super easy to use, despite having so many functions. I'm very impressed.

The MK F-800 (sounds like a robot, don'tcha think?) ain't cheap, but boy is it an investment worth making if you can afford it. This baby is amazing.
Now, I was particularly excited as I didn't have a food processor, and there are so many recipes I've been wanting to make for ages that call for one - I feel like so many healthy foodies' recipes like bliss balls and raw brownies require a food processor, and I just haven't been able to make them. *sob*

In case you weren't sure, the main difference between a blender and a food processor is the fact that you need liquid in a blender, so it's great for smoothies, but doesn't work when trying to pulse dry ingredients like nuts, oats or cauliflower (you know you've wanted to).
Soooo long story short, today I unexpectedly ended up with both time and a food processor on my hands, and I wanted to play. However I was also in my pyjamas and did not fancy leaving the house, so the challenge was to concoct something with what I already had.

Yeah, I'm pretty darn pleased with the result.
My, these are rather good, if I do say so myself.

They're salty and sweet, moreish, rich, crunchy and squidgy - oh, so delightfully squidgy!
Here's the thing: coconut + chocolate = great.

Chocolate + peanut butter = great.

Peanut butter + coconut = great.

So duhh, obviously coconut + peanut butter + chocolate = fan-bloody-tastic!
And what's also fun is these are rather healthy too. No grains, nothing artificial and vegan-friendly too.

Full of good fats (although I know the jury's kinda out on coconut oil these days) and energising nuts. Plus they're naturally sweetened too. Yay!

Extra great is the fact that they're so easy and quick to make, with minimal washing up too.
I like to bake/refrigerate in small quantities (espesh as dates are expensive, ya feel me), so this recipe makes eight squares, however you could easily scale it up and use a bigger tin.

Inspired by this recipe by Wholesome Patisserie.



125g medjool dates (I used 7)
2 level tbsp/12g (1/8 cup) raw cacao powder
100g (1 cup) ground almonds

Coconut layer:

25g (1/6 cup) coconut oil
25g (1/4 cup) dark chocolate (I used one packet of raw 72% Ombar buttons)
100g (3/8 cup) natural peanut butter (I use Meridian)
70g (1/6 cup) light agave syrup (I use Groovy Food Co)
a pinch of seasalt
50g (1 cup) desiccated coconut


A handful of cacao nibs
1 tbsp crunchy maple peanut butter (I use Pip & Nut)


1. Soak the dates in just boiled water for ten minutes and line a loaf pan with foil.

2. Drain the dates and pulse briefly in the food processor until broken down. Add the ground almonds and raw cacao powder and pulse until your mixture resembles this:
3. Spoon into the loaf pan, spread out and press down into a firmly-packed even layer. Set aside.

4. In a small saucepan over a low heat, gently melt the coconut oil and dark chocolate before removing from the heat and stirring in the peanut butter, agave syrup and pinch of salt.
5. Mix in the coconut and pour it all over the base layer. Sprinkle on the cacao nibs before popping in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.

6. Once set, remove from the fridge and drizzle over the crunchy maple peanut butter (you may have to briefly melt it in the microwave to make it runnier). Cut into squares and enjoy!
Keep any leftovers in a tin in the fridge.

This post is sponsored by Panasonic as part of their #ExperienceFresh campaign.


  1. Yum this looks so good and seeing as I just got my first ever food processor too, I think I'll be trying it out soon :) xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Food, Travel, Italy


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