These bars really are a dream! They're vegan and gluten-free with no sacrifice for taste and creaminess. We used instant espresso powder to get a strong coffee flavour, but you could also use a double shot of espresso if you're one of those fancy-ass peeps with a home machine. Or brew up a very strong batch of your favorite coffee and use 1/4 cup of it in the filling.
** makes 8 large bars (or slice into smaller 16 smaller squares)
1 C raw almonds
8 pitted medjool dates
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 C raw cashews (soaked for 20 minutes in hot water)
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1/4 cup warm water
1/3 C maple syrup
1 1/4 C coconut cream*
1/3 C coconut oil (melted)
1/2 C raw cacao powder
1/4 C maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place the raw almonds in a food processor and pulse until a fine crumb consistency is formed. Then add in the remaining crust ingredients and pulse until a sticky dough forms that can be pinched together and still has visible pieces of almonds in it. If your dates are a little hard you can soak them in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes. Then drain from the water and pat dry before adding to the food processor.
Line a 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper and dump out the crust mixture evenly in the pan. Press the crust in an even layer on the bottom and out to the edges of the pan. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.
Drain and rinse the cashews from the soaking water and place in a high-powered blender.
Dissolve the espresso powder in 1/4 cup of warm water. Then add to the high-powered blender along with the maple syrup and coconut cream.
* For the coconut cream, ensure you refrigerate 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk overnight so that the thick cream separates to the top of the can. Alternatively if you can find cans that are entirely coconut cream even better!
Blend the filling on high until very smooth. Pour this mixture on top of the crust in the pan and freeze for at least 2 hours.
After freezing prepare the chocolate topping by melting coconut oil with raw cacao, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a small sauce pan over low heat. Once just melted remove the sauce pan from the heat and whisk until very smooth. Immediately pour this on top of the now frozen mocha cream layer. Let this freeze for another 20 to 30 minutes before removing and slicing into bars. You can also leave this in the freezer for longer until ready to serve.
Let the pan sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes before lifting the solid piece out from the pan with the edges of parchment paper. Cut into bars while it's still fairly solid, then allow the bars to sit at room temperature for another 10 minutes before serving to get a perfect ice cream consistency.
Peel the paper from the edges at the bottom of the whole slab. Then using a sharp knife cut the whole slab in half down the middle and then cut bars or squares across each half. Store any extra bars in the freezer if not being consumed in a container between layers of parchment paper as then will melt fairly quickly!