vegan chocolate caramel hearts

These are the perfect valentine’s gift and can be made up in a few hours easily. I picked up some clear bags and silver candy wrappers from Hobbycraft so that I could wrap them up and give them as gifts. You may decide to eat them all in one go… I’m not judging!

The trick with these is to work quickly and keep the heat low. The use of cacao butter means the chocolate will set much better than a coconut oil/cacao powder mix so they stay firmer out of the fridge, but the butter can overheat quickly and ruin the consistency.

You’ll need a heart shaped chocolate mould, or any chocolate mould shape you chose. I picked mine up for £3 from Hobbycraft. 

Ingredients (makes 20 chocolates)

  • 30g cacao butter 
  • 30g cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 6 dates, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Tiny pinch of salt

    What you need to do;

    Put a clean heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water (you want the water hot enough to melt the ingredients but not simmering). Place the cacao butter, cacao powder and the 1tbsp maple syrup in the bowl. Leave the butter to melt gently. Once everything is almost melted use a spoon or spatula to bring it all together.

    Now working quickly (you may find it helps to take the bowl off the pan of hot water at this stage so as not to over heat it) use a paint brush to coat the chocolate moulds with a thin layer of the mixture. Then pop these in the freezer for 10 minutes.

    After 10 minutes add another coat of chocolate being careful that the hot chocolate doesn’t melt your first coating… again be quick and put the mould back in the freezer. Your chocolate may need reheating so do this gently by leaving it on the hot pan of water. Alternatively you could divide the ingredients up and heat it in small batches.

    Next, make the caramel by lightly squeezing the water out of the dates and put them into a blender or food processor with the remaining maple syrup and a tiny pinch of salt. Blitz the whole mix up until you have a smooth caramel.

    Spoon this mix into your chocolate hearts. Ensuring you have room to put a layer of chocolate over the top. Then put back in the fridge. Freezing the caramel will make it easier when putting a final chocolate layer over the top.

    Take your chocolates out of the freezer after about 20 minutes and cover with a final layer of chocolate and place back in the freezer to set.

    I like to leave the chocolates to set for a full hour before gently removing them from the mould. You can wrap them up as gifts or enjoy them straight away. These also store great in the fridge meaning you don’t crack a tooth by keeping them in the freezer! 

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