These vegan double chocolate cherry chunk bars are amazing. Rich, perfectly sweet, tart, chewy, creamy, chocolaty (obviously), slap-my-hand-to-make-me-stop-eating-them delicious. A chewy, chocolaty crust—made from raw almonds, raw walnuts, medjool dates, cacao, and puffed millet—is topped with a rich ganache/mousselike layer of chocolate cream and fresh cherry chunks. The final touch? A delicate drizzle of coconut butter.
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, plant-based, Vegan
Servings: 16-18 bars
For the crust
1 1/2cupspacked, pitted Medjool dates
1/4cup+ 2 tablespoons raw cacao
For Chocolate Ganache Layer
1 1/3cupscoconut cream*
1 1/2cupsdark chocolate chunks or chips
2/3cupfresh cherries, pitted and cut into eighths
1 1/4cupsfresh cherries, pitted and cut into eighths
1/4cupcoconut butter(optional, for garnishing)
For the Crust
Add the almonds, walnuts, pitted dates, puffed millet, and cacao to a food processor. Pulse 10-15 times and then let the mixture process for 2-3 minutes or until a large ball forms.
While the mixture is processing, line a 9x13 jelly roll pan with parchment paper, leaving extra parchment on all sides so that you can lift the bars out later.
Scoop the crust mixture into the pan and begin pushing the mixture evenly across the pan with your fingers. Press into an even layer and transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes to set.
For the Chocolate Ganache Layer
While the crust is setting, add the coconut cream and dark chocolate to a double-boiler over low heat. Whisk the mixture together until the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth mixture. Fold in the cherry chunks and let the mixture cool for a few minutes.
Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the chocolate ganache layer on top. Use a spatula to evenly spread the mixture across the crust. Return the pan to the freezer for 10 minutes to set slightly. Then, drop the cherry chunk topping evenly over top and return the pan to the freezer for 45 minutes to completely set the bars.
Remove the bars from the freezer, and use the parchment paper to lift the bar out of the pan. Place on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut the bar into squares.
If desired, melt the coconut butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Transfer to a Ziploc baggie, snip off the corner, and drizzle the bars with coconut butter.
You can store the bars in the refrigerator or freezer. I recommend storing them in the freezer and removing them 10-15 minutes before you're ready to eat them so that the ganache layer has time to soften.
*Coconut cream is the thick, nearly-solid cream that forms on the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk. Make sure you exclude the watery liquid at the bottom of the can when you are measuring and just measure the cream.