Do you remember the wonderful childhood treat made of puffed rice and chocolate? In Australia, we grew up eating them at school, fundraisers, birthday parties – you name it! The quintessential Aussie treat, when I pass a school fete I always have an urge to stop in and raid the bake table!
Unfortunately, our beloved chocolate crackles were commonly made with copha – a hydrogenated coconut oil that tastes crazy delicious (always a bad sign), has a higher melting point, but is full of trans-fats. Hardly as healthy as they could be.
But never fear! Like the ABC bars that I made earlier last year, this recipe is another riff on the classic LCM bar – but with a healthier, grown-up twist! Think Terry’s Chocolate Orange meets chocolate crackle! I’ve substituted in more nutritiously dense puffed millet and quinoa instead of the rice, and used real cacao powder for a proper chocolate hit.
In place of copha, cacao butter lends a delicious chocolate taste to this bar, and makes it set in the fridge/freezer. If you are unable to get it, you can substitute it with unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil. Copha is used originally due to its higher melting point compared to unprocessed coconut oil or cacao butter, so the downside is that you’ll need to keep these crackle bars refrigerated – but, a small price to pay for something so delicious and healthy!
Hope you enjoy this east, no-bake treat as much as I did! X
Chocolate Orange Crackle Bars
I use buckinis by Loving Earth, which are activated (sprouted) and dehydrated buckwheat groats. If you can’t find them, you can substitute with raw buckwheat groats but keep in mind that buckinis are crispier and easier to chew than raw groats. Otherwise, you can replace them with your favourite chopped roasted nut – I think hazelnuts would work a treat here! If you are unable to find cacao butter, you can use coconut oil. The nut butter can be substituted with tahini for a nut free bar.
Makes 12 bars.
Chocolate Orange Crackle Bars
80g | 1/2 cup buckinis (or chopped roasted nuts) *See note
1 tsp orange zest (about half an orange)
80ml | 1/3 cup rice malt syrup
3 tbls coconut sugar
65g cacao butter (or coconut oil) *See note
1 tbls nut butter (I use almond) or tahini
2.5 tbls cacao powder (or to taste)
A good pinch of flaky sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract or powder
Line a 14cm squared cake tin with baking paper (variation in shape and size of tin is okay, as this is not a baked dish).
In a large bowl, put the puffed grain, buckinis and orange zest and give them a good toss.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the cacao butter till it in melted and then add the rice malt syrup, coconut sugar and nut butter. Stir whilst the ingredients melt. Before the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and mix in the cacao powder, the vanilla powder and salt, stir till combined.
Add the mix to the puffed grains and stir to combine and evenly distribute. Pour the contents into your prepared tin/tray and use wet hands press down and compact the mix, aiming for a smooth and even top. Place in your freezer for 20 min-40min until set.
Remove from tin and peel off baking paper. Use a hot knife to cut your bars into 12 squares.
Store the bars airtight in the fridge or freezer, will keep at least a week. If frozen, let them thaw for 5 min before consuming for the best taste and texture.