I used to love Masterchef the first few years of it’s run, but it’s the drama of the instant restaurant rounds that makes My Kitchen Rules one of the only shows I watch on live TV anymore. All about celebrating the best of home cooking, MKR is a great watch no matter what year, but my favourite season so far was probably 2013 when Luke Hines and Scott Gooding were finalists. It was incredibly refreshing to see these health-minded, personal trainers dish up fresh and delicious wholefood meals every week – many of which I cooked later at home.
Although I own all of their popular ‘Clean Living’ Paleo books already, this recipe actually came about as I recently discovered Luke Hines’ Youtube channel and his delicious Choc Berry Fudge. I don’t need much of an excuse to make raw chocolate, but the video absolutely inspired me to create this must-try paleo or raw choc strawberry fudge made with fresh berries, almond butter and coconut products. There are a few changes to Hines’ original recipe – I swapped out the dessicated coconut for coconut butter, added a little bit of superfood maca and lacuma and a hint of vanilla and cinnamon for flavour – but the gist of it is still there. While Hines had some colourful mixed berries to add to his fudge, I decided to use some early season strawberries from the farmer’s market.
The other major difference to the original recipes is that I ultimately decided to pour the whole mixture into a bar tin to freeze, so I could turn it out after setting and cube it up like traditional fudge pieces. I’m pretty happy with that decision even if the coconut oil/butter did obviously marble a little as it rose to the top of the pan during cooling. Thankfully it doesn’t affect the taste of the fudge at all and I think you’ll absolutely love the combination of strong strawberry, raw cacao and coconut flavours.
While I originally kept the whole batch of this raw choc strawberry fudge stored in the freezer in a closed container, I’ve now started taking out a few pieces to move to the fridge each day as the frozen strawberries inside are a little too icy for my sensitive teeth. The fudge also softens up a little in the fridge (but is still firm in texture) and has a beautifully creamy mouth feel. Only transfer out what you’ll eat in a day at any one time though as strawberries are known to spoil very quickly, even in the fridge. It goes without saying that this raw fudge will obviously melt at room temperature, as it is high in coconut oil/butter.
Raw, paleo and vegan, this simple and healthy dessert is high in healthy saturated fats and antioxidants, sweetened with mineral-rich coconut nectar and flavoured with vanilla extract and blood glucose-balancing cinnamon. While it’s not mandatory, I’ve also added maca powder for it’s delicate, earthy and caramel-like qualities as well as lacuma for it’s ability to add a ‘milky’ or ‘malty’ flavour to cacao desserts. You can easily skip both and still have a magnificent raw dessert on your hands, but if you’ve got either on hand then I definitely recommend adding them into the mix.
I got about 16 pieces of raw fudge from my bar tin after chopping it all up, first cutting horizontally into 8 bars and halving each one again. You could always leave them as longer bars if preferred, or could lay your halved strawberries in the bottom of a larger loaf pan and then pour the cacao mixture over for a different shape and size. Whichever way you do it, these bite-sized pieces of choc strawberry fudge heaven will soothe the strongest of wicked chocolate cravings! Thanks Luke Hines for the inspiration 🙂
- 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, tops removed and halved lengthways
- 1 cup extra virgin coconut oil
- ½ cup extra virgin coconut butter/manna
- ½ cup almond butter
- ½ cup cacao powder
- ½ cup coconut syrup
- ½ tbsp lacuma powder (optional)
- ½ tbsp maca powder (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Line a 8 x 16cm bar tin with baking paper, then place half of sliced strawberries in the base in a single layer. Put aside
- Combine coconut oil, butter and almond butter in a small saucepan and warm gently over lowest heat until just melted. mix together and then add remaining ingredients (excluding extra strawberries), stirring well to combine.
- Pour half of mixture into prepared bar tin over layer of strawberries, then add second layer of berries on top. Pour remaining chocolate mixture on top to cover.
- Place bar tin in freezer for 30 minutes, or until set, then remove from tin (running a little warm water over base to loosen if necessary). Cut fudge into bars or cubes as desired. As fudge will melt at room temperature, store in sealed container in freezer for long term storage, or in fridge if consuming within 1-2 days.