Creamy! Rich! Dark chocolate bars that are vegan and gluten-free are coming your way! There are a few ingredient swaps in this recipe that make it different from your typical chocolate pie and some “odd” yet game-changing ingredients are used like tofu and thick yogurt. Tofu sounds odd but it adds protein to this dish and does not have much flavor anyway so all the chocolate that goes into these bars mask up any tofu flavor. I made these bars twice for a vegan-version and a non-vegan version and have found that the outcomes are pretty much the same. If you are vegan and not using Greek yogurt, you may find that a cashew-based yogurt is creamier than an almond-based yogurt which will hold the bars together better for this recipe.
Also, since these are bars, I included a crust on the bottom but the crust is completely optional. If you do not have a crust, you’ll end up with just the top part which is the star of the show! However, I find the “dryness” of the crust compliments with the rich and creamy texture of the filling. I was a little extra and decided to make two colors of the bars which I explain how to do below. It requires a little extra work but looks really impressive!
Creamy Chocolate Bars (Vegan + GF)
yield: 9 medium bars or 12 small bars
For crust :
- 3/4 c. pecans
- 3/4 c. rolled Oats
- 1 T ground flax + 3 T water
- 2 T liquid sweetener like maple syrup or honey (if not vegan)
- 1 1/2 cups vegan Greek yogurt (Use plain whole fat Greek yogurt if not vegan)
- 1/2 cup firm tofu (I used Whole Foods brand)
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. tapioca starch (cornstarch works as well)
- 1/4 cup liquid sweetener like maple syrup or honey (if not vegan)
- 1/2 cup melted dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Mix the ground flax and water together and set for 10 min. until a flax egg forms.
- In a food processor, process the pecans and oats until fully ground. Add in the flax egg and liquid sweetener and pulse until evenly incorporated. Press the crust into a non-stick square pan or pan lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the food processor, add in all the ingredients for the filling and only half of the chocolate and pulse until evenly incorporated. The batter should be pretty thick and very smooth.
- Pour half the batter onto the crust.
- Add the remaining chocolate and pulse again so that the batter is a darker color. Pour onto the first layer of batter and smooth the top. Bake in the oven for 45-50 min.
- Once the bars are done baking, remove from the oven and allow to cool for at l hr at room temperature and then an additional 2 hours in the fridge.
- Remove the bars from the fridge, cut into squarer and enjoy the richness!
These bars are absolutely decadent and great for the holidays! I had brought them to a potluck and they were a hit.
Stores bars in an airtight container for up to a week. The bars do not freeze well.