raw chocolate fudge with cacao nibs + sea salt

Over the years, I’ve had many conversations with people about the very limited amount of dairy that we consume. Inevitably the question always comes up at some stage ‘but where do you get your calcium from?’. I’m really no expert, but in my humble opinion this whole- you have to eat dairy to get enough calcium business, is just plain crap. We do eat little amounts of homemade yoghurt, kefir, butter and ghee nowadays, but we haven’t always and I still don’t believe the hype that dairy is the only way. Tahini is my secret little weapon when it comes to boosting my families calcium intake, along with dark leafy greens, broccoli, chia seeds and quinoa. I add a sneaky spoonful of tahini to our smoothies (or add a few tablespoons of raw soaked sesame seeds to the mix when making homemade almond milk for the same effect) and I’ve been known to develop whole recipes around the stuff… namely the yummy toasted muesli recipe and chewy millet slice in my cookbook which is loaded with the stuff! But I gotta say, this here recipe is the best use of tahini I’ve come across to date. 7 ingredients including the salt, 5 minutes of prep and a little chilling time later and you are blessed with the most beautifully rich and incredibly naughty tasting fudgey-toffee-like goodness that’s actually ridiculously good for you! To all you mums out there who say your kids won’t eat tahini, I give you this (via the lovely Susan Jane White). I reckon you won’t have any problems getting this one into them. 

Before I go I just wanna say a huge thank you. You guys have blown me away with all your words of support after my last post! I don’t think I could ever fully give up this space, don’t you worry, but I do think I’m going to ease up a little and not put so much pressure on myself to post every week. I don’t want to be that mum who’s too busy to hang out with her kids as much as they need and crave. So rather than stressing about the fact that I’m late with a post, I instead just want to enjoy hanging with my beautiful little family and post when I can… I’m sure you guys understand.
ps. for those of you who have been trying to buy copies of my book on Fishpond.com (for international orders), we’re waiting on the second print run (!!) so hang tight for a week or so and there should be more back in stock real soon.
pps. If you want a little more info on the benefits of tahini, along with a recipe for how to make your own, check out this awesome post from my tahini fiend friend, Jessica.
ppps. I’ve updated the pics on this vegan mango jelly post + my vegetarian sushi too.

raw chocolate fudge with cacao nibs + sea salt
Susan’s original recipe uses date syrup, but I know this isn’t always the easiest thing to track down in this neck of the woods, so I’ve used maple syrup instead. A Little local honey or brown rice syrup would do the trick too, if maple syrup is out of your price range. She also uses carob powder, but I wanted the full chocolate hit so went with cocoa. Lightly toasted and roughly chopped almonds or hazelnuts would be a lovely change from the cacao nibs, if they too are a tad pricey for you.
makes 25-30 little squares

1/2 cup (125ml) pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
340g hulled tahini (nearly a full jar of this)
3 tablespoons raw cacao nibs + extra to sprinkle
2 tablespoons cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
a good big pinch of sea salt flakes

Line a small tin or container with baking paper (my tin was about 20cm square). 
Gently heat the maple syrup and coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat until just melted. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the ingredients except for the sea salt, working quickly to mix to a smooth runny-ish paste. Transfer to the container, scatter the top with extra cacao nibs and a good sprinkling of sea salt flakes then pop into the freezer for at least 4 hours, or overnight to set. Cut into squares to serve immediately. This fudge melts fast to enjoy straight from the freezer and store any leftovers in a lidded container.

Adapted from Susan Jane Whites Raw Cacao Nib Toffee recipe, found in her cookbook The Extra Virgin Kitchen (Gill & Macmillan Ltd, February 1, 2014). The Extra Virgin Kitchen is Susan’s best-selling debut cookbook which is filled to the brim with recipes for wheat-free, cane sugar-free and dairy-free eating. 
I recieved a copy from Gill & Macmillan. All views are my own and as always I only share the things I love and think you will too.

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  • molly yeh
    July 17, 2014 at 1:36 am

    my eyes just glazed over in excitement at this recipe. i didn't even know there was calcium in tahini! man i wish i had endless amounts of the stuff… this is seriously the most perfect recipe ever in all the land. i cannot wait to make it.

    • emma
      July 17, 2014 at 1:41 am

      Haha, I had a feeling you'd love this recipe! I nearly called it halva fudge 😉

  • cynthia
    July 17, 2014 at 2:16 am

    This fudge looks absolutely phenomenal!! Oh my goodness. And love your stance on calcium — we're not huge dairy consumers around these parts either so a big thumbs up to everything you said! 🙂 PS YAY for less stress and more fam!!! Yes yes yes. We'll be here chilling (and delighting in this fudge) wheneeeever you feel like posting <3

  • Beth @ Tasty Yummies
    July 17, 2014 at 2:26 am

    Wow this is just gorgeous. I could live off of a tray of this and need nothing more out of life! YUM!

  • oscarlucinda
    July 17, 2014 at 3:21 am

    I'm going to try this this weekend. I have a little 2.5 year old sweet tooth (yikes, so young!) and this will be right up here alley…I only just received your book today and I can't wait to delve further (I'm just a breakfasts!). Some of the flours and ingredients are all quite new to me though, so this might be a silly question. Is there much difference in taste between cocoa and cacao? I'm aware there are nutritional benefits…

    • emma
      July 18, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Stoked to hear you got my book! Re: cocoa/cacao to be honest I don't taste a huge amount of difference. I actually tend to think regular cocoa has a nicer richer flavour, but then I've read others say the opposite. I use both, but mostly still just regular cocoa as buying cacao nearly breaks the bank!

  • Tieghan
    July 17, 2014 at 3:21 am

    I LOVE the tahini these. It's my new favorite ingredient. These I am so excited about!

  • June Baby
    July 17, 2014 at 3:41 am

    That sounds awesome! I love how it's raw, perfect for summer. 🙂

  • realsimplefood
    July 17, 2014 at 5:58 am

    Love this recipe! I have made date fudge before but never nut or seed butter fudge. Totally want to give this a try!

  • Nicola Galloway
    July 17, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Fantastic Emma on everything, the recipe, your stance on dairy [agree whole-heartedly], your second print run [I'm not surprised], and your note about blog posting less often – quality over quantity all the way! xx

  • Anonymous
    July 17, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I agree with you about dairy and calcium. My two-year-old is dairy-intolerant and she is OBSESSED with sesame seeds and tahini. I suspect this is because her body is craving the calcium boost they provide. Two of her fav things are hummos and a home-made 'seed bar' I make. I soak the sesame seeds overnight to make the calcium more available for her. We will be trying out this recipe. I bet she will love it!

    Thanks for sharing! Naomi

    • emma
      July 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      That's so cool she loves tahini! My two happily eat sesame seeds on everything, but I have to sneak tahini in when they're not looking 😉

    • Anonymous
      August 24, 2014 at 10:50 am

      I'm dropping back to revisit the recipe so I can make it again – both hubby and little-miss-two LOVE this. I made them up in mini muffin tins with liners (1 dessert spoon in each mold) and no nibs. The salt makes this rock! Thanks for sharing – so happy to find another, non-dairy way to spoon calcium into my child – Naomi
      (Sorry to comment anon – can't remember my google account)

  • london bakes
    July 17, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I've been eyeing this recipe in Susan's book for a while and I'm so glad to hear that it works just as well with maple syrup/cocoa powder. Now that I know that, I might well whip up a batch tonight!

    • emma
      July 18, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      You'll love it Kathryn! When I get my hands on date syrup again (I only know one shop that stocks it and it's not local) I'm gonna try Susan's original recipe too. I love carob but know most people prefer cocoa xx

  • Crazygreen
    July 17, 2014 at 9:39 am

    I couldn't agree more on this whole "calcium through dairy" stuff! It has been shown that people who don't drink milk don't have more calcium lack than people who do. Asian people, who traditionally don't eat dairy, have no osteoporosis problems. This is just marketing and I hate that!

    • emma
      July 18, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Crazy eh?!

  • Nicky
    July 17, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Dear Emma, a late happy 4th birthday to you and My darling lemon thyme. I love everything about your blog and am so enjoying your book and your success – you totally deserve it. I have just given my book away to my mum who has been ogling it every time I see her so i hope that there are still copies at Moore Wilson's here in Wellington! Arohanui, Nicky PS the new photos in those old blog posts look wonderful 🙂

    • emma
      July 18, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      Ah, that's so cool to hear you and your mum love my book! I'm sure somewhere in NZ will still have copies of my cookbook floating around while the next run are being printed. Maybe try online if you have no luck in stores. xx

  • InTolerant Chef
    July 17, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Oh how yummy indeed! I do love tahini, but I absolutely adore Carob so I think I'll use Carob powder and Carob molasses instead- yummo! X

    • emma
      July 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      I love carob too! But I know it scares a lot of people, hence why I went with cocoa 😉
      I'm gonna try it with carob next though, and carob molasses… yum!? I need to find me some of that pronto. xx

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    July 17, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Knowing there is calcium in tahini just made me SO excited!! Also, I still need to get on this tahini in desserts thing!

    • emma
      July 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      If you like halva, you will love this 🙂

  • Katie
    July 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Oh think this will have to be my freezer dessert for the fortnight 🙂
    I'm obsessed with tahini

  • Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
    July 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Who can resist chocolate fudge? My personal favorite/weakness since childhood. The tahini is perfect. Can't wait to try!

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats
    July 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    This is neat, would have never guessed tahini was the secret ingredient for this raw fudge!!! Although have been surprised by another vegan fudge recipe on Clean Wellness where the secret ingredient was chickpeas!

  • Sini | my blue and white kitchen
    July 17, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Such an impressive looking fudge recipe! Love it. Also, it was interesting to read about your thoughts on calcium intake, something I've never really put much thought to. Family is the most important thing on earth so I totally understand if you're slowing down a bit. I'm always excited to see a post of you and it really doesn't matter if it's once a week or not. xoxo

    • emma
      July 18, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks Sini xx

  • Dixya
    July 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    i had no idea about calcium in tahini..i am not too crazy about milk either but tahini in the form of fudge, i could easily do that.

  • Sana Javeri Kadri
    July 17, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    making these tonight. OHMYYUMMNESS.

  • autumn
    July 18, 2014 at 12:49 am

    I'm convinced there's nothing Tahini can't do! 🙂 I bet this is AMAZING.

  • Tashiana
    July 18, 2014 at 4:28 am

    4 years of blogging?! Tell me how I have only just managed to find you?! I want these nooooowwww!

    • emma
      July 18, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Haha, welcome! The archives from the last 4 years are there… if you ever wanted to read them! It may take a little while though as I think there's well over 300 posts 😉

  • Sun
    July 18, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Could I sub something for the tahini? I'm not worried about calcium intake, and tahini makes me gag. 😀

    • emma
      July 19, 2014 at 10:28 am

      I've not tried it myself yet, but I don't see why any nut butter wouldn't work in place of tahini. There will be differences for sure, but I'd say yum none the less xx

    • Sun
      July 19, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      Awesome, I didn't even think of nut butter! 😀

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    July 18, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    This is such a freaking gorgeous fudge!!! Love the recipe!

  • Heidi - Apples Under My Bed
    July 19, 2014 at 9:40 am

    YUM. I've been making a tahini maca fudge & am obsessed! Yours looks silky and divine, I cannot wait to try it. I love that there is a lot of calcium in tahini. Food & minerals is a complex business indeed! This, my dear, is absolutely beautiful. x

  • eggplantandolive
    July 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I love tahini! And I too am a dairy/calcium skeptic. Glad I'm not the only one!

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche
    July 19, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    this is just TOO delicious.. love using sea salt with chocolate. craving some fudge right about now.

  • Gemma
    July 20, 2014 at 3:52 am

    Hi 🙂 I love what you do here and have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. 🙂 check out my latest blog post for more info! http://www.breadoralive.com.au/home/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award

  • Mary Sweeting
    July 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Ooh recommended by Mynameisyeh and I just love tahini! A lovely dairy free recipe, thank you x

  • molly yeh
    July 20, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    P.S. i just made this and i am very very very afraid that i am going to finish the entire batch all by myself! all in one day! i didn't have any maple syrup on hand so i used honey and, ohmygosh, this is just the perfect thing. i see a zillion more batches of this in my future.

  • Sharolyn Newington
    July 21, 2014 at 1:58 am

    Your recipes often seem to come in perfect timing. I bought a jar of tahini on special over the weekend with nothing in particular in mind. Then this recipe popped up! We made it earlier today and it has only been sitting in the freezer about 2 hours but we couldn't wait any longer. Had to try it. Will definitely be making it again, lovely fudgey texture. I used rice malt syrup as we were out of maple. Gave Mr 2 year old and myself a lovely choc hit. I'd like to try and find bulk tahini or at least bigger jars, or perhaps I should try making my own, am going to follow that up with your link. Cheers!

  • Anonymous
    July 21, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Hello just thought I would share that I made this recipe last week and again today. It is amazing and so so easy to make! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • cheyenne
    July 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    oh my, these need to be in my life, right now! going straight onto my to-make list.
    xo, cheyenne

  • jade
    July 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Never has a recipe been more up my alley! Very excited about this one – all the ingredients are in the pantry, ready to go.

    Also, just wanted to add, I often get all worked up about posting every week, and beat myself up when I am late. I have just started a degree, and time with my son is precious, so the blog unfortunately falls down the priority list. I think at the end of the day however, I am not going to look back on my life wishing I spent more time blogging – it will be time with my boy that will hold the most value. So I too have decided to relax a bit with the blogging schedule. X

  • Mary Frances
    July 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I've never seen a fudge recipe using tahini before! It sounds like a great way to enjoy a good chewy fudge while avoiding dairy. I especially like the addition of sea salt, who doesn't love a little salt with their chocolate?

  • Alma
    July 23, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    This is my 2nd time posting a comment on a recipe and I bake on a weekly basis. Im not good at following up on commenting.. but I had to comment on this. DELICIOUS!! Ive been wondering what to do with the tahini in my pantry since my hummus did not turn out right. This was great!!! I subbed the maple syrup for honey..since I did not have enough maple syrup! Will recommend this recipe to friends!

  • Anonymous
    August 6, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Omg I am OBSESSED with tahini (and halva!) So I'm soo excited to try this! Thanks for sharing!

  • Rebecca
    August 21, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Do these have a very rich chocolate taste? With only 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder? I mean, they LOOK super chocolately and rich, but it seems like I'd want a little more chocolate than that. 😀

    • emma
      August 21, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      They are chocolaty enough for me. By all means add more, but just know that it may change the texture if you add too much.

  • Rach
    August 26, 2014 at 7:24 am

    These are so good Emma – I'm glad they are not bad for you as I have eaten a lot over the past couple of days! Thanks again x

  • Allison
    September 24, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Emma, you know you have convince me to buy yet another cookbook, this recipe is fantastic! I was having lunch at the Vegie Bar (in Fitzroy) and sampled this beautiful raw chocolate peppermint fudge it was delicious (and pricey, but its sugar free and raw) that I had to buy another piece to enjoy it at home.
    The brand of Tahini I have been using is 'Spiral', the un-hulled one is delicious, it has a beautiful "toasty'' taste and I just love it, the hulled one is beautiful too

  • Allison
    September 26, 2014 at 4:05 am

    I have found 'Date Syrup' the brand is Absolute Organics and is available in health food shops

  • K.
    May 16, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    I made this this weekend and it was delicious! thank you
    I posted a review on my blog