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I spent some time in Bahrain last year working with clients and got really into the flavours of the region. One of which was cardamom and coffee. I’m sure I have seen that combo, or even tasted it, before, but it never dawned on me to make it into a dessert. Whew! It’s such a delightful combo. I know this desserts looks complex and, perhaps, intimidating, but it’s fully worth the effort and is way easier than it looks. Just take it one step at a time, read the recipe all the way through before starting, and enjoy the process of learning and creating. 🙂

What you’ll need —

Cinnamon Wafers

  • 100g ( ¾ cup ) almonds, peeled
  • 100g ( ¾ cup ) buckwheat, soaked 1 hour, strained and rinsed
  • 10g ( 1 tbsp ) coconut flour
  • 100g ( ½ cup ) coconut sugar, powdered  
  • 6 drops cinnamon essential oil  
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 15g ( 1 tbsp )  golden flax, soaked in 60g water for 1 hour
  • 10g ( ¾ tbsp )  ground golden flax
  1. Put the almonds into a medium bowl and cover with boiled water. Allow to sit 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the almonds and squeeze them gently to remove their skins.
  3. Blend all ingredients until smooth in a high speed blender.
  4. Transfer the mix to a teflex lined dehydrator tray and, using a moistened cranked / offset spatula spread the mix out to about  ¼ inch thickness.
  5. Score the mix using the cutter that came with the moulds you’re using for the cream element.
  6. Dehydrate for 15 hours at 115F.
  7. Once it’s firm and dry enough, flip onto a mesh tray and dry for another 15 hours, or until crisp and dry throughout. To keep them from bowing, put another mesh sheet on top once you flip them.
  8. Gently break them along the scored lines and store in an airtight container at room temp until you’re ready to use them, or up to 4 months.
  9. Use a sharp knife to smooth down the edges of the biscuits, if desired.  
  10. Store in an airtight container until ready to assemble.

Coffee Jelly

  • 90g ( scant ½ cup ) coffee
  • 90g ( scant ½ cup ) water
  • 3.5g ( 1.25 tsp ) agar agar powder
  • 75g ( ⅓ cup ) coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp tamari
  1. Combine the water and agar in a pot and whisk to combine.
  2. Bring to a gently boil while whisking continuously.
  3. Turn down to a simmer and add the coffee and sugar. Whisk well to combine.
  4. Pour out onto a baking tray 25cm x 18cm x 2cm and place in the fridge to set, about 10 mins.
  5. Cut the jelly into long thin strips using the cutter that came with the moulds.
  6. Seal in an airtight container until ready to use.

Cardamom Vanilla Bean Cream

  • 150g ( ¾ cup ) fresh young coconut meat, pat dry
  • 100g ( ¾ cup ) cashews – soaked 1 hour and rinsed
  • 50g ( ¼ cup ) honey or maple syrup
  • 75g ( ⅓ cup ) xylitol, powdered
  • 120ml ( ½ cup ) water
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • Pinch sea salt
  • ½ vanilla pod, scraped
  • 6-8 drops vanilla medicine flower extract
  • 6-8 drops cardamom essential oil
  • 50g ( ¼ cup ) coconut oil, melted
  • 35g ( 2 ½ tbsp ) cacao butter, melted
  1. In a high speed blended process all ingredients until smooth. Use the tamper stick to keep it all moving.
  2. Pour or pipe into the mould, to fill ½ way.
  3. Gently insert the coffee jelly and fill the mould the remaining way with cream.
  4. Pop in the freezer to set solid, about 2 hours.
  5. Remove from the mould and place onto a tray lined with greaseproof and back in the freezer until you’re ready to assemble them.

“Milk” Caramel

  • 75g ( ⅓ cup ) coconut oil, melted
  • 75g ( ⅓ cup + 1 tbsp )  cacao butter, melted
  • 30g ( ¼ cup ) lucuma powder
  • 75g ( ½ cup ) xylitol
  • 75g  ( ⅓ cup ) coconut sugar
  • 75g ( ½ cup ) warm non dairy milk of your choice
  1. In high speed blender combine all ingredients, except milk, and blend on low speed just to combine.
  2. With the blender running on low/medium, drizzle in the milk and increase blender speed a little until you achieve a silky smooth caramel.
  3. Keep the caramel at room temp in a warm place until ready to assemble.

Chocolate Coffee Coating
make this once the bars are set and ready to finish

  • 100g ( 3.5 oz ) cacao paste or chocolate
  • 40g ( 2 tbsp ) coconut oil
  • 40g ( 2 tbsp ) maple or honey
  • 20g ( 1 ½ tbsp ) coffee beans, roughly ground
  • Pinch salt
  1. Melt the cacao paste and coconut oil over a double boiler.
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients.

Assembling

  1. Place one “bar” at a time on the cooling rack (with a baking tray under it to catch the caramel) with the dipping fork under the centre of the bar.
  2. Pour the caramel over the bar slowly so it fully coats it all the way around.
  3. Use the dipping fork to lift the “bar” and gently scrape it along the cooling rack to remove any excess.
  4. Place on a greaseproof paper lined tray.
  5. Scrape the caramel back into the bowl and continue until all “bars” are coated.
  6. Pop them in the freezer to set firmly, about 1 hour.
  7. Repeat the same process from the caramel, but with the chocolate coating and carefully place the “bar” atop the cinnamon wafers. I found using a small offset spatula to help release the bar from the fork was helpful. You could also just use a thin knife.
  8. Sprinkle with some roughly ground coffee beans and pop in the fridge to set, if needed, about 10 minutes. Add gold leaf, if desired, just before serving.
  9. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, about 1-2 days (the wafers will go soft and the coffee jelly will bleed into the cream, but it will keep for more like 5-7 days without spoiling) or in the freezer for a couple months.

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