If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be making paleo desserts some day, I’m not sure I would have believed you. I resisted the idea for so long, because it’s “not in the spirit of paleo,” but I think I was wrong. As I continue in my efforts to make gluten/dairy/soy-free fooding a more permanent decision in my life, I think it was finally time to admit that, if I plan to do this long-term, I’m going to need some dessert options.
Once I accepted the notion that I was going to be making paleo desserts, this idea came together in a matter of seconds. I am already in love with my Perfect Pecan Butter, and chocolate is one of the things I miss most. Living in Oregon has provided access to some amazing gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free chocolate options, but on the whole: there’s not a ton out there. This recipe was kind of a no-brainer.
Due to a much-delayed response to a blade recall on my food processor, I couldn’t actually make my perfect pecan butter for this, so for now I’ll be using some local nut butter from the lovely crew at Ground Up who I got to meet last weekend at Portland Night Market. I’ve also included an alternative filling option for anybody who may be allergic to nuts: sea salted vanilla coconut butter from Portland-local Motha Butta! I will be sharing vegan and low-allergen alternatives for these cups once I’ve got my food processor back!
If you haven’t tried my pecan butter yet, I still highly recommend doing so ASAP because it is spoon-licking levels of perfect even before we get to the chocolate and the cocoa butter.
I used Wild Foods cocoa butter for this recipe, I love that it comes in ready-to-use discs and it’s what I already had on hand – this is what I use for my matcha and bulletproof coffee too! I am an affiliate of Wild Foods, which means when you shop using my link, I get a small percentage of that sale (at no additional cost to you). You can buy directly from their website + use code #1WildCustomer for 10% off. Amazon increases the price a little bit, but if you have Prime shipping, it might be worthwhile to order it that way. For Amazon orders, use code WILDSAVE to get 10% off your order.
Mini muffin tray
Mini cupcake liners
Small microwave-safe bowls
Medium sauce pot
Medium heat-safe bowl (preferably glass)
Large cutting board or tray
Measuring spoons (1/2 tsp, 3/4 tsp, 1 tsp)
For the filling:
45g Perfect Pecan Butter or nut butter of choice
25g Coconut butter of choice
The quantities I used netted me 18 cups – 10 nut butter, six coconut butter, and two plain chocolate ones.
We’re going to go with the double-boiler method for making our chocolate, which used to really intimidate me, but is actually super simple and definitely provides the best outcome.
Fill your sauce pot about halfway with water and get it on the stove. Place your heat-safe bowl into the pot – you want it resting comfortable, but not touching the water. Set heat to medium-high in order to begin warming the bowl. Add 100g of cocoa butter to the bowl and continue to heat, stirring occasionally with your spatula, until the cocoa butter is almost completely melted.
While the cocoa butter is melting, arrange your mini cake liners in the mini cake tray so that they are ready to go. If using a silicone pan, arrange it on top of a cutting board or other tray to help maneuver in and out of the refrigerator. Now is also a good time to weigh out your fillings. For both the coconut and nut butters, I microwaved them in 10 second intervals, stirring with a fork in between, for a total of 30 seconds to melt the product and make distribution easier.
When your cocoa butter is about 90-95% of the way melted (you can eyeball this, of course, but you want it to be most of the way there), add in your honey and mix well. I initially tested out this recipe with coconut sugar, but it did not dissolve enough. This felt like a great opportunity to take advantage of both the health benefits and the more fluid property of honey.
Once the cocoa butter is completely melted and the honey is mixed in, add the cocoa powder and whisk vigorously until the chocolate mixture is uniform and no clumps remain.
Using a 1/2 teaspoon measurement, fill the cake liners until the bottom is completely covered – about 3/4-1 teaspoon. Let the chocolate sit and cool for 1-2 minutes. Then, using a 3/4 teaspoon measurement, slowly layer your filling into the middle of the liners.
Give the liquid chocolate a good stir with your spatula then, using a one teaspoon measurement, layer the liquid chocolate over your filling. The cups do not need to be full to the brim (they shouldn’t be), but the filling should be covered completely.
Move to the refrigerator and let set for at least four hours. Keep refrigerated, store for up to one week.