Cheat-y Crunchy Chocolate Clusters

I nearly didn’t post this recipe because it seems so easy and frivolous, and not like a ‘real’ recipe. And because I feel like using store-bought chocolate (instead of making everything from scratch) is cheating. I’d really prefer to be sharing a recipe I’ve created using healthy organic ingredients.

Then I remembered my original intentions when I started this blog. One of them was to share recipes created on the road and to celebrate simple but delicious meals, snacks and treats that are the happy result ‘making do’ with limited ingredients and minimal equipment.

Immi Ouaddar, the town where I’m currently staying, has never heard of coconut oil, raw cacao, or chia seeds. There’s no maple syrup, agave, or rice malt syrup. A small bag of cashew nuts costs more than a night’s accommodation.

I don’t have a blender, food processor, dehydrator, measuring cups, or even a mixing bowl right now.

But you know what? That doesn’t mean I can’t get into the kitchen have fun and make a sweet chocolate-y vegan snack for my partner and I.

Hand holding chocolate cluster

What I came up with features Amlou, which is a Moroccan version of nut butter containing argan oil, peanuts and sugar. I’m guessing most of my readers won’t hav amlou on hand, so for the sake of the recipe I’ve substituted nut butter and a tablespoon of maple syrup (or your preferred sweetener).

Cheat-y Crunchy Chocolate Clusters

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine gluten free, vegan
Keyword chocolate
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 200 g vegan dark chocolate chopped
  • 2 handfuls of puffed rice or puffed anything – quinoa, spelt etc
  • 2 handfuls of desiccated or shredded coconut plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup nut butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 drops orange essential oil I use Doterra brand
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Optional: a small handful fresh ripe cherries or seasonal berries


  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave, stirring from time to time.

  2. When the chocolate is fully melted, remove from heat and add the nut butter, maple syrup, sea salt, and orange oil. Stir to combine.

  3. Add the puffed rice and coconut and stir until everything is covered in chocolate.

  4. Dollop dessert-spoons full onto a lined tray (or if you don’t have baking paper, sprinkle your tray or plate with extra coconut – this will help stop the chocolate sticking to the tray).

  5. Once you’ve used half the mix or a little more, add chopped pitted cherries to the remaining half. Stir well, then continue to dollop.

  6. Sprinkle extra coconut over the top and refrigerate until set. 

  7. Eat the cherry ones within a day or two; the others can stay in the fridge for a week (if you manage not to finish them).

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