These chocolate almond clusters are vegan!! They are also sweetened by the subtle, yet complex sweetness of jaggery (a.k.a Indian molasses). Super easy to make, just 4 ingredients y’all!! They are healthy, delicious, has a rich chocolate taste, but yet it is not-too-sweet. Doesn’t that sound perfect??
All about Jaggery
Before we get started, a quick lesson on jaggery. Indians can skip this section. Non-Indians can find jaggery sold in Indian stores in block, ball, square or powder form. Jaggery is basically concentrated cane juice without the separation of molasses and crystals.
Once we buy the jaggery, we
1) break off chunks,
2) boil it in water to dissolve it
3) strain the liquid to remove any impurities.
Yes, the straining of jaggery, to remove any dirt – is unfortunately, a necessary step in most jaggery products. This makes the use of jaggery a little tedious. But, the taste of jaggery, IMO, is far superior to the flat, sharp taste of white sugar. Jaggery has complex and layered notes of sweetness that has to be tasted to be appreciated.
Another reason people do not use jaggery is because of its’ brown color. Many Indian desserts are white in color, especially milk-based ones, and jaggery’s color messes the aesthetics of it. But -when we use chocolate, the color of jaggery is in fact, more complementary and makes the dish a rich chocolate brown.
Jaggery sweetened chocolate almond clusters – just 4 ingredients, subtle sweetness, rich chocolate taste!!
- 1.25 cups Almonds
- 0.5 cup Jaggery syrup
- 0.25 cup Cocoa Powder (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
- 0.25 cup Fine blanched Almond Flour (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
Roast almond in a 350F / 180C oven 6-8 minutes until they are crunchy.
Create jaggery syrup by adding jaggery chunks and water (just enough to submerge) and let it boil. After all the jaggery dissolves in water, strain it with a cheesecloth or tea filter to remove any dirt particles.
In a saute’ pan, on medium heat, add jaggery syrup, almonds, cocoa powder and almond flour. Stir until they come together in a thick sauce. Switch off and cool.
Once the pan cools to touch, take chunks containing 3-4 almond together, press lightly and set aside.
Once it cools completely, store in an airtight container.
It is important to use good quality cocoa powder for vegan dishes. Use cocoa powder that has extra cocoa butter in it (like Trader Joe’s brand). This allows the powder to be less bitter and thus be tasty even without any milk.
Oven roast the almonds…
Add almonds to jaggery syrup…
Add cocoa powder, almond flour and stir
Once this mixture cools, separate them into clusters of 3-4 almonds, press slightly and set aside.
The chocolate clusters are a comforting and a protein-rich treat. I hope you get to try jaggery for this recipe. It is a sheer delight!! If you do not have access to jaggery, I guess you could substitute molasses or maple syrup instead, but I haven’t tried it.
The idea to use jaggery for my chocolate almond recipe comes from this ‘Jaggery coated almonds‘ recipe, which is another super yummy idea.
Do try them and post your comments below!! I love to hear from you!!
Amazon Affiliate links
Clicking and purchasing using these product links makes no difference in cost to you, but helps maintain this website.