Vegan Marz bar

Eating a plant-based treat doesn’t have to mean chomping on a carrot. Chef Nicole Maree has put together her favourite vegan desserts in her new book, Sweet Vegan. Here’s her delicious, dairy and gluten-free, vegan take on a popular classic for you to impress your friends with.

Makes 12 large bars

For the nougat base
200g cashew butter
80g coconut butter
100ml maple syrup
80g coconut flour
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract

For the caramel
350g medjool dates, pitted
60ml coconut milk
1 tbsp light tahini
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate layer
200g cacao butter buttons
85ml maple syrup
50g cacao powder, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Line both a baking sheet and the base and sides of a 30cm x 20cm x 3.5cm
deep baking tray with baking paper.

2 For the nougat base, melt the cashew butter, coconut butter and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over a medium–low heat until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir through the coconut flour, salt and vanilla extract until a dough-like mixture forms. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared deep baking tray. Freeze while you make the caramel.

3 For the caramel, combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender
or food processor until smooth. Spread the caramel over the base layer, then return the tin to the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove from the freezer and cut into bars.

4 For the chocolate layer, add 5cm of water to a large saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium–high heat. Set a medium glass or ceramic mixing bowl on top, making sure that the mixing bowl isn’t touching the water. 

5 Add the cacao butter buttons to the mixing bowl and melt – it should take about 3 minutes. Once melted, whisk in the maple syrup until everything is combined. Turn off the heat, remove the bowl and set on a flat surface.

6 Whisk the cacao powder and vanilla extract into the melted cacao butter mixture until smooth. Set aside for 2 minutes to cool and thicken slightly.

7 Using two forks, dip the Marz bars into the chocolate and place on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month. 

Recipe extracted from Sweet Vegan by Nicole Maree (Hardie Grant, £10). Photography © Elisa Watson

For more amazing vegan and vegetarian recipes, see the latest issue of Healthy For Men, on sale now in Holland & Barrett stores and online at