Pot au chocolat

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day!

In celebration of heart health month, give your heart and someone else’s something decadent, luscious and healthy. Three years ago, I created this plant-based (vegan) chocolate pudding with cashew cream, 100% cacao powder, dates, maple syrup and freshly squeezed orange juice.

There are no eggs and there’s no dairy milk or white sugar in this pudding. High in fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, this dessert is simple to make. And, when consummed with fresh fruit, it’s completely heart-healthy.

This morning, I made some changes in the ingredients and procedure. However, I want to remind you to not only put all of the ingredients into your high speed blender and call it a day. The secret to a creamy and satisfying pudding is to, in addition to blending the ingredients, cook everything together for a brief time on the stove-top.

Simmering everything together, for only 5 minutes, yields a higher quality pudding, both in texture and taste. It won’t be too watery nor too pasty, like Nutella you buy in a store!!, and of course, it will be super tasty! 

Served with a dollop of cream (dairy or coconut) and fresh fruit, this popular and simple dessert can be enjoyed all year round!


Pot au chocolat

Makes 3 to 4 ramekins or dessert cups


  • 4 big fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • ¾ cup (120 grams) raw cashews, softened *
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated
  • 1/3 cup 100% cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

* Raw cashews have nothing added to them. No salt, no oil, absolutely nothing. 


Put the pitted dates into a small bowl and cover them with the 1½ cups warm water. Let the dates soak for a few minutes on countertop to soften.

Meanwhile, put the cashews in a microwave-proof bowl and cover them with tepid water. Cover with a lid or a plate and microwave on high heat for 3 minutes. Transfer the hot cashews into a strainer and drain all of the hot water. Rinse the cashews under cold running tap water to cool them. Transfer the softened cashews to your blender bowl.

Add the softened dates with all of the warm water they’ve soaked in into your blender bowl. Add the orange juice and zest.

Cover and blend for 3 minutes, gradually increasing to the highest speed. You should obtain a creamy liquid that smells divine.

Pour into a medium-size pot on stove-top and adjust the heat to medium-high. Stir this constantly with a wooden spoon.

When the mixture starts to bubble and plop, reduce the heat to medium-low and mix in the cacao powder until incorporated. Then add the maple syrup. Keep stirring constantly with wooden spoon, allowing to simmer for 5 minutes total, not longer – start timing when it first starts to bubble. If need be, adjust or lower heat. The mixture will thicken and look glossy and darker.

Immediately, pour the hot mixture into 3 or 4 ramekins or small cups and let cool at room temperature. Then, cover and put puddings in your fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.  Serve topped with cream of choice (dairy or coconut) and fresh fruit. Store puddings in fridge with a cover or foil.

The best part! 🙂

Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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