What do you say this recipe is called – love yummies?
Yep. Well, that’s one of the possible translations. Kärleksmums is one of Sweden’s most popular chocolate cakes – topped with chocolate and coffee icing and a sprinkling of dessicated coconut – but its Swedish name does not translate easily and so, in English, pieces of this cake are known by many different names including love yummies, love cakes, love mums, choco-coco squares, love yums and love treats.
The recipe from Marisa Alvarsson I have adapted used the name love yummies and that’s what initially drew me in – how fun is that? I mean, that’s on par with other fun dessert names like a grunt, brown betty, pandowdy, or johnnycakes. (Have you made any of these, by the way? Maybe we need to do a fun dessert name bake off one day! Who’s in?)
And boy oh boy, am I glad that I decided to make these healthier love yummies! They are all kinds of delicious, full of nuts, cacao and sweetened naturally with some dates and maple syrup. And I love that there’s two distinct layers, the dense nutty and chocolatey base layer and the coconut cream frosting, which is thickened (of all things) with chia seeds. And, of course, in honour of its Swedish heritance, there’s some delicious desiccated coconut sprinkled on top. But, in order to make these kid friendly, there is no coffee and no refined sugar.
A cross between a delicious chocolatey treat and a bliss ball
I think the best way to describe these delicious healthier love yummies is to imagine a cross between a delicious chocolate treat and a bliss ball – just square, obviously. If you look at the recipe below, these contain a lot of the ingredients which you might normally find in a bliss ball – like nuts, dates, coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut.
In addition to that, you are getting the smooth and creamy frosting layer, which seems a little naughty but is not. The inclusion of chia seeds is intriguing but actually works, even if you just use chia seeds right out of the packet (not ground). The original recipe asks for “finely ground” chia seeds which I tried to accomplish by blitzing them in my mini food processor but alas, they are so little that that did not work. Not even close. Basically those little seeds just bounced off the cutting blades – which was pretty fun to watch but accomplished little. So, save yourself some time and effort (though if you need a laugh, definitely have a go at it) and just use chia seeds as they come.
If you look at the photo on the very right in the gallery immediately below, you will see that on mixing, the chia seeds will make the frosting a little lumpy and bumpy. But leave the slice in your fridge overnight and, similarly to a chia pudding, the chia seeds soften and start to blend into the frosting. And when you eat these love yummies, I bet you won’t even detect any seeds anymore – just a smooth frosting layer which deliciously tops the bliss ball base layer.
The other thing I love about these is that they last in your fridge for ages! I would say they’ll keep at least for two to three weeks. So, if you follow my suggestion in the recipe below, to cut these up after they’ve had a chance to set and store them in your fridge cut up into bite sized pieces, you will always have a little snack ready to pop into your mouth. And what else could you want, right?
Healthier Swedish love yummies (Kärleksmums) [refined sugar and coffee free]
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1.5 cups raw cashews
- 12 pitted medjool dates, soaked in 1/3 cup + 2 tsp (90 ml) freshly boiled water
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/3 cup cacao powder
- squeeze of vanilla paste (1/2 tsp)
- pinch of salt
- 270 g can of coconut cream
- 1/3 cup cacao powder
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- 5 tbsp maple syrup
- unsweetened dessicated coconut, for sprinkling
Prepare the base layer
- Line a square 23cm baking pan with baking paper – this will help you get the slice out easily when it's chilled.
- Option 1: Blitz the almonds and cashews until the texture looks like breadcrumbs in a food processor. Then add the remaining base layer ingredients to the food processor (including the water which the dates had been soaking in) and blitz until the mixture is well combined.
- Option 2: If you have a mini food processor like me and all the ingredients are unlikely to fit in together at the same time, you can do it in two loads as follows:
- (Option 2 continued) Blitz the almonds and cashews until the texture looks like breadcrumbs in a food processor. Pop the nut crumbs into a large mixing bowl.
- (Option 2 continued) Next, place the dates and the water they've been soaking in into the food processor, add the coconut oil, maple syrup, cacao powder, vanilla paste and salt, and blitz until you get a well combined, sticky mixture.
- (Option 2 continued) Add the date mixture to the nut crumbs in the mixing bowl and combine well.
- (Both options) Press the mixture into the prepared baking tin – try to get it as even as possible, but it doesn't have to be perfect. Place the baking tin into the fridge while you're making the frosting.
Make the frosting
- Whisk all the frosting layer ingredients (except for dessicated coconut) together in a large bowl with a hand whisk until well combined.
- The chia seeds will give it a bit of texture at this point but they will "melt" into the frosting as it's chilling in the fridge so don't worry about it too much at this point.
- Take the baking tin out of the fridge and spread the frosting on top of the base layer as evenly as you can. You can do a fancy swirling pattern on the top, if you like, but it's not necessary.
- Sprinkle as little or as much of the coconut over the top of the frosting.
- Place in the fridge (covered or uncovered), and let it set for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Slice into bite sized pieces before serving.
This recipe will make quite a lot of bite sized “love yummies”.
They keep beautifully in the fridge – I keep them in a square or rectangular glass box, already cut up, with a baking paper dividing the bottom and top layers so they don’t stick together, covered.
I’d estimate they’d last at least two to three weeks. They stay beautifully soft (but not mushy) so they’re the perfect snack to pick up on the go (or whenever else the mood might strike).
You can also serve them in larger pieces, as a slice, if you like – which is what the original recipe suggests. For me, they are a little too rich for that but it would be definitely a special occasion treat if you are looking for something sweet and nutritious to share with your company.
This gorgeous recipe is based on a recipe for No-Bake Love Yummies (Kärleksmums) by Marisa Alvarsson which appears in her gorgeous book Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats: Plant-Based Delights Free from Refined and Artificial Sweeteners (which is amazing).