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Ice cream and chilled desserts

Pana Organic dark chocolate cups

Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time 5 minutes
serves 12 people

Photography by Tracey Creed
Recipe by Amandine Paniagua and Tracey Creed
Words by Tracey Creed

Published November 8 2021
Updated March 21 2022


1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon Pana Organic Hazelnut Chocolate Spread
175 grams quality 65 % dark chocolate
6 tbsp Pana Organic Cashew Caramel Spread


Melt the Hazelnut Chocolate Spread and chocolate together in a double boiler over low heat whisking continuously. Once melted and completely smooth, remove from heat.

Using a butter knife, brush the melted chocolate mixture around the sides of 12 mini muffin cups (19 mm diameter). Drop a teaspoon or so of the mixture onto the base and evenly spread to create a base 5mm thick.

Place in the freezer for a few minutes to harden.

Scoop a half tablespoon of Cashew Caramel Spread into the centre of each chocolate cup. Place in the freezer to set for 3-4 minutes. Top with melted chocolate.

Store in the freezer. Just allow a minute or so to soften slightly before eating. Enjoy.

I am constantly seeking to simplify my diet, and what better way to do that than to offer up a plant-based version of the classic—dark chocolate cup. Here, we’re leaving the dairy and palm oil behind. Each chocolate cup reclaims dessert, completely plant-based, and champions the powers of nature and pleasure as it melts in your mouth.

I believe food that evokes nostalgia can be some of the most powerful. I see it each night when I’m replying to the Pana Organic Stories. References to mainstream chocolate products that the more self-aware no longer consider sustenance. I never had Nutella growing up and this is entirely satisfying. So I love that the base is made with Pana Organic Hazelnut Chocolate Spread.

General thought still maintains that a balanced diet, one that might well include ice cream of cow origins and steak is sufficient for us to receive adequate nutrition. There is this argument that all food nourishes, but this is not true in a sense as we unpack the difference between calories and sustenance as opposed to nourishment. And yet our Western food system, depleted, promoted as progressive continues to feed wealthy nations with disease remains mainstream.

Pana Barbounis founded Pana Organic in Melbourne, Australia when vegan chocolate was only found on the shelves of self-proclaimed health food stores that embraced drugless medicine, and sprouting, raising awareness of GMOs and promising the transcendence over disease. A favourite memory for me was visiting my local health food store that sadly closed its doors mid-2019. Obviously, not enough of us went there. And I’d pick up a few bars of Eighty %, the Pineapple and Ginger, the Sour Cherry—the dark bars are fudgy. You see where your teeth sink in. The brand is certified organic, and vegan and there’s a general belief that food is energy, you think about the length of ingredient lists, the inputs, what serves you and what does not. There’s no need to improve on nature.

What I’ve found is that changing your diet, your values system does not necessarily mean leaving behind the things we love but rather reinterpreting. It's not about what's eliminated, but rather a celebration of all the goodness to add in—and dessert is no exception.

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