I came up with these as alternative chocolate treats for Easter bunny season but because they contain lots of carrot (rabbit food) you can make them and call them Bunny Bars all year round. As well as making them a little bit healthier than your average brownie, the carrot and orange zest keeps these chocolately bars really nice and gooey. They're made with maple syrup (or agave nectar) in place of sugar, plus coconut oil in place of butter. Kids don't taste any of the carrot or coconut - just chocolate and orange.
100g carrot (this is about 1 large one)
100g milk chocolate
100ml maple syrup or agave nectar
3 tbsp coconut oil
150g self-raising flour (gluten-free if you like)
150g unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tbsp milk
100g whole blanched hazelnuts
icing sugar to decorate (optional)
Takes 35 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm (approx) brownie tin. Fill and boil the kettle.
2. Help the kids to zest the orange using a fine box grater. Peel the carrot and grate it straight into the box grater too alongside the orange zest.
3. Set a pan on a medium heat and fill with your boiling water. Get the kids to break the chocolate up (this is easiest to do with their hands whilst it's still in the foil wrapping) then pop it in a heatproof bowl and set it over the boiling water to melt.
4. Measure out the maple syrup (or agave nectar) and coconut oil and put directly into the bowl of your food processor. Crack in the eggs, juice the orange and add the juice, too.
5. Add the melted chocolate, orange zest and carrot to the processor bowl and blend everything briefly to combine.
6. Add the flour, cocoa powder and milk to the processor and mix again. Remove the blade and stir in the nuts with a metal spoon.
7. Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin then cut into nine bars and cool on a wire rack. You can dust with icing sugar and use a little bunny template to decorate if you like (ours was a felt bunny from an Easter craft set but you could use any shape or leave the icing sugar off altogether).