Peanut butter cups

Chocolate, caramel and nutty biscuit, with not a hint of gluten, dairy or cane sugar

“You know what I really fancy? Chocolate and peanut butter,” said no one at all throughout the course of this summer. We were too thirsty for salt; too sweaty for chocolate; too woozy to want anything rich, sweet or sticky in consistency. Then came September—and with it, a fresh gust of cool, appetite-awakening breeze.

Cue The Free From Bakehouse’s peanut butter caramel cups. They’ve all the elements of a sweet treat, but without gluten, dairy or cane sugar, they are just that little bit lighter. After all, the mercury is still set to reach 19C, even despite the increasingly autumnal winds. “Each individual cup has a crunchy peanut butter base, with coconut oil, a touch of coconut palm sugar and maple syrup,” says Caroline, the bakery’s founder. This base—a crisp, crumbly, intensely moreish number reminiscent of a well-known brand of chocolate biscuit—is topped with a date ‘caramel’, combined with more peanut butter for good measure. “It’s then covered with a sugar-free 72 per cent dark chocolate, and salted peanuts,” says Caroline. Needless to say, if you’re that person who is most commonly found spoon-deep in the peanut butter jar of an evening, you’ve come to the right place.

We couldn’t believe the caramel was dates. It tasted like—well, caramel. Nor could we believe the dark, bitter-sweet, unctuous layer of chocolate was cane sugar-free. What sorcery is this, we thought—then instantly forgot, as our teeth sank through the thick, rich layers of chocolate, caramel and nutty, nutty biscuit. Perhaps the end of summer won’t be so bad after all.