I am sent a lot of cookbooks every year and they are all gorgeous. But sometimes there is one that inarguably rises above the rest with breath-taking photography and a cavalcade of enticing, elegant and creative recipes. Right now, that book is Vegan Cuisine. It’s a massive book, really a coffee table book more than anything, and it has made my week. I think something about a giant hardcover encyclopedia of beautifully photographed vegan food hits a special place in my heart. The photos are by Joerg Lehmann and the recipes are from Jean-Christian Jury. It has over 800 inventive, sophisticated vegan recipes and page after page of huge, vibrantly coloured yet preciously stylish, sleek food photos. I am intrigued by how Joerg plays with texture, shapes and depth.

Something about the recipe for “Mint Chocolate Cake” on page 337 was calling my name – probably because it has a whack load of cocoa and my period started Saturday morning – so I whipped up my own version the same day I received the book in the mail. They taste like After Eights. Yum.

SERVES:   Makes 9 huge bars, 9-18 servings.

PREP TIME:  15 Minutes + Setting time

DIETARY CONSIDERATION:  Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free


Chocolate layer:

  • 1/4 cup cacao butter

  • Scant 1/4 cup coconut oil

  • 1 1/4 cups cacao powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup


Mint layer:

  • 1 3/4 cups shredded coconut 

  • Scant 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 2-4 drops peppermint essential oil  

  • 3 Tbs Melted Coconut Oil


Vitamix or Blender of Choice


To Make Chocolate Layer: Melt the coconut oil and cacao butter in a thick pot on low heat, then whisk in the rest of the ingredients until you have a lusciously smooth chocolate mixture. Spread half this mixture evenly into the bottom of a lined pan and put in the fridge. Set aside the remaining half to use in a moment.

To Make Mint Layer: Blend everything until smooth. Spread evenly over your chocolate layer in the pan, then finish by spreading the remaining chocolate over this. Leave in the fridge for at least a few hours and slice. If they stick around longer than a day and you keep them refrigerated overnight: I’d recommend letting them sit at room temperature for around 10-15 minutes before eating so they soften.

Stacey Christie