Christmas is the time for decadence, and I have seen so many delicious recipes I want to try, but after one weekend of kids and christmas parties I know my body won’t cope with all the extra sugar. So as per usual, I have taken it upon myself to try to “healthify” my favourite treats for the silly season in the hopes that others in a similar boat can still enjoy some delicious Christmas treats, minus the bloating and negative side effects!
So I was experimenting in the kitchen last week, and happened to stumble across this by accident. I was planning on making a regular caramel slice with some dulce de lèche style caramel sauce, but a combination of being impatient and over-tired meant I perhaps didn’t think everything through as well as I should have. However, after taking these bites to work with me and sharing them amongst most of my colleagues and my family I decided that this recipe should go up as-is, and maybe I’ll try another version in future, but for now I think I’m onto a winner.
I call this a “Whipped” Caramel Slice, because that’s exactly what it is… I ended up whipping the caramel in my food processor when I wanted to blend it with a little more coconut oil. So please be aware that this has a very creamy, soft texture, rather than a really firm and chewy caramel slice like the kind you might see made with dates and the like. Personally, I think this complements the base, with crunchy buckwheat, perfectly! Either way, it’s pretty delicious if I may say so myself, and it is so easy to make it’s well worth a spot on your Christmas table.
Dairy, Gluten & Refined Sugar Free
Time: Caramel (can be made in advance): 1 hour Base and chocolate: 30 mins Setting time: 20 mins
Serves: 16 regular squares, or approximately 20 small bites
for the caramel…
2 cans coconut cream
3/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons coconut oil
for the base…
3/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons coconut oil
for the chocolate…
6 tablespoons coconut oil
6 tablespoons almond butter
9 tablespoons cacao powder
3 teaspoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Add the caramel ingredients, except for the dates and coconut oil, into a large saucepan; stir well and bring to the boil. Once it boils turn the heat down to medium and leave it, without stirring for approximately 45 minutes, or until it becomes a thick and dark caramel sauce.
2. Set the caramel aside and let cool. This works great if you make it the night before and leave it in the fridge over night.
3. Make the base by blending all the ingredients and then pressing it into a square tray or plastic container. Set in the freezer while you continue.
4. Blend the dates for the caramel until they become a paste, and then add the coconut oil. (If you look at my pictures you will notice there are some flecks of dates- because I’m impatient! These were actually quite nice as little nuggets of chewiness, but if you’d prefer a smooth consistency then make sure you blend adequately).
5. Add the caramel sauce in and blend until it becomes soft and airy like whipped cream.
6. Add the caramel on top of the base, and smooth out using the back of a heated spoon (run it under hot water). Set in the freezer.
7. Make your chocolate by gently warming all the ingredients over a double boiler on the stove, and mix thoroughly as you go.
8. Lastly, pour the chocolate over the caramel and allow it to set in the freezer.
9. Slice before the chocolate fully hardens, to avoid any cracking, and keep in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them!