It’s hard not to love a caramel slice. It’s especially a nice treat to make for someone you want to spoil. I can think of a special person you may want to spoil this weekend. Can’t you?
My Mum left for a long well earned rest lots of years ago. When they are gone the empty space can sometimes make you feel rudderless. Parents are such an anchor and childhood only just seems to start making sense as you get older. There are so many things I wanted to tell my Mother over the years and so many things I wanted to ask. But that’s gone, time has passed and there is no chance.
Now I am a Mother of an intelligent good humoured young person. I want to waste no time sharing little things with him about my life and how I feel about him. There is only one life after all. It must be done now.
So, back to who I could spoil with this almost guilt free caramel slice.
I know you are thinking I have lost my marbles. How is it almost guilt free?. This slice, my friends is not made with sugar or cream, no condensed milk or even gluten. Nup. It’s almost entirely trouble free. That is unless you like sweet things and can’t stop eating it. It tastes like caramel yet it most certainly isn’t. The slice itself needs to be kept a little chilled for it to be at it’s best because it is also mostly unbaked.
This recipe is from Nadia Lim, a New Zealand based chef and nutritionist. I met her a couple of weeks ago. I love her fresh approach to food, she doesn’t preach about clean food and she’s not stuck in a health niche. She just makes fresh, interesting food. You may not have heard of her YET but I am sure that you will. I am often the Queen of cakes and sugar and so it seems that even I need to learn to make desserts another way too. ( sometimes).
The filling to this slice is made with dates, cashews and maple syrup. I have added butter but you could use coconut oil like Nadia does. Something a little different and kind of funky. To be fair I guess it’s still got natural sugar in it but put it this way, it doesn’t have any real added sugar, like I said, it’s a shock. Let me know how you go with it.
This also has a Skater seal of approval. I haven’t told him yet that he was eating dates and cashews. I might wait till he eats another piece.
- ¾ cup rolled oats or ground almonds ( 100gm) for gluten free
- ¾ cup ( 50gm) unsweetened coconut thread
- 2 Table spoon cocoa powder ( bioglan) or a rich Dutch cocoa
- ½ cup raw almonds
- 6-8 dates ( or what's left of the 500gm packet below, used for the filling)
- 6-8 Tablespoons melted coconut oil or melted butter
- salt (1/4 teaspoon)
- 400gm dates
- ¾ cup water
- 2 cups softened cashews ( either soak overnight or put into a pot. Just cover with water and simmer for 10 minutes, drain and leave to cool)
- ¼ cup Pure maple Syrup (approx 80 ml)
- ½ cup melted butter or coconut oil (100ml)
- 150 gm dark chocolate
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- First set the oven to 180C/ 350F. Line a 10in x 7 in or 325cm x 17cm rectangular tin with high sides or a brownie tin
- Put the coconut, cocoa, almonds, oats or almond meal and dates into the food processor and blitz till fine . Add 6 Tablespoons of the coconut or melted butter and combine again. Add the remainder if the mixture looks very dry and not starting to stick together.
- Spread onto the bottom of the tin and bake for 15-20 minutes or until starting to go golden around the edges. cool slightly then chill or freeze for up to 1 hour . The filling can be made and left till the base is ready.
- To make the filling soften the cashews by either simmering or soaking. Put the dates into a pot with the water. Simmer on low till the dates start to get soft. Mix them and they will turn into a purée. Cool. Add the dates, cashews maple syrup, vanilla and butter or coconut oil, into the processor and blend, scraping down the sides and blitzing again until very smooth
- Spread this over the nut base and even out with a pallet knife, or put a piece of plastic over the top and smooth down with your hands. Refrigerate for as long as possible.
- To make the chocolate icing. Melt the chocolate and oil over a double boiler till just melted and spread onto the slice with a pallet or knife,
- * If making a softer icing with dairy. Heat the cream and very finely chopped butter over a double boiler till thick and glossy but not hot. Spread over the slice,. This will chill a lot softer and be easier to cut.
Be nice to your Mother…………..tidy your room.