Before I went clean, this was my FAVORITE delight to get fresh from the bakery. Today I just had an inkling to get all nostalgic and bite into a thick, caramel-y slice complete with short crust and dark chocolate topping and share that goodness with my small people. Or not share. In fact probably not...
In the end I set about making my own clean version which meant there was plenty enough to go around, minus all the white sugar and chemicals of the bakery variety, and much to the kid's delight.
- 1 cup of whole nuts
(I used a mix of organic ABC and some left over macadamias. Skin LOVES brazil nuts in particular, they are full of the antioxidant selenium, which helps with skin elasticity and reducing cell damage from free radicals. However it's recommended you only eat a small amount every day, so I find using ABC mix which also has almonds and cashews, ideal!)
- 1 cup of almond meal
- 1/2 cup of coconut
- 1/4 cup of coconut oil
- 1 Tbs of b grade natural maple syrup
- 100 g of pitted medjool dates
- pinch of salt.
Chop the nuts in your food processor then add the dates and process until combined. Finally add the other ingredients and pulse until it comes together. Line a rectangle dish with baking paper and press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom. The size of your dish will determine how thick your base is, a smaller dish will mean a thicker crust, and a slightly larger dish will make it thinner. Same applies with the caramel!
- 1/2 cup of b grade natural maple syrup
- 1/2 cup of raw honey
- 1 cup of any nut butter (almond, cashew or macadamia work well).
- A small pinch of salt
Combine the honey and maple syrup in a pot and put on a high heat to bring to the boil. Once boiling leave for a couple of minutes swirling the pot occasionally until mixture has risen around 2-3 cm up the pot. Take off the heat, add in the nut butter and whisk vigorously until well combined and smooth. I did the whisking in my Kitchen Aid and it was super easy and fast. The mixture will thicken on standing so be quick to pour it onto your crust, then pop in the fridge to set (this won't take long). In the mean time make the chocolate layer.
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup of b grade natural maple syrup
- A small pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp of natural vanilla essence.
Blend this all up in a high powered food processor or Vitamix until well combined. Spread over your caramel and crust, pop back in the fridge for 20 minutes or longer, then cut with a hot sharp knife.
Although this recipe is clean, it is still high in natural sugars and calories. You could swap out the maple syrup in the crust and ganache for rice malt syrup if you like, however the maple and honey combination in the caramel is what keeps it fairly true to the original caramel flavour. The higher sugars are due in part to heating up the honey and maple syrup. So enjoy, but maybe..... share? ;)