Ok, confession time. Despite desserts featuring heavily on this blog, I’m actually not much of a sweet tooth. Given the choice between say chocolate and a serve of hot chips/fries, I’d choose munching on chips each time :P. With that said, I actually prefer making desserts over savoury dishes….if that makes any sense? Thankfully it’s not too hard to find willing volunteers who are prepared to accept my sweet treats. 🙂
Are you a sweet tooth or do you prefer savoury dishes?
I am however a big fan of caramel slice, with its shortbread base, slightly salty caramel filling and chocolate top layer. I think it’s the slight saltiness in the slice that does it for me.
Here’s a healthier version of the original. Instead of a shortbread base, I’ve substituted a base of blitzed up oats and coconut oil. Instead of condensed milk, I’ve used coconut cream, sweetened with dates. The chocolate layer is still chocolate! 🙂
2 cups Rolled Oats
90 grams Coconut Oil
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Dried Pitted Dates
1 pinch of Salt
300 ml Coconut Cream (not to be confused with coconut milk)
1 cup Dried Pitted Dates
1/2 cup Cashews
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 pinches of Salt
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
Line a rectangular slice tin (18cm x 28cm or 7 x 11 inch) with baking paper.
Soak your dates in hot water for 10 minutes and drain off the water.
Pop your oats in your food processor and blitz until it looks like this. You can skip this step if you’ve used quick cooking oats.
Add your drained dates to the food processor and blitz together with the oats until the dates are finely chopped. Add a pinch of salt, pour in your melted coconut oil and a tablespoon of maple syrup. Blitz again until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Tip the mixture into your lined slice tin. Spread the oat mixture so it covers the tin evenly and press down firmly with a spoon. Put in the freezer while you prepare your caramel filling.
Soak the dates for your caramel in hot water for 10 minutes and drain off the water. Put your drained dates in your food processor/blender and blend until smooth.
Carefully spoon the top creamy layer of your coconut cream into your blender/food processor. You want to try to leave out as much of the watery layer of your coconut cream as possible. You can use the remaining coconut cream as part of a smoothie or add it to your oats or cereal in the morning.
Add to your blender/food processor 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 2 pinches of salt, 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil and cashews and blend until you have a smooth mixture. The mixture is rather runny, so don’t panic.
Remove your slice tin from the freezer and pour the caramel over the oat base and smooth out with a spatula. Put in the freezer to freeze for at least an hour or leave overnight.
3. CHOCOLATE LAYER
When your caramel layer is fairly solid, you can prepare the chocolate layer.
Put your chocolate chips in a clean and dry microwave safe bowl with 1 tablespoon of canola oil (or any flavourless oil) and melt for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave again for 30 seconds. Stir. Mine was melted after 2 bursts of 30 seconds, but this step will depend on how powerful your microwave is and whether it’s a hot or cold day. Be sure to stir well after each 30 second session. Bear in mind the chocolate will continue to melt even after it’s been taken out of the microwave so please be careful not to burn your chocolate.
Pour the melted chocolate over your caramel layer and smooth with a spatula. You’ll need to work quickly as the chocolate will set quickly over the frozen layer. Now you do have to ensure that your caramel layer is frozen rather solidly otherwise you won’t be able to spread your top chocolate layer evenly.
Pop into your freezer and freeze for at least another 2 hours. The slice has to be frozen pretty solidly before you can slice this into neat servings otherwise you’ll end up with a squashed awful mess. Yes, it happened to me, so I know!
Leave to thaw for at least 15 minutes before serving. It needs to be frozen when you slice it, but please let it defrost before you eat it. You don’t want to risk chipping a tooth on this! ;P
If you don’t plan on sharing this, I’d defrost as many squares as you’re planning to eat and leave the rest in the freezer for future feasting sessions.