Chocolate Caramel Squares
This dessert has to be one of my all-time favourites, a classic treat that certainly made a regular appearance throughout my childhood; gobbled up on mass for an after school sugar fix (normally resulting in me bouncing off the walls, much to my Mother’s delight). This version, although still a treat, is however Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free and Refined Sugar-free – HORRAY!
- 4 tbsp almond butter
- 4 medjool dates
- 3 tbsp Lucuma powder
- 1/2 cup gluten free oats
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 1 cup pecans
- 3 tbsp rice malt or maple syrup
- 2 tbsp cashew butter
- 2 tbsp leftover of the caramel layer
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1/2 cup cacao butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- Place the medjool dates and pecans in filtered water and leave them to to soak overnight in the fridge.
- Line a tin with cling film, I used approximately a 4x10inch rectangular cake tin. Place all the base layer ingredients into a food processor and blend together well. Spread the combined mixture over the tin and press it down, smoothing it over slightly. Place this in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
- To start on the middle layer, take the soaked dates out of their water and put them in your food processor or blender. Start to blend them with 1/2 cup of fresh, filtered water and add slightly more water if necessary as you go to get the smoothest possible caramel consistency. Add a tsp of vanilla essence and blend with the drained, previously soaked pecans, melted coconut oil and a good pinch of salt until nice and smooth. This then needs to be spread on top of the crust, leaving approximately 2 tbsp leftover, and put your squares back in the freezer for at least another hour.
- For the chocolate topping, start by putting the cacao butter and the coconut oil in a bain-marie or on a very low heat in a pan to slowly melt them together. Then add your cacao powder, caramel, cashew butter and rice malt. You can adjust the amount of date caramel and rice malt depending on how much sweetness you like. Once everything is well combined, this should also be poured and spread on top of the other layers and allowed to set at room temperature this time, for another half an hour.
- Once everything has set, dust with a little cacao powder for that extra touch, slice carefully and serve! If, unlike myself, you have enough restraint to not eat them all in one go then store any leftovers in the fridge.