I saw Nadia Lim’s Chocolate Date Caramel slice recipe on Facebook – a healthier chocolate caramel slice, and really wanted to give it a go. It was the best looking one I’d seen around plus I’d been wanting to see how good a healthier version was – chocolate caramel slice is my ultimate indulgence so a healthier one would be nice!
Only thing is I don’t have a food processor at the moment, so I made it using a stick blender. HARD work I tell you, but I thought I’d share how you could make a food processor slice using a blender or stick blender. So here’s Nadia’s recipe with the instructions slightly modified by me to help out all other fellow non food processor owners.
PS find the original recipe here
¾ cup fine rolled oats* (you can also use ground almonds as a GF alternative)
¾ cup dessicated coconut
6 medjool dates, pitted and cut into small pieces
½ cup ground almonds
pinch of salt
6-8 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or butter)
Date and cashew caramel filling ( you can half this for a smaller more manageable filling!)
400g packet dried pitted dates
1 cup boiling water
2 cups softened cashew nut pieces ** (I bought the crushed up pieces which makes it easier on the blender, but if you get whole ones, cut them up smaller to be easier on the blender)
¼ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup melted coconut oil (or butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract
** soak cashews in water overnight. Or if you’re not that onto it like me, simmer in gently boiling water for 15-20 minutes.
150-200g good quality dark (at least 70%) eating chocolate (I used Green and Black’s Organic 85% cocoa chocolate – which has hardly any sugar)
1 teaspoon neutral flavoured oil e.g. grape seed, canola, (optional – it softens the chocolate a little so it doesn’t set too hard. DO NOT use coconut oil or butter as this will make the chocolate set harder!)
1-2 tablespoons coconut thread
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line the bottom/sides of a slice dish with baking paper and lightly grease
1. Place oats, coconut thread, chopped medjool dates, ground almonds and salt in a bowl. With clean hands rub the date into the dry mixture – kind of like rubbing butter into flour when you make scones. After doing this, use your stick blender to blend the mixture together. I did this in batches of three then added it all together in one bowl. Drizzle in melted coconut oil/butter and pulse until well combined and the mixture holds together when you pinch it between your fingers. FYI I used 8 tablespoons.
2. Press mixture into the slice dish and press it down firmly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 15 minutes, then set aside in the fridge to cool while you make the caramel.
3. To make the caramel, place dates and water in a medium-size pot and boil, stirring frequently, and squishing the dates until they are very soft. They are ready whey they are all mushed up, and all the water has evaporated. Take the pot off the heat and add the softened cashew nuts, maple syrup, coconut oil/butter and vanilla. Mix well.
4. Blend up this mixture in 2-3 batches with your blender/stick blender and then mix it all together. It should be smooth and the cashew nuts all blended down.
4. Place dates in the food processor along with the softened cashew nuts, maple syrup, coconut oil/butter and vanilla. Blitz until nice and smooth – this will take at least a few minutes.
4. Spread caramel all over the base in the baking tin. Return to oven to bake for 10 minutes. Set aside in the fridge while you melt the chocolate.
5. Melt chocolate in a glass bowl set above a small pot of simmering water. NOTE – Make sure the pot is simmering rather than boiling hard as sometime steam will get moisture in your chocolate and make it cease up. Mix in oil if using. Pour melted chocolate all over the filling and spread it over evenly. Sprinkle with the coconut. Place in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours, or the freezer for at least 1 ½-2 hours, or until set. If it still seems a bit soft, return to the fridge/freezer for a bit longer.
Cut into about 25 pieces with a long, sharp serrated knife. Dip in hot water between slices for easier/cleaner cutting. The slice will keep for up to a week in the fridge.
And the verdict? Well the slice was yummy. Caramel tasting without being overpowered by date flavour. Mum loved it. I could tell she wasn’t joking too, as she cut a piece in half and immediately went back for the rest of the piece. And she told my sister she loved it. I did enjoy this – but I don’t think it quite tops the real deal though! But it does contain far more nutrients though so you can enjoy it knowing it’s not just empty sugar and carbs. It does still pack a fairly high sugar punch with the dates and maple syrup – so remember it’s still a treat!