Caramel and Chocolate Slices

Caramel and Chocolate SlicesLeo Byrne Photography

I prefer these to almost any kind of chocolate bar you can buy, so I try to have some in my freezer all the time. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing friends dig into these, blissfully unaware that they are vegan, and then claim that they’re the nicest caramel squares ever!

Makes 10

Ingredients

For the base:

  • 140 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 100g cashew nuts
  • 90g desiccated coconut
  • 40g rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

For the date caramel:

200g Medjool dates, pitted

  • 4 tablespoons almond or cashew butter
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • A pinch of sea salt

For the top layer:

  • 100g cacao butter
  • 40g raw cacao powder
  • 20g coconut sugar or 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • A handful of flaked almonds

Method

  1. Put the dates, cashews, desiccated coconut and oats in a food processor and blend to combine.
  2. Line a 15cm x 20cm baking tin with non-stick baking paper, then transfer the base mixture to the tin, pressing it down firmly with your hands or a spatula. Make sure you get it into all the corners. Put in the freezer to set.
  3. Don’t worry about cleaning the food processor in between – just scrape it out with a spatula. Put all the date caramel ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth. Spread the caramel on top of the base and return to the freezer to set.
  4. Create a double boiler by simmering a little water in a saucepan and placing a second pan or heatproof bowl on top, making sure the bottom of the pan or bowl doesn’t touch the water. Put the cacao butter in the pan or bowl and allow to melt, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the cacao powder and coconut sugar until creamy. Pour the chocolate over the caramel layer. To add extra crunch, scatter some flaked almonds on top of the chocolate before you put it in the fridge to set.
  5. Refrigerate for 3 hours before cutting into 10 slices. These will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days, but I also love these straight from the freezer, where they will keep for up to two months.

Recipe credit: Holly White

Vegan-ish: A Gentle Introduction to a Plant-Based Diet by Holly White is published by Gill Books, priced €22.99