Forget about OMG, this bad boy is an Oh Eff Me Sideways deal. A crunchy chocolate base, creamy peanut salted caramel with roasted almond chunks and a smooth chocolate topping, because, well chocolate.
There’s nothing not to love about this slice – chocolate plus caramel plus nuts, this is a magic combination; if you disagree I’d love to hear more about why you hate fun.
And you know what else is great about this? You can indulge with the guilt and dirty food hangover because it’s raw and totally refined sugar, gluten and dairy free. Note though, I used the word ‘indulge’; although it’s made from beautiful real food ingredients instead of manufactured junk it’s still a treat, a damn fine treat, but a treat all the same. It’s deliciously rich and sticky and you’ll find a little goes a long way, so savour and enjoy.
Get this stuff
Chocolate Crunch Base
½ C walnut pieces
¼ C prunes plus ¼ C dates or ½ C of one or the other, dates should be soaked for an hour or two first to soften and then drained
½ C cacao or high quality dark cocoa
½ C cacao buckini crackles (recipe here) or, if that’s just too much like hard work you can just sub in raw buckwheat groats which will still give you a good crunchy texture.
Peanut Salted Caramel Centre
½ C smooth peanut butter – make sure you choose a clean one that has just peanut and maybe some a touch of salt, not that other that’s 60% nuts and 40% bullshit. Do yourself a favour and read the label or better yet, make your own!
½ C tahini – I recommend using hulled for this recipe as the unhulled has a very strong flavour which can dominate rather than compliment the caramel
½ C rice malt syrup
½ C dates, pre-soaked
2 T coconut oil
½ t pink salt or more depending on how salty you like your caramel
½ C roasted almonds, roughly chopped
4 T rice malt syrup
4 T coconut oil or cacao butter
4 T cacao or good quality dark cocoa
pinch of salt
Do this with it
Grease and line a 20x20cm (or thereabouts) slice tin with baking paper so your finished slices will be easy to lift out. Yes, this is essential, don’t be a broken arse and try to skip it and don’t say you weren’t warned. Alternatively you can use two mini tins, which I often do if I’m planning to make a cute little gift out of one.
Starting from the bottom up first job is the base. Throw the walnut pieces, drained dried fruit and cacao in the blender and puree it into a smooth chocolately paste – it will still be quite wet at this stage. Scoop all that delicious looking brown gloop in to a bowl and stir through the buckini crackles. You need to do this by hand rather than in the blender to keep the buckinis in tact, which is essential to the whole crunchy base and trust me, you want a crunchy base.
Pour the mixture into your loaf tin or tins, smooth into an even layer, pack it down firmly and then put it in the freezer to set while you work on the caramel.
Gently warm your caramel ingredients a little bit first so they blend together nicely. The coconut oil should be super soft to touch or near to liquid. Put everything except the roasted almonds in your blender or food processor and work it into a really smooth glossy caramel. Exercise a bit of patience here and give it time, you’ll see how it all comes together and then magically thicken as it blends. I use a Vitamix which is admittedly pretty shit hot at the mixing blitzing jobbies so if you’re using a lower powered piece of machinery it may just take a little longer.
Give it a bit of taste for the salt factor and yes, it does need at least some. Normal caramel is made with butter, which adds the slightly salty element but as we’re not using butter you need to add some salt back in to accommodate for it. I like a good salty caramel, I find it works really well against the sweetness, so I tend to be a little heavier handed but you’re the one eating this so make sure it tastes good to you.
Once the flavour is bang on and it’s turned into thick, sticky caramel remove the base from the freezer, sprinkle the roasted almonds over evenly, pour the caramel over top and send it back to the ice box.
It’ll need about half an hour or so for the caramel to harden so take a break, pour yourself a drink or lick the spoons or something while you wait.
The final stage is one last layer of chocolate because in my opinion there is always room for more chocolate. This part is easy; melt all the ingredients together, mix damn well and pour over the caramel. The hardest part about this stage is that now you have to wait for it all to set and the freezer is once again your most efficient method. Give it at least a couple of hours so it hardens thoroughly and you can cut it without the whole shebang disintegrating into a shitshow. Don’t ruin it this close to the finish.
Run a warm knife around the edges and use the paper lining to lift it out of the tray. Carve it into chunks and if you can save yourself from eating it all at once store any remainder in the freezer, ideally away from the prying eyes of those people you live with so you don’t have to share it. Not that this happens in my house, nope definitely not…