My husband came home with huge bags of dates and walnuts. They are a divine combination and this is a great way to use them.
Don't let my too-ugly-for-Instagram pic put you off. Food styling is NOT my strong suit, but dishing up delicious food is! This is an old favourite, but with a healthier twist: I use dates for the caramel and walnuts for the base. But even so, this is definitely "sometimes food", as Sesame Street's Elmo would say, and is best enjoyed in small portions as an occasional treat.
I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I adore these! They also freeze really well, and can actually be eaten straight from the freezer.
200g walnuts (or almonds - or a mix of the two!)
1 cup shredded coconut
8 dates, soaked in water for 30 minutes and pitted
1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional - I often find I don't need any oil in this mixture as the soaked dates hold the base together nicely. It's only necessary if your mix is not holding together when you press it down.)
25 dates, soaked in water for 30 minutes and pitted
200g almond butter (or cashew or macadamia nut butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
150g 80% cocoa chocolate, melted
50g raw cacao powder, 100ml melted coconut oil and 50ml maple syrup
Place walnuts, coconut, dates and coconut oil in a food processor. Pulse for 1 minute.
Press mixture into a 20cm x 20cm tray, greased with macadamia nut or grape seed oil and lines with non-stick baking paper.
Cover and refrigerate while you make the date caramel.
Place dates, almond butter and vanilla paste in food processor.
Process for 2 minutes, until mixture reaches a smooth consistency.
Add 1-2 teaspoons of oil (coconut, macadamia or grape seed) if mixture is too thick
Melt the chocolate or combine the cacao powder, melted coconut oil and maple syrup and mic until smooth.
Remove base from fridge.
Spoon date caramel mixture over base. Hint: The date caramel is super-sticky, so fill a glass with hot water and place half a dozen spoons in it, and keep using the hot/wet spoons to spread the mixture and stop it from sticking
Once the base is covered with the date caramel, pour the melted chocolate over.
Return to fridge for 1 hour or overnight.
Once the caramel slice has chilled, cut into small slices and serve.