Caramel slices are available in bakeries, but they are often sickly sweet. However, the caramel is naturally sweetened with whole dates and balanced with earthy nut or seed butter. The crunchy base contrasts with the smooth filling and creamy chocolate. The coconut cream binds to the chocolate topping to make it easier to cut, but not too much coconut cream so as to maintain the “snap” reminiscent of the chocolate on conventional caramel slices.
Caramel Slice [Vegan]
For the Base:
- 1 1/2 cups almonds, or any other nut or seed
- 1/3 cup pitted dates, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- Pinch of salt
For the Caramel Layer:
- 1 1/2 cups pitted dates, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
- 1/2 cup almond butter, or any other nut or seed butter
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut nectar or maple syrup (optional)
- 1 teaspoon lucama powder (optional)
For the Chocolate Ganache Topping:
- 1 1/3 cups store-bought vegan chocolate, melted
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream
For the Decorations (Optional):
- Chopped pistachios and rose petals or whatever you have in your pantry, as desired
To make the Base:
- Line an 8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper.
- Add the almonds to a food processor and process until it forms coarse crumbs.
- Drain the dates and add them to the food processor with the cinnamon (if using) and salt.
- Process the ingredients until they are well combined. Scoop the mixture into the cake pan and press down to create a firm and even base.
To make the Caramel Layer:
- Drain the dates and reserve the soaking liquid. Add the drained dates and rest of the ingredients to a high-powered blender.
- Blend on medium to high for 3 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is very smooth and has no more chunks of nuts or dates. If the mixture is quite thick or the oils are separating from the solids, add some of the reserved date liquid and blend again.
- Pour the caramel mixture on the top of the base and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon or a cake scraper.
To make the Chocolate Ganache:
- Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl. Blend with a stick blender for 1 minute or until all the ingredients are fully combined and there are no oil streaks on top.
- Pour onto the caramel layer and decorate if desired. Set aside in the fridge or freezer overnight.
- Run a sharp knife under hot water, dry it with a tea towel, and cut the slice straight from the freezer.
- The freezer firms up the caramel, preventing the chocolate from crumbling when you cut into it.