There is nothing more indulgent than chocolate, creamy caramel and a buttery shortbread base and this recipe is just that, but without the added sugar, grains, dairy or other additives. It’s one of my favourite recipes and one that I have made, to date, eight times for my husband, special guests and, well, me!… just to check that it works, of course!
For those of you following a low-carb, sugar-free diet, or for those of you who are diabetic, please be mindful that these do contain sugar and be it natural or not, sugar is sugar and will affect your blood glucose level. I think it’s important to realise our limits and not restrict ourselves completely of the odd treat, as that makes life jolly boring and rather bleak. I try to create healthier alternatives when it comes to treats as at least you then know what you are putting in to your body!
Out of these ingredients I tend to get 12 delicious squares- which trust me, are big enough to feel like you’ve had a treat! I do try to use as few ingredients as I can and nothing too peculiar. I have said this before, but I do find quite a lot of these health and free from blogs to be rather limiting when it comes to sourcing the ingredients and once you find them you realise that you need a lottery win to afford them! When I used to live in London there were so many big health food superstores so it was certainly easier to find the more peculiar ingredients, but now that we live in the
middle of nowhere countryside, it’s your bog standard supermarket, or nothing. I was trying to find tahini the other day and I may as well have been speaking another language to the poor guy, needless to say I thanked him, paid for my shopping and left. I do try to think of everyone when I make my recipes as I realise that this blog reaches people from all over the world, for which I am eternally grateful (!) but do let me know if you find the ingredients too obscure and I can suggest alternatives!
To make them I always use silicone moulds like this one. I find it so much easier to get them out as you can literally just peel the silicone from around them. I then use a hot sharp knife (which I run under boiling kettle water) to slice them in to squares. You need to use the hot knife as the chocolate’s quite thick and hard and will break in to shards if you don’t. Feel free to use less chocolate for a thinner top! I always cut them when they have been in the fridge for about 30 mins, so that they are still firm but not frozen!
If you want to buy cashew nut butter in bulk (rather than an overpriced little jar), then I recommend buying it from here, there’s even 30% off at the moment. The cashew nut butter really enhances the caramel flavour and texture, but if cashew nut butter isn’t your thing then do feel free to substitute it for anything else (almond nut butter, coconut butter, seed butter etc).
Scroll down for the recipe!
- 75g desiccated coconut
- 100g ground almonds
- 2 TBSP cashew nut butter
- 1.5 TBSP cacao (or cocoa powder if you don't have cacao!)
- Pinch of sea salt
- Optional 1TBSP sweetener ( I don't think it's needed, given the sweetness of the top two layers are!)
- 90g dates, pitted (I like to use Medjool dates due to their caramel like texture, but you can just use any other date if you prefer)
- 2 TBSP cashew nut butter
- 100ml boiling water
- 1.5 TBSP coconut oil (very important addition as this is what will allow the caramel centre to set!)
- 100g 85% good quality chocolate, chopped in to shards / pieces (or what ever chocolate you desire!)
- 1 TBSP coconut oil (optional)
- In to a food processor place desiccated coconut, ground almonds, cacao, cashew nut butter and sea salt. On a high speed blend for about 2 minutes and then using a spatula scrape the mixture down from the sides and then blend again for a further 1 or 2 mins until the mixture's sticking together ready to be pressed in to your tin (if it hasn't become sticky by this stage continue to blend until it is!)
- Once it's sticking have a quick try to make sure you are happy with the sweetness, if you want to add a little sweetener then please do so now and blend for 20 seconds
- Now press your base in to your desired mould (I use a silicone one as easier to remove) and freeze for approx 30 minutes
- Whilst this is freezing place your pitted dates in 100ml boiling water to soak
- Remove the base from the freezer and set aside
- Place the soaked dates (with the water they were in!) in to the food processor, add the cashew nut butter and coconut oil and blend until smooth, you may need to scape the sides down a couple of times before it's a smooth texture
- Now spoon the mixture on top of the base and spread evenly
- Pop in to the freezer again for about 45 minutes - 1 hr until set
- Top layer
- Carefully Break chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl with coconut oil. Sit over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow the chocolate and coconut oil to melt, stirring occasionally
- Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel middle layer (which must be set!), spread evenly and then pop back in to the freezer for about 30 minutes until set
- Once fully set, remove from freezer and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes
- Now, remove from the mould, carefully, place on a chopping board, run boiling water over a sharp knife and then carefully and slowly slice your shortbread in to desired squares. You may need to boiling water your knife a few times during this process! Please do do this as otherwise the chocolate will break!
- Keep in a sealed container in the fridge or in the freezer for a later date!
*Cashew nut butter can be replaced by any other butter, I have only tried this recipe with cashew nut butter so cannot comment on how it would taste with another nut butter
*You can keep these in the freezer for up to 3 months in a sealed contains, or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in a sealed container