Mmmmmmmm, granola, raw caramel and chocolate! My idea of food heaven, among a few other things (after all there is a lot of heavenly food out there).
I have loved caramel slices for as along as I can remember. I mean what’s not to love: a crunchy base, a gooey caramel middle and a hard chocolate top. My first memory of caramel slices is at school. My Mum usually allowed me to have a school dinner as a treat on a Friday. As a kid, I loved chips and I loved any sweets, so school dinners on a Friday worked out perfectly for two reasons:
- Firstly, the dinner ladies used to give away any chips they hadn’t sold for FREE! I was a bit a chubbawubba as a child and running was not my forte, but when the dinner ladies announced free chips, I bet I could have given even Usain Bolt a run for his money (absolutely no pun intended).
- Secondly, I got to buy a caramel slice for dessert and I enjoyed every last crumb!
These days as I navigate my way through life without processed food, in particular without refined sugar, I am loving finding new ways to make my favourite sweet treats. With my granola at my disposal, I have a perfect foundation to build from. In fact I found out very quickly that if I grind the granola, mix it with coconut oil and allow it to set the freezer, then I have an abundance of goodies; a biscuit, a tart crust, a cheesecake base and, oh, a perfect base for a Breakfast by Bella style caramel slice. One stage down.
Next, the gooey centre. When I first started getting into “no bake” sweets and desserts, I soon realised that medjool dates are a crucial ingredient. They are naturally sweet, they bind things together and let’s not forget their delicious flavour and smooth caramel texture. They are hands down the best go to for raw desserts and caramel slices are certainly no exception. Better still, when I first mixed dates with peanut butter, I had no idea how truly exquisite the combination would be. I AM SO HAPPY I FOUND THIS CONCOCTION!
Last but certainly not least, the chocolate top. I have been making my own chocolate for quite some time now. I cannot even remember the last time I bought a chocolate bar. Cacao is a major part of my foodie lifestyle and I can’t imagine what I would do without it. I AM ADDICTED! The cacao itself was something I introduced myself to in stages. It started with cacao powder which I actually didn’t like at first. In fact, I remember feeling gutted that I dove straight in and bought a kilo of the stuff before I had even tried it. At that time, I had only just started weaning myself off the nasties, so cacao powder was a little too bitter but I loved that it was chocolate in its raw form. After some more experimenting, I quickly became hooked. When I then discovered cacao butter and realised I could make my own chocolate…OH MY GOD… I was ecstatic, but uncontrollably so. I mean let’s just think about this for a second:
- REAL chocolate
- Full of nutrients
- No added nasties
- No PHD required to understand the ingredients
… just pure raw organic delicious chocolate!
Excuse me while I scoop my bottom lip from the floor. After plenty of trials and experimentation, I have finally mastered the art of basic chocolate making, at least enough to make that gorgeous hard chocolate caramel slice topping.
So there you have it, three separate layers of yumminess in one classic treat!
To make your own Nutty Caramel Slices, follow the link to my recipe here: http://www.breakfastbybella.com/recipes/nutty-caramel-slices/