These are a bit of an indulgent treat due to the 3 step process to make them and also based on cost but if you can source the dates at a good price (buy in bulk and freeze is a good idea) and you can find some good quality dark chocolate at a reasonable price too, then they are so worth the effort to make them.
They are a mixture of nuts, dates, almond butter and dark chocolate and are a healthier version of a Millionaires Shortbread with a biscuit type base, gooey caramel centre and a crisp chocolate topping which cracks as you bite into it – a wonderful combination!
If you try to cut the slices as soon as they come out of the fridge, they are likely to crack so a good way to avoid this is to either wait a little while for the chocolate to come to room temperature or, run a sharp knife under hot water and very gently and gradually, cut through the chocolate, going over the same line/cut until you cut through the chocolate (use a ruler as a guide for a straight line) and through to the gooey caramel layer, the other 2 layers are easy to cut through without damaging the structure.
Cut into the size you prefer but keep in mind they are quite rich so one or 2 small square is enough to satisfy a sweet tooth!
Store in an airtight container, in the fridge for 3-4 days. You could freeze but freezing may affect the chocolate (discoloration) but it will still be edible.
To make these vegan, swap the butter for coconut oil.
Delectable Chocolate Almond Date Slices
- 100 g butter melted, sub for coconut oil if vegan
- 50 g desiccated coconut
- 50 g rolled oats
- 100 g mixed nuts
- 100 g soft dates
- 1 TBSP chia seeds
ALMOND DATE CARAMEL MIDDLE LAYER
- 250 g soft dates
- 100 g smooth almond butter
- 1 TBSP pure Maple syrup
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 1 heaped TBSP coconut oil
- You will need a 20cm square, loose bottomed baking tin, lined with baking paper and some baking beans.A preheated oven temperature of 160 C (fan).
- Add the melted butter (or coconut oil), desiccated coconut, oats, mixed nuts, soft dates (if not soft, soak in boiled water for 10-15mins) and chia seeds to a food processor and blitz until you form a sticky dough.
- Press the mixture into the lined baking tin and press down using a fork or back of a spoon until evenly spread.
- Add a layer of baking paper to the top of the base and add the baking beans on top. Bake in the oven at 160 C (fan) for 10 minutes, remove the baking beans and baking paper and bake for a further few minutes until the mixture is dry but not browning. Remove the base from the oven (turn the oven off) and place the tin in the freezer while you prepare the middle layer.
ALMOND DATE CARAMEL MIDDLE LAYER
- Add the soft dates to a food processor with the almond butter and maple syrup and blitz until smooth for about 1-2 minutes.
- Remove the baking tin from the freezer and smooth the caramel mixture on top of the base and evenly spread. If the caramel is sticking to the back of the spoon, run the spoon under hot water or smear a little oil onto the back of the spoon so it glides more easily.
- Replace the tin back into the freezer while you make the chocolate topping.
- Place a medium sized heat-proof bowl over the small pan of boiling water and turn up the heat until the water boils. Turn down the heat to a medium setting and add the chocolate pieces and coconut oil to the bowl, stirring frequently until it melts completely.
- Turn off the heat and remove the baking tin from the freezer. Pour the melted chocolate mixture on top of the caramel layer and tilt around until the chocolate covers the entire caramel layer.
- Leave the chocolate to layer to set in the fridge for about 30mins before slicing into 24 pieces.