Throughout the Covid-19 lockdown, I had the time to learn some new recipes, pick up some cooking and baking tips from the internet, and come up with some completely new creations. One of my favourite creations was a combination of my favourite salted caramel balls (original blog post here) and cheesecake crust. I had to work with what I had left in my cupboards, ok? I know you can relate.
For the crust: in a food processor, combine 1/3 cup almonds, 1/3 cup walnuts, 1/3 cup pecans, 1 cup pitted medjool dates, and a generous dash of sea salt. Press the mixture into a rectangular cake pan lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate.
For the caramel: soak 1 cup pitted dates in boiling water for about 20 minutes. Drain the water and in your food processor, combine the dates with 1 teaspoon of vanilla and blend until you get a creamy consistency. Layer this on top of the crust and poke it back in the fridge.
For the chocolate topping: I just melted some milk chocolate chips in a double boiler because I can’t resist! To keep it completely healthy, you could melt down dark chocolate, combine coconut oil and cocoa powder, or sprinkle the top with cacao nibs.
And that’s it! Simple, hey? It helps to keep them in the freezer so they’ll get really firm, but it isn’t necessary. The ‘caramel’ squares are gluten-free (refined sugar-free and dairy-free too if you skip the milk chocolate!) and are packed with healthy fats and protein from the nuts. Enjoy with a cup of tea or your morning coffee (or whenever– you do you!!)