I’ve been trying to get into the habit of experimenting more with desserts in the kitchen, and this Peanut Butter Caramel & Chocolate Slice has certainly motivated me even more!
It’s smooth, rich, sweet, and balanced. The combination of peanut butter and chocolate is not one that you can really fail with. When I first thought of making a tart, I didn’t think that it would be this hard. Hard because it was impossible to find a pan that was not non-stick or aluminium! When you know that they are unsafe, even if you use it every now and then, I didn’t want to bring that into my home. I also called around my local charity stores thinking they might have one, but apparently, it’s a rarity, as most people that buy them, hold onto them or dispose of them if the non-stick wears off or the dish is no longer doing what it’s meant to do.
So, I then started thinking, well even if I find one that’s made of stainless steel, realistically, how often would I use it? This is the question I tend to ask myself more and more and find that there is typically an alternative way of doing things.
I put on my thinking cap and literally within hours I had a tin I could use! I asked my friend that owns a vegan cake making business (which should have been something I should have considered straight away) if she had one I could borrow. She had 3-4 I could choose from and we met up for lunch a few short hours later and I picked which one suited my needs best.
A lesson to learn, ask around if you don’t have what you need. If you’ll only use it once every few years and don’t need it taking up space in your cupboard, don’t buy it. There’s always someone you know that will most likely be happy to lend you what they have.
The tin was a little older and my friend suggested I line it with baking paper anyways just to be on the safe side. So this is why the edges didn’t turn out perfect, but honestly, to me, as long as it tastes good, I don’t mind.
I’ve never been one of those super perfectionist type cooks that needs everything to be perfect. I cook food that’s real and make sure that the food looks attainable. I don’t want others to feel intimidated by the recipe and give up before they’ve even tried. My food is not perfect, and I’m not trying to make it look that way.
I really enjoyed developing this one and wanted to also make it easy. Which it totally is!
- 2 cups almond meal
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 flax egg*
- ½ cup vegan butter (room temperature)
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup peanut butter (plain, unsweetened or salted)
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup almond milk
- Pinch of salt
- ¾ cup vegan dark chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup almond milk
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
- Place all crust ingredients into a food processor and pulse until it forms a dough.
- Place unbleached parchment paper on the bottom and coming up the sides of your 20cm tart tin.
- Push down the batter evenly making sure to get it into the dips of the sides of the tart tin.
- Bake for 15 minutes on 180C (350F) and then on 190C (375F) for 5 minutes until the crust edges start to brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before placing in the freezer carefully to completely cool for around 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, place all filling ingredients in the food processor and blend well until you reach a nice thick and fairly smooth consistency. I don’t mind the peanut butter chunks (if using crunchy) to still be there. Set aside.
- Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate and milk for the topping, stirring occasionally to make sure it combines well and melts evenly. Remove off heat and set aside.
- Once the base has completely cooled, remove from freezer and scoop the filling mixture onto the base. Smooth over nice and even as it’s a little thicker.
- Pour over the chocolate and tap a few times to remove any air bubbles.
- Place in fridge to set for around 1-1.5 hours.
- Remove from tart tin and peel baking paper off carefully.
- Cut into slices and serve.
*1 tbsp flax meal and 2.5 tbsp water, mix well and let sit for 5 minutes.