Hands up if you love chocolate? Yep I see your hands and mine are up there with you!
I have always enjoyed a piece or 10 after dinner each night, but as I have become more health conscious, I have curtailed my intake and I have been on the look out for a healthier alternative to snacking in the evening.
Growing up in a Greek home, sweets were only served up on special occasions, like Greek Easter, Christmas, Christenings and the like so I didn’t long for sugary sweets at night but somehow I developed this habit over the years – especially when the kiddies came along and after a big day, sitting down to a hot cuppa with some chocolate, was a pleasurable treat and at times, a necessity as many of you parents would know what I mean!
My pastry chef daughter started making caramel slice on many occasions and after trying it, I loved it and often found it hard to stop at one serve. It was a very sweet slice and if I wanted to keep my weight in check, I knew I had to find an alternative.
Happy days are here people as I have found a healthier version of Chocolate Caramel Slice and I am here to tell you, it is good!
Not only is this a great alternative to curb the sweet tooth, but it is also gluten-free! Yep you heard right, gluten-free my friends!
It is an easy slice to make with no cooking required, just refrigeration, which is perfect for our summer weather as it has been quite hot here on the New South Wales coast and turning on the oven is something I’d rather not do when the temperature is pushing into the mid 30’s.
Which reminds me of a European summer holiday we took with our girls. I love the Mediterranean weather, it may be 40*C but the air is as dry as a chip and I find very manageable.
We had been travelling along the coast of the Peloponnese and arrived at a place called Monemvasia, a town in Laconia located on a small island off the east coast and linked to the mainland by a short causeway. It was a hot day, pushing into the low 40’s and we were desperate for a swim.
The town was absolutely breathtaking, like we had stepped into another time. The buildings were spectacular, high up on the hill knowing there had to be a great story to go with it.
The crystal clear blue waters of the sea beckoned for us to come on in and even though our tummies were growling and ready to feast on the lamb and oregano aromas wafting through the small quaint village, we were determined to cool down first.
There is just no way around it, the waters of the Mediterranean sea are the most stunning I have ever witnessed and the different shades of blue that you encounter as you dive into the deep sea is mind-blowing.
Although, I must confess, climbing out of the sea is an effort, those rocks are hard on your feet and if you want to lay down for a sun-bake, it’s almost impossible as each pebble pushing into your back reminds you why sand is a better alternative despite it getting everywhere unimaginable!
But back to this Chocolate Caramel slice – gluten free, healthy alternative and despite the small added expense of some of the ingredients, it’s going to be well worth the experience, just like my swim in the Mediterranean Sea despite those pesky little pebbles!
So here’s the recipe and I’d love to hear what you think and how you went with making it and any improvements you may have discovered.
RAW CHOCOLATE CARAMEL SLICE
1 cup almond meal
1 cup desiccated coconut
4 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons coconut milk
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
200g dark chocolate, chopped roughly
1 teaspoon olive oil
1. Lightly brush square 20cm cake tin with oil and line with baking paper extending to hang over sides.
2. Combine base ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly until mixture comes together. Press firmly into cake tin and place in refrigerator.
3. Place ingredients for middle layer in a bowl and mix together until smooth and well combined. Spoon onto base and spread out evenly with the back of the spoon. Place in refrigerator to set.
4. Place chocolate and oil in a small saucepan stirring over low heat until melted and smooth. Pour over middle filling and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.