|The look and textures are surprisingly like the cooked dairy and sugar version, and the taste is quite similar too.|
No cooking? No dairy? No wheat? No sugar?- No problem!You don't need an oven or any special equipment to whip up these raw vegan treats if you buy fine oatmeal and ground almonds; in fact, when you taste them they're so much like the original you will be rawstruck! (sorry...) I have seen lots of different versions of these raw "bakes" recently, so I decided to have a go at developing my own recipe. I used finely-ground oats as well as almonds in the base. Some people use coconut, but I didn't want to change the flavours too much from the baked version. I stuck to ingredients that would give a buttery, sweet and vanilla-y flavour to the caramel too- no cashew butter in there for me. The top layer is just my standard raw vegan chocolate, made with cacao, only this time I ran out of agave after the first 50ml so I subbed date syrup for the rest; this gave a beautiful dark glossy finish without too much of an intrusive date flavour but it did not set as well as the all-agave version. The textures in this recipe are also quite close to the baked version; a crumbly, slightly crunchy base with gooey caramel, but the raw chocolate does not seem to set hard like conventional chocolate; it'a a bit more fudge-y. Once you assemble the ingredients, it's a fairly quick and easy recipe to make; quicker and easier than the baked version, in fact. This recipe makes 15 small squares. You only need a cookie-sized piece because it's so sweet! Warning: These will disappear from the fridge very quickly once people in your house get to know about them, so be sure to eat your share before they catch on...
4 tabs melted coconut oil
200g ground almonds
1 tab date syrup (or agave)
100g organic porridge oats
a generous pinch of seasalt
3-4 tabs melted coconut oil
400g fresh dates, stoned
2 1/2 tsps natural alcohol free vanilla essence
a small pinch of seasalt
1/2 cup (125ml) agave (only I used date syrup after the first 100ml agave as I ran out of it)
3/4 cup (50g) cacao powder
1/3 cup (90ml) melted coconut oil
- To make the first layer, grind the almonds and the oats until quite fine and mix all the ingredients together. Press firmly down into a rectangular tin lined with baking parchment and leave in the fridge to solidify while you make the second layer.
- The date caramel is made by mashing everything together. I actually did this by hand to see if it was possible (it is!) but you could use a blender or food processor. Spread it evenly on top of the base.
- Mix all the ingredients for the top together and pour on the caramel, making sure it spreads evenly and covers the middle layer. Set in the fridge.
- When set, cut carefully into little rectangles. Store in the fridge.
Allergy notes: I labelled these as wheat free rather than gluten free because although technically they contain no gluten, some people who are sensitive to gluten also get a similar reaction to the protein in oats. Also, unless you use suitably labelled oats, they will have been milled on a factory line which also handles wheat, so may contain traces of gluten from that. While we're on the subject: The Yogi Vegetarian blog takes no responsibility for allergic reactions incurred from making "free-from" recipes and does not claim to be an authority on this subject. (See blog policies page.) It's up to the reader to judge whether they will react to certain ingredients or not.