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Coconut caramel Fig slice

I first tested this recipe months ago when cooking for my family in London, but I was in a rush so it was very much a 'bung delicious ingredients in the blender and hope for the best' recipe. It turned out perfectly, but I couldn't remember exactly how much of what I'd put in...so of course I had to give it another go. Life is hard, I know.

These are vegan, refined sugar free, and gluten and grain free. And really, really yummy! My 91 year old Grandma was staying this weekend, and honestly she wasn't a huge fan of some of the healthier recipes (she asked 'what was wrong' with the massaged kale and then called it soggy without taking a single bite!); but she absolutely raved about this one. It's definitely my favourite recipe so far as well!

Ingredients:

For the base

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 dates (medjool are best, but other varieties are fine as long as you soak them for a few minutes in hot water first)
  • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut
  • Pinch salt

For the caramel

  • 3 tbsp peanut butter (I used Meridian coconut peanut butter)
  • 16 regular dates, soaked, or 12 large medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp rice malt syrup (optional). Can use maple syrup or honey as an alternative
  • Pinch salt

For the top

  • 2 tbsp cacao
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • Fresh figs

Method:

  • Mix all the base ingredients in your blender until they start to stick together. You should be able to squeeze them together with your fingers and they won't fall apart. 
  • Empty the mixture into a medium sized tray (see my pictures for an idea) and press down into the base. Really pack it in as much as you can; it helps the base hold together better. 
  • Pop in the freezer.
  • Then blend the ingredients for the caramel layer. Super simple! 
  • Spread the layer over the base. TOP TIP - this can be really sticky and quite hard going to spread. If you get a mug with some boiling water in it, and pop a metal spoon in the water before you use it to spread the caramel, your life will be infinitely easier, I promise! Keep dipping the spoon back into the hot water at regular intervals.
  • Back to the freezer while we make the top layer.
  • For the cacao layer, simply melt to coconut oil, (on the hob or in the microwave is fine) then whisk in the cacao powder and syrup. 
  • Pour the liquid over the other layers, making sure it's evenly spread.
  • Return to the freezer for about 5 minutes before topping with slices figs, then freeze again for at least 20 minutes
  • This slice keeps best in the fridge, or in the freezer as long as you remember to take it out to thaw 20 minutes before eating! (Otherwise the wait is torture, as I discovered first hand!)

Notes:

I know a lot of you are huge fans of oats, so the base can easily be changed slightly to include them; simply swap out any of the nuts for oats (1 cup's worth). I'd recommend 1 cup oats, 1 cup almonds, 1/2 cup cashews, and ditch the walnuts, but whatever works for you!