Mmmmmm caramel slice. If there’s one slice that I think I’d rank above all others, it’s the humble caramel. There’s just something about the way it combines so many awesome elements. Crumbly biscuit. Sweet, sweet caramel. Chocolate. Seriously, what’s not to love?
I’d been hankering for a slice of slice these past few weeks but as I’ve been largely off the sweet stuff, thought I’d probably struggle at the local cake shop, ordering a ‘slice of sugar free caramel slice please’. I thought the chances of me actually finding a place where the staff would nod sagely and promptly wheel out a dextrose sweetened chunk of caramel heaven was slim to none.
I then hopped onto Google and searched for ‘healthy caramel slice recipes’. There were tons. The majority however were raw. And while I’m partial to a raw dessert, I knew in my heart it couldn’t quite nail what I wanted out of my slice, namely that crumbly deliciousness that can only come from being baked in the oven. Raw desserts are also on the pricey side of things to make, due to the high concentration of ingredients like nuts/seeds, organic sweetener and medjool dates.
So unable to find exactly what I was looking for, I freestyled it. I’m fairly good these days at pulling together a mish mash of recipes to create a single end product that delivers what I’m looking for. Add to that the fact that I can spot a really sugar laden set of ingredients from 10 metres away and I figured I could probably pull this one off using a combo of resources from the net, the ‘Sweet Poison’ cookbook and my own imagination.
Without any further adieu, here’s what I did!
- 1 cup plain wholemeal flour
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¾ cup dextrose (or regular sugar)
- 125g butter, melted
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Caramel layer
- 1 cup dextrose
- ½ cup thickened cream
- 85g butter, chopped into cubes
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp water
- Chocolate layer
- 3 tbsp refined (flavourless) coconut oil or flavourless cooking oil of your choice
- 200g chocolate - You've got a choice here. I used 150g dark and 50g milk to reduce the fructose content. I also used 'eating' (as opposed to cooking) chocolate as I prefer the taste. You can use any combination you like really though I always reckon the better the quality of chocolate you use, the better the end result.
- Preheat oven to 170c or 150c fan forced.
- To make the base, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz until crumbly.
- Grease a slice tin (or you could line with baking paper, we didn't have any) and press the base mixture into the tin, smoothing out as much as possible and trying to ensure a uniform thickness throughout.
- Place tin into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until just slightly golden. Keep a really close eye on it! (I think I left mine in a little bit too long as I waited for it for become 'properly' golden which resulted in a slightly overcooked biscuit crust).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- When crust is cool to the touch, start on the caramel.
- Tip the dextrose into a large saucepan and heat over medium until it melts and becomes liquid. Do this SLOWLY as it is very easy to burn.
- Bring to the boil and cook for a couple of minutes or until golden and caramelly looking.
- Add the butter, stirring continuously until combined.
- Remove from the heat and add the cream, stirring until smooth.
- Combine the cornflour and water in a small cup, whisk until no longer lumpy then pour into the saucepan.
- Turn temperature to low and return the saucepan to the heat. Stir continuously until mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- When cool, pour over the base and pop into the oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and place in the fridge to cool completely.
- To make the chocolate layer, place the chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl (I used a ceramic one) over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Gently melt, stirring constantly to prevent burning (if you burn the choc, you'll need to start again as it tastes awful).
- When completely melted and smooth, pour over the base and caramel and place into the fridge to set.