Show stopping dessert: paleo caramel slice. This pudding is free from all grains including gluten, as well as refined sugar

I absolutely adore creating decadent show stopping desserts, and they don’t get much better than my paleo caramel slice. With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what will get cooked on the big day. Here’s another suggestion for you to add to the memory bank, or Pinterest board.

You might be wondering what separates my puds from the millions of others on the web? The short answer is that mine are usually healthier. Like for like, they will almost always contain less sugar than other similar recipes you’ll come across. This includes natural sugars, because as I’ve mentioned before, natural sugar is still sugar. Sweeteners derived from fruit, honey or maple are better for you overall, providing they are pure. Let’s face it though, most people are addicted to sweet things. I believe, along with many experts, that the only way to truly get a grip is by having a lot LOT less.

This paleo caramel slice is not meant for everyday elevenses. It’s supposed to be a once in a special occasion show stopping dessert. For entertaining and celebrations – I’ve had excellent feedback from everyone who has tried it. What more could a wannabee chef ask for?

Ingredients for 10 slices

(base) 200g ground almonds
50g coconut flour
60ml coconut oil and extra for greasing the dish
tsp vanilla
(caramel) 150g butter
150g coconut palm sugar
(chocolate topping) 100g cacao butter
20g cacao powder

Method
– grease your dish with coconut oil and preheat the oven to 170C

– make the base by combining all the base ingredients together and rolling into a ball

– place the ball inside the dish and flatten out with your hands, once flat use a fork to prick the dough all over, then bake for 15 minutes

– after your base is cooked, and while it is cooling, make your caramel by heating the butter and coconut sugar over a med heat, stirring occasionally

paleo caramel slice– once the ingredients have melted, remove from the heat and whip it hard with a hand whisk to bring it together. After about fifteen seconds you will start to see luscious caramel forming before your eyes. I use salted raw butter, but you could use unsalted and add a pinch of sea salt, or leave it without salt. Goats butter also works well

– as soon as the caramel is ready, pour evenly over the base. If you are short on time you could place the dish into the freezer for ten minutes to cool, otherwise allow to cool down on the kitchen side. It’s vital that you place it on to a completely flat surface otherwise it will set wonky and ruin the aesthetics

– once cool, make your chocolate topping by melting the cacao butter and cacao powder in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted pour on top of the caramel, or use a piping bag to create funky patters like Polly did here, then leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve 

caramel slice blog picBefore we cut out refined sugar, caramel slice was my hubby’s favourite treat, so I did what any wannabe chef would do, and spent the best part of a year recreating it for him.

My first attempts were with a more traditional caramel, made with various types of sweeteners and goat dairy. It was super tasty, but over time it became too sweet for us, so I went back to the kitchen and came up with this.

It has a dried fruit and nut base, cashew and coconut oil caramel, and cacao butter chocolate topping. This pud definitely goes into my show stopping dessert category; and in comparison to it’s shop-bought counter parts, contains very little natural sugar per serving.

The recipe below is for 8-10 slices, and be warned this stuff is seriously addictive, I doubt highly you’ll manage to keep leftovers longer than a few days!

This recipe is grain free, dairy free and refined sugar free

the baseIngredients

(base) 3 dried figs
4 dried apricots
60g almonds
60g pecans
(caramel) 150g cashews
120ml coconut oil
tbsp vanilla
¼tsp pink salt
(chocolate topping) 50g cacao butter
2 tbsp cacao/cocoa powder
Tbsp honey (use maple syrup if you are vegan)

Method

– three hours before you want to start making the caramel slice, put your cashew nuts into a bowl and cover with cold water.  

caramel layer– whiz your base ingredients up together in a blender or food processor until they form a firm dough. If needs be add a tiny drizzle of coconut oil, but you shouldn’t need more than a tablespoon if you do.

– lightly grease a suitable tin, tip your dough out into the bottom of it, and press down firmly until it is covered. 

– make your caramel by draining the cashew nuts, and whizzing up with the rest of the caramel ingredients.

– pour over the biscuit layer, and pop into the freezer while you make your chocolate topping. 

– put the cacao butter, cacao/cocoa powder and honey into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, and melt down until it resembles melted chocolate.

caramel slice chocolate topping– remove the tin from the freezer, and pour the chocolate over the top. Put it back into the freezer for another hour. Remove 10 mins before you want to serve.  

– cut up into slices once you are ready to serve and store anything that’s left in the fridge