These are scrummy. And did I mention they are gluten free and dairy free? Make them for the gluten/dairy free person in your life. If you don’t have one of these people, make them anyway and eat them.
They are basically an almond version of millionaires shortbread. If you like almonds, you will like these (unless you don’t like chocolate, or something…). The base is literally the easiest biscuit base to make, like, ever. All you need is a bowl, a packet of ground almonds, oil, honey and a spoon. The caramel layer is also pretty easy as your food processor does all the work. The most strenuous activity is probably cutting dates in half to remove their stones, and I think we can manage that, right? In keeping with the theme, making the chocolate topping is easy! All you need to do is melt stuff.
It has been a little/long while since I posted. I have been a little under the weather. My ‘recovery diet’, that basically consisted of cheese and crackers, couldn’t really be blogged about. Unless I went out and made my own cheese. Which I didn’t.
I’ve also realised that I have no good photos of the main course from the dinner party mentioned in last week’s post. It seems that I got so excited about eating that my hands couldn’t stop shaking. This is a shame because I think it was one of the best dishes I’ve ever made. Seriously. Pan fried sea bream, complete with crispy skin, with a courgette and Gruyère gratin with salsa verde (inspired by the Smitten Kitchen)… So many of my favourite things on one plate. However, because bream is always available at the fish counter reasonably cheap, it will be making another appearance on the dinner table – and hopefully the blog!
Almond caramel chocolate squares
Adapted a very long from way a recipe from Deliciously Ella
For the base:
200 grams ground almonds
6 tbsp. oil
3 tbsp. honey
For the caramel layer:
250 grams mejool dates
4 tbsp. almond butter
3 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. oil
1-2 tbsp. water – approx.
For the chocolate topping:
100 grams 70% dark chocolate (Lindtt is dairy-free)
2 tsp. almond butter
2 tsp. honey
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 23cm/9″ square tin with baking paper. Use 2 strips as wide as the tin placed one top of the other at a 90° angle with the ends coming up over the sides of the tin. This will allow you to lift out the finished squares easily.
In a bowl, mix together the ground almonds, oil and honey until a crumbly dough is formed. Press the dough into the tin and flatten. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin.
To make the caramel, remove the stones from the dates by making a slit up one side of the date using kitchen scissors and pulling out the stone by hand. Put the dates into the bowl of the food processor with the almond butter, honey and oil and process to form a thick paste. Add enough water to form a spreadable mixture, a little at a time and blending between additions.
When the biscuit base layer is cool and firm, spread the caramel mixture on top of it in the tin using a spatula or the back of a spoon. Put it in the fridge to set while you make the chocolate layer.
Break the chocolate into chunks and then melt, stirring, in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Be careful not to let the water touch the base of the bowl. Stir in the almond butter and honey until well mixed.
Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the caramel layer and gently spread out with the back of a spoon. Put the tin back in the fridge and leave to set for half an hour. When you are ready to serve, cut into squares using a sharp knife while still in the tin. Then lift out using the baking paper.