I decided to create something decadent while still trying to keep in ‘healthy’ in mind. I think these bars do it. They seem to be a marrying of healthy with unhealthy. Depending on what you use to top it and how many layers you decide to make will determine that.
You start with the nut-chocolate base layer, which could be a bar on its own. Then you could try adding the date caramel. You could stop there too or proceed to the next layer of chocolate ganache. Ready to stop? how about adding melted white chocolate? or another coloured chocolate? or some nut pieces? or sprinkle shredded coconut? The choice is yours where you want to stop. I couldn’t finish one bar, I was flying after half! So you may be able to get 12 squares instead of 6 bars. My tolerance for sugary things has declined drastically over the last few years and that’s not a bad thing. I couldn’t resist the sugar when I was a kid. I remember going over to my friend’s house to play cards or board games (does that date me? lol) and their mother, being a tea drinker, had sugar cubes on the table. My friends offered it to me (jokingly) the way it was offered in cartoons “one lump or two?” and of course I said “Yes!” They were irresistible! They were astonished that I ate them. I only had two that time but their Mom had to hide them from me after that because I was over there a lot! Anyway, I’m past that addiction now and these bars hit the spot when I have a sweet craving. The dates are naturally sweet and full of beneficial vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium and manganese, vitamin B-6 and A and fibre to name a few. Although they are high in sugar they are actually low on the glycemic index which means that it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels. They are a great alternative to refined sugar. I love them.
This recipe has some wiggle room. If you want to substitute one nut for another you can and also if you prefer dark chocolate to white in chips or chunks then feel free to use that. If you want to omit a layer like the date caramel or the chocolate ganache then that’s ok too. Just stick to the amounts given and it will give you a perfect little slice of heaven!
Tiffany's Little Slice of Heaven Bars
For the base of the bars:
- 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans or macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 8 pitted medjool dates
- 1 tbsp melted cocoa butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla seeds
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 cup white/dark chocolate chips/chunks
- Add all ingredients except chocolate into a food processor and pulse until it forms a breadcrumb like texture (about 3 minutes)
- If you can squeeze it together with your hands and it sticks then it’s ready to add the chocolate.
- Press into a 6″x 8 1/2″ rectangular dish (rough size)
- Refrigerate as you prepare the date sauce
For the Date caramel:
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup of water
- Add water and dates to a small pot and bring to a boil
- Remove from heat once dates have softened (about 2-3 minutes at the boil)
- Place into a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth
- Pour onto the bars and spread evenly
- Place back into the fridge
For the chocolate ganache:
- 1, 100g chocolate bar
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- Using a double boiler (or alternately, a heat proof bowl set over a pot with 1 to 2 inches of water. As long as the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl) set the chocolate in the top and let the water come to a boil underneath. Watch it carefully (it can scald quickly) and as the chocolate melts stir it with a whisk to keep the temperature down. When the chocolate has almost melted, remove from heat and add the coconut milk while whisking. It should be smooth and creamy.
- Remove bars from fridge and top with ganache, spreading it out evenly.
- Place back into the fridge and cool until set. About 15 minutes.
- Slice the bars into 6 equal rectangles or 12 squares
If you would like to add the melted white chocolate or pink or other coloured chocolate: I used the Merken’s Chocolate wafers that you can get in the bulk stores or here . I used 1/2 cup of each colour. When you melt this chocolate you do not need to add anything to it but watch it the same as it can still scald. Then drizzle it on top. I used a squeeze bottle.