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Having accidentally (on purpose) hoarded mejoul dates since the end of uni, I’ve been wanting to try these out for quite some time, and World Vegan Day seemed the perfect excuse to give them ago. I’d browsed a number of recipes for these but ended up making a hybrid of a couple, picking and choosing depending on what I had in my cupboard and what I thought would work best. I took them into my office to make sure my mum and I didn’t eat them all, and they went down an absolute treat. They were pretty good even if I do say so myself.

People often turn their nose up at vegans, and fair dos I don’t think I could do it myself, but I do often eat a fair few vegan meals a week. I often think they’re super tasty, and the inner A Level Geographer in me finds sustainability pretty cool. As well as Vegan, these delightful treats are also gluten free, because I thought I may as well get as many hashtags out of it as I possibly could. Does that mean it’s Paleo too? Absolutely no idea, but let’s just pretend it is so I can really fulfil the Instagram Foodie Stereotype to the best of my abilities.

One of the recipes I found required coconut flour for the base, but if you’re like me and don’t have any of that gold dust lying around, opt for a combo of ground almonds and (gluten free) plain flour. Coconut flour is much more absorbent than ground almonds, which is why I added some flour to make the dough a bit more shortbread-like and less wet. Not gonna lie, I didn’t really measure  how much flour I poured in because I am a bit shit at this whole ‘recipe writing’ shindig, so I’ve gestimated a little bit in this recipe. Anyhoo, enough rambling. Here is how to make my pretty dreamy Vegan Twix Bars.

Ingredients

For the base

  • 100g coconut oil (about half a cup)
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 4-5 heaped tbsp gluten free flour
  • 160g of maple syrup (about half a cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the caramel

  • 180g pitted dates
  • 90g almond butter
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

For the chocolate

  • 50g coconut oil (about one quarter of a cup)
  • 30g raw cacao (about one quarter of a cup)
  • 2 – 4 tbsp maple syrup (depending how sweet/bitter you want it, I went for about 2 and a bit)
  • Sprinkling of pink Himalayan sea salt

 

Method

  1. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave (about 40 seconds). Mix in with the rest of the ingredients for the base. Add more flour if you think it needs it, it won’t be as dry as normal shortbread but shouldn’t be massively wet either. Line a 9 x 7 inch tin (or 8  x 8) with grease proof paper and press your dough into the bottom of it. Shove in the freezer while you make your caramel.
  2. Take the stone out of the dates if they’re not already pitted, and add to a good food processor along with the other caramel ingredients. Blitz until completely smooth and caramel-like. You may need to add a little more water so it’s relatively easy to spread, but it’s up to you what consistency you prefer. Spread the caramel over the base and pop back in the freezer.
  3. To make the chocolate coating, melt the coconut oil in a little pan on a low heat. Mix in the cacao powder so there are no lumps. Add the maple syrup and give it a little taste, add any more if you like it bit sweeter. Pour it over your shortbread and caramel and spread it evenly with a knife. Sprinkle with the salt before putting it back in the freezer. Leave to set for at least three hours, or better still, overnight.
  4. Once completely set, cut into small Twix bars and devour. They are best kept in the freezer, and taken out a few minutes before you want to scoff them. Mine did survive in the fridge at work, but reckon they’d be even better if they were kept in the freezer.

 

 

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