Caramel Slice Dessert

FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you click through my link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission on your sale. This helps me cover a portion of the cost to run GAPS Diet Journey site and allows me to continue providing free content. This has no effect on your price. You can view it like leaving a tip. Thank you for your support! ~Starlene

caramel-slice2 Today I have a guest post from Sheeva who blogs at Health Wanderer. Sheeva has been on GAPS for almost one year and has had many symptoms disappear as her gut health improved. After you read this blog post and check out this delicious recipe, be sure to visit Health Wanderer for more great recipes!

Hello everyone! I would like to thank Starlene for welcoming a guest post from me. When I first started searching the internet for GAPS-friendly recipes, finding Starlene’s blog was like being a kid and walking into a candy store. I thought being on a restrictive diet meant that all forms of delicious desserts and foods were gone to me, but boy was I wrong! A special favorite of mine are her pumpkin poppers so if you’ve missed them, be sure to check them out.

A little about myself – I am currently on the full GAPS diet and have been for almost a year now. I was diagnosed with leaky gut syndrome by a functional medicine doctor after years and years of confusing diagnoses and medications from other various doctors. I had many symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders, but no indications of actually having an autoimmune disorder. Needless to say, I was really frustrated until I was diagnosed with leaky gut and realized that I may finally have an answer to all of my various ailments. Healing my gut has been quite the journey and I am pleased to say that almost all of my symptoms (eczema, hair loss, bloating, etc) are GONE! The power of food as a healing agent is incredible and because of this I have started my own health and wellness blog at healthwanderer.com. I share many GAPS-friendly recipes there as well as other health and wellness related articles.

Now, to the most important stuff – the Caramel Slice recipe! I currently live in Sydney, Australia where caramel slices are quite popular. I didn’t want to miss out on all the fun, so I came up with a GAPS-friendly alternative. I also wanted to make the recipe nut-free so I used a baked coconut flour [affiliate link] base to replicate the cookie portion of the slice. The crust is a recipe I modified from Eat Heal Thrive.  This recipe is a lot of fun to make (and a lot of fun to eat) and will surely impress GAPS and non-GAPS dieters alike. I served this to two English friends who not only remarked at how amazingly similar it was to the caramel slices they have in the UK, but they said that they actually felt good after eating it, instead of the usual refined flour and sugar crash. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do!

(Note from Starlene: The links below go to Tropical Traditions. If you purchase using my link, I will earn a discount coupon and you will receive a free copy of Virgin Coconut Oil: How It Has Changed Lives and How it Can Change Yours! Thank you for your support!)

Ingredients:

For the crust:

For the caramel:

For the chocolate:

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8×8 (or smaller)  baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl stir together the coconut flour and sea salt then add the remaining crust ingredients and stir well until combined into a gritty, but well-formed dough. Press into the lined pan and bake until the edges turn golden, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 20 minutes.
  4. Once 20 minutes has lapsed make the caramel layer in your food processor by adding all of the ingredients* to the processor bowl and processing until it all looks blended (usually it will clump into a huge ball in one side of the processor when it’s ready)**.
  5. Dust a cutting board with coconut flour, starting with a few tablespoons. Place the big ball of caramel on the coconut floured cutting board and cover all of it with coconut flour. Use the palms of your hands to flatten the caramel so that it is roughly the size of the pan. Add more coconut flour if you need, this step helps minimize the caramel sticking to your hands. Then carefully peel small portions of the flattened caramel (there’s no way to take the whole thing in one go) and place on top of the cooled crust and use your fingers (wearing gloves helps immensely) to gently press down.
  6. Repeat with remaining caramel mixture until it is all pressed on top of the crust and is somewhat uniform in thickness (doesn’t have to be perfect).
  7. For the chocolate, melt the coconut oil [affiliate link] over very low heat if it isn’t already melted. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients until well incorporated.
  8. Pour chocolate mixture on top of the caramel layer and place in fridge to cool for 2-3 hours. Remove from pan using the parchment paper, slice (I did mine in 9 squares), and enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge for a  few days (though they didn’t last very long in my kitchen!).

Notes: * The Medjool dates I buy are soft enough that my processor can blend them easily. If your dates are very dry or your processor is not high powered, soak the dates in very hot water for about 5 minutes, drain well, and then add to the processor with the other ingredients.

**If you do not have a food processor, but have patience, then this can be done with your hands. Soak the dates in very hot water for 5 minutes, drain well, and then place in bowl and start mashing and kneading with your hands until the dates break down into a paste (will take 2-3 minutes). Add in remaining caramel ingredients and mix well with hands again.

Caramel Slice Dessert
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • ¼ cup, packed, coconut flour
  • pinch sea salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon honey [affiliate link]
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • For the caramel:
  • 1 heaping cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • coconut flour for dusting the cutting board
  • For the chocolate:
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup raw cacao (sub any cacao or cocoa here)
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8x8 (or smaller) baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl stir together the coconut flour and sea salt then add the remaining crust ingredients and stir well until combined into a gritty, but well-formed dough. Press into the lined pan and bake until the edges turn golden, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 20 minutes.
  4. Once 20 minutes has lapsed make the caramel layer in your food processor by adding all of the ingredients* to the processor bowl and processing until it all looks blended (usually it will clump into a huge ball in one side of the processor when it’s ready)**.
  5. Dust a cutting board with coconut flour, starting with a few tablespoons. Place the big ball of caramel on the coconut floured cutting board and cover all of it with coconut flour. Use the palms of your hands to flatten the caramel so that it is roughly the size of the pan. Add more coconut flour if you need, this step helps minimize the caramel sticking to your hands. Then carefully peel small portions of the flattened caramel (there’s no way to take the whole thing in one go) and place on top of the cooled crust and use your fingers (wearing gloves helps immensely) to gently press down.
  6. Repeat with remaining caramel mixture until it is all pressed on top of the crust and is somewhat uniform in thickness (doesn’t have to be perfect).
  7. For the chocolate, melt the coconut oil over very low heat if it isn’t already melted. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients until well incorporated.
  8. Pour chocolate mixture on top of the caramel layer and place in fridge to cool for 2-3 hours. Remove from pan using the parchment paper, slice (I did mine in 9 squares), and enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days (though they didn’t last very long in my kitchen!).
  9. Notes: *The Medjool dates that I buy are soft enough that my processor can blend them no problem. If your dates are very dry or your processor is weaker, soak the dates in very hot water for about 5 minutes, drain well, and then add to the processor with the other ingredients. **If you do not have a food processor, but have patience, then this can be done with your hands. Soak the dates in very hot water for 5 minutes, drain well, and then place in bowl and start mashing and kneading with your hands until the dates break down into a paste (will take 2-3 minutes). Add in remaining caramel ingredients and mix well with hands again.

 

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If you love desserts like this, I have two cookbooks you really need to check out ASAP! Naturally Sweetened Treats for gluten-free dessert needs and Baker’s Dozen Volume 4, Chocolate Treats for amazing chocolate desserts and snacks.

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