What’s better than ultra soft and chewy brownie? Or gooey sticky caramel? The sound and feel of dark chocolate cracking between your teeth as you bite and the crunch of candied nuts dusted with shredded Coconut? Well…? I’m waiting! Exactly as I thought. Nothing! Four of the best things in the world all stacked up on top of one another. Heaven!
I love these little stacks and I like to take them everywhere with me. They are more robust than cake, so sticking them in a plastic tupperware and going out and about with them is fine. If you have kids they could probably run around with these without wondering what that gooey brown blob stuck to the top of their Lunch box lid use to be! You open up the box and they always look like “What? I woke up like this” kind of treats. These are a fabulous alternative to a Twix or Snickers bar. Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t like a Snickers every now and again? But what the hell is in there? What are all of those mysterious names in the ingredients list? I don’t know about you but I refer to know what is about to travel though my body. What ends up in my tummy? What’s being absorbed into my blood stream and what do I get out of it in the end? (Queue toilet Humour!!) But seriously, is one of those many mystery names something that aggravates cells which will one day be bad for my health if eaten time and again? That’s why I’m a do it yourself kind of girl when it comes to the sweet stuff. Whether I’m making a cake full of butter, Sugar, and cream or a gluten free, sugar free treat. I know when I take a bite what’s about to go into this temple!! Not to come across all sanctimonious but your body really is a Temple…Castle, Palace, cottage by the sea, whatever you want to call it. You’re not renting it. It’s yours. You’ve got the keys. You are a property owner gorgeous, congratulations! I always feel that it’s the only thing in life I am truly in charge of and it is my decision how I want to treat it. Sure, there have been times when it felt and looked more like a run down, out dated semi detached. But I prefer it mostly Temple. In fact I’ve come to like it here. So with all that in mind I am sharing with you an old favourite. My Raw Caramel and Black bean Stacks!
In my ingredients list you will see a Refined Sugar alternative called Natvia. Natvia is not an artificial sweetener but a mixture of 2 different leaves from a plant which has a sweet taste. The reason I use a little of it here is that unlike most sugars it does not effect your blood sugar levels. It has no calories and comes up zero on the Glycaemic Index. You can use Maple Syrup in place of Natvia if you prefer in the recipe.
Also in this list is Almond butter. You can either make your own (recipe for Almond butter in last blog post below this one) or use I suggest Meridian. As it has nothing but nuts and a little salt in it.
Ingredients -Makes 6 Stacks
Black bean Brownie base –
6 tbsp Black beans
2 tbsp Raw Cacoa Powder
3 Majool dates
6 tbsp Ground Almonds
6 tbsp Gluten Free Oats
6 Majool dates
3 tbsp Almond Butter
1 tsp Almond milk (or whatever you prefer)
Either melt a bar of your favourite Dark chocolate, 75% and higher in a bowl over a pan of boiled water
if you are keeping your desserts refined sugar free have a go at this –
3 tbsp Coconut oil
1 tsp of Natvia
3 tbsp Cacoa Powder
Crunchy nut clusters
5 tbsp of Cashews and Almonds. I crushed half of the nuts and left the other half whole.
1 tsp Natvia
3 tsp Coconut oil
All about that base
– First you want to soften the dates a little. This will help you when it comes to mixing. Chop your Majool dates and put them in a small frying pan over a low heat. It takes very little time for them to soften so keep an eye on them.
– Drain your black beans thoroughly, especially if they are from a can. The likely hood is that they have been kept in salted water or some kind of brine.
– Add your softened dates, sieved the Cocoa powder, then throw in the Almond flour and oats in to the bowl. Get a hand blender and a hand whizz together until smooth. If you don’t have a hand blender or food processor get your elbow grease on and with a wooden spoon push the mixture up against the side and spread over and over until smooth.
– If you are use to eating Snickers and twix bars etc..You may find that this brownie is not quite sweet enough for you. Add 1 tsp Natvia (Sugar Alternative) or 2 tsp Mable syrup.
– I put my mixture into fairy cake moulds. 1 tbsp and a half to each mould and pack down flat. Otherwise you can also line a small rectangular tin and cut into bars later. Put the raw black bean brownies into the fridge while you make your Caramel.
– In your small frying pan add your dates to soften (over a low heat) for a minute. Then add your Almond butter and combine with a wooden spoon.
If you find the mixture a little stiff add a tsp of milk.
– Now add 1 tbsp of the caramel mixture to the top of your brownies. Then put back into the fridge.
Chocolate top –
– Time to get that Saucepan out again lovelies! Give it a good scrub down then over a low heat add your coconut oil. Then the Natvia, Stevia or chosen Syrup. Let it melt down to liquid.
– Now add your Cocoa 1 tsp at a time stirring with a wooden spoon.
-Take the Brownie/Caramel treats out of the fridge and with a teaspoon drizzle on a loaded teaspoon of the chocolate.
Crunchy nut top top –
– Ok, Don’t hate me! But you’ve got to get that pan out again. Put a tiny bit of the coconut oil in the pan and toss in the nuts. Half crushed and half whole. Toast the nuts (we are looking for a golden colour) then throw in the shredded coconut and mix together.
– Sprinkle the nuts and coconut on the top of the melted chocolate mixture.
-Put in the fridge again to set for 30 mins.
Now enjoy, indulge and feel good!
Thank you for reading and I hope you make some fabulous stacks! I would love to see your creations. You can find me on Instagram – @thecakediariesofficial or on twitter @thecakediaries1Treat yourselves well!
The Cake Diaries