Have you ever made, tried (or even heard of) date caramel?
Me neither. But my hunt for vegan recipes for Chels has led me – several times – to posts about just such a creation.
Seems that dates are the perfect dairy-free substitute for the butter and cream that are the main ingredients in traditional caramel, and I had the chance to try it myself in this recipe.
I was hooked, and decided to take it further. And then these happened:
While my original recipe was delicious – and so versatile – it did not firm up enough to cut into squares. I wanted to make little chocolate-dipped caramels, and can honestly say that this recipe from the stunning blog Heartbeet Kitchen is perfection!
And dare I say WAY easier than making traditional caramels?
And double dare I say HEALTHIER too?
A quick whir in the food processor is all that’s needed, followed by a dunk in some (dairy-free) chocolate.
They’re DELICIOUS. And would make a lovely foodie or hostess gift for anyone who avoids wheat, eggs or dairy. And can be whipped up at the very last minute!
Speaking of which, I’ll see you all on the other side of the holiday, so let me wish you a very happy and healthy one – and express my profound thanks for spending time with me here. xo
lightly adapted from Heartbeet Kitchen
1 cup packed, pitted Medjool dates
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon warm water
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 1/2 tablespoons almond flour
1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
flaky sea salt
Spray a small loaf pan (about 3″ x 5″) with non-stick spray; line with parchment paper to create a sling on the long sides (if you don’t have a pan, simply pat the mixture into a rectangle onto a greased baking sheet).
Place dates, almond butter, vanilla, water, sea salt and almond flour in your food processor. Process till smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed. Transfer to your prepared pan and use a piece of greased parchment paper to pat mixture smoothly and evenly. Freeze for at least an hour, or overnight.
Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in the top half of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Transfer the caramel to a cutting board and cut into 12 squares (4 squares along the long side, 3 along the short side). Working with one caramel at a time, use a fork to dip into the melted chocolate, and spoon more over the top and sides. Tap the fork on the side of the bowl to remove the excess and place on a piece of waxed paper. Repeat with remaining caramels, sprinkling with the flaky sea salt after dipping 2 or 3 (you want the chocolate to set a bit before sprinkling, but not completely). Drizzle with any remaining chocolate, if desired and return to freezer to set.
This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver