If you told me before I started creating recipes that I could make a vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free millionaires shortbread, I would never have believed you! The first time I made this recipe I was so happy and proud at what I had achieved. This is one of my personal faves. It’s a celebration of wholesome natural ingredients and epitomises the sheer beauty and versatility of vegan baking. A shortbread without butter, caramel without condensed milk or sugar yet the ultimate indulgent sweet treat which doesn’t taste even remotely healthy. I have learnt so much about dairy free and sugar alternatives, which has enabled me to create some amazing recipes like this one. It has a crumby shortbread base made with vegan butter and gluten-free flour. The middle layer is a sweet and sticky date caramel, containing only dates and water with a touch of maple. Topped with a melty chocolate layer, rich with raw cacao. One of my missions is to change these negative preconceptions around healthy food. It couldn’t be further from green salads and dieting, you don’t have to miss out on any of your favourite foods or feel guilty for eating them. It’s just about nourishing your body with natural unprocessed foods and feeling your very best because of it. We don’t need all these highly processed junk foods in our life, packed full of sugar, salt, saturated fat and millions of additives we can’t pronounce, our bodies don’t want them! With this recipe I really hope you see this type of food in a different light. Healthy eating really doesn’t have to taste healthy (in this case it can taste like chocolate and caramel!).You only need a handful of basic ingredients to make them: vegan butter, flour, maple, vanilla, dates, coconut oil and cacao and take minimal effort to knock up. They are a great crowd-pleaser, perfect for special occasions or when you’re just craving something sweet.
They are free from:
- Refined sugar
Makes 12 squares in an 18cm x 18cm tin
200g Dairy free spread (I use Vitalite)
250g Gluten-free Plain flour (I use Doves Farm)
1 tbsp Maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp Date water (from soaked dates) or water
½ tbsp Maple syrup (or date syrup)
5 tbsp Coconut oil
8 tbsp Cacao powder
2 tbsp Maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 160 C fan and line a square baking tin with baking paper.
- Begin by making the shortbread. In a food processor, pulse the spread and flour together, then add the maple and vanilla and continue to pulse until the mixture comes together.
- Take the dough and flatten it down into your tin. Begin to press it down, working it into the corners, until you have a nice even layer (I like to flour my fingers for this, so it doesn’t stick).
- Prick several times with a fork and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- While your shortbread cooks, prepare your dates for the caramel. If you’re not using medjool dates, soak your dates in boiling water for 15 -20 minutes to soften them. Don’t drain the water yet.
- Remove the shortbread from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Now you can make the caramel. Put your dates into a food processor with two tablespoons of the date water that they were soaking in (or just regular water if using medjool dates), along with the maple syrup.
- Blend on high for a few minutes to get a super smooth caramel. It should be a thick, paste-like consistency, not runny. Feel free to try some at this point to check it’s the right sweetness 😉
- Pour onto your shortbread and smooth over so you have a heavenly layer of date caramel. Sweet.
- Place in the fridge for a few minutes while you make the chocolate topping.
- Are you ready for your chocolate dreams to come true! Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Take off the heat and add the cacao powder and maple syrup, whisking until smooth.
- Pour this liquid heaven over the date caramel. Tilt the tin around so it goes into the corners and forms an even layer on top. It’s so glossy you can see my phone in the reflection!
- Place in the freezer for half an hour to set or the fridge for a couple of hours. Cut into 12 squares and bring to room temp before enjoying!
WARNING: You might not be able to stop eating it
Healthy eating really doesn’t have to taste healthy, in this case it can taste like chocolate and caramel!
It couldn’t be further from green salads and dieting… It’s just about nourishing your body with natural unprocessed foods and feeling your very best because of it
Vegan, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut Free
Decadent, sweet and satisfying indulgence
I can promise you this millionaires shortbread is a thousand times better for you than any other free from rubbish you can buy from the shops.
Ok, I’m probably boring you with these pictures now! You might have to mop up the saliva from your keyboard, sorry about that.
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