When I was a kid and was given some money to go and buy some lollies or had ‘earned’ 20c (wow!) for doing some chores, I would very often reach for anything caramel.
Caramel swirls, the golden yellowy buttons which cost 2c each were always my favorites as a little girl. I would often spend my whole 20c on those and would suck away on them, one at a time, making them last and smiling away contentedly to myself.
I also had a soft spot for Caramelo Bears in those days too. Those little koala’s filled with soft stringy caramel that dripped down onto your chin and were coated in chocolate!
As my taste matured I then fell in love with those chewy jaw aching Chocolate Ecclairs filled with soft caramel. The other favs of the day were those Caramel Chews, in the pink & blue shiny wrappers, again chewy work out on your jaw!
It’s hard to describe what it is about caramel that is so alluring. Whether it’s the buttery vanilla flavor, the soft textures or just the fact that it’s not as intense as chocolate in that rich, sweet but bitter chocolate way?
I’ve always had a soft spot for caramel.
Caramel fudge was the most special treat for me, with its soft buttery texture and vanilla caramel flavor that just melted in your mouth….little did I know what was in it!
Here I have tried to recreate it but as something healthy and vegan (so without the usual sugar and butter). This caramel salted fudge hits the spot when it comes to texture and flavor and knowing they’re made of organic raw nuts (with superfoods too) I feel good about eating it and so does my body, as there is no intense sugar rush.
I wonder, for all you caramel freaks out there, if you’ll agree with me, that it hits the spot and satisfies the taste buds and childhood memories?
So this one is for all you vegan caramel lovers; enjoy!
Makes = 24 pieces
1 cup macadamia nuts (or cashews)
1 cup dates
½ cup coconut nectar (agave syrup will do)
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder/paste (or 1x vanilla bean scrapped)
1 tbs lucuma (superfood)
2 tbs mesquite (super food)
50gm cacao butter
¼ cup coconut oil
3 cups desiccated coconut
½ tsp good salt
Pink Himalayan salt (or other good quality salt)
Process the desiccated coconut in a food processor for 5-8 minutes or until the coconut begins to turn into butter.
Add the macadamia nuts and process for 20-30 seconds or until it have been fully ground into a fine meal (no lumps).
Add all the dates and process until they have all been broken down and combined with the nut & coconut mixture.
Add remaining ingredients and blend until it forms a ball.
Place filling in a lined slice tin (approximately 15cm x 25cm) and smooth over the top of the fudge with a crank spatula or using a sheet of baking paper over the top then smooth over with your hands. Try to get the top, especially the corners as even as possible. Leave baking paper on the slice over night.
Peel back baking paper and garnish the slice with a scattering good quality salt.