"Moreishly good! You don’t need to be vegan to love this scrumptious spelt shortbread with its layer of glorious sticky date and almond caramel and crunchy dark chocolate topping." - Miranda Gore Browne, Author of Bake Me A Cake As Fast As You Can and Great British Bake Off Finalist.
Things you will need:
- Deep sided square or oblong baking tin
- Non-stick baking paper
- Sharp knife
Shortbread Base Ingredients:
- 200 g dairy free margarine
- Pinch of salt
- 100g caster sugar
- 150g plain flour
- 150g spelt flour
- 350g pitted dates (fresh dates are better, if using dry dates, soak in some boiling water for about ten mins, drain then use)
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3-4 tablespoons of almond nut butter
- 5 tablespoons of hot water (the water from the dates is perfect) – add the water a little at a time, you might not need it all.
Chocolate topping Ingredients:
- 200g dark chocolate (most 70% cocoa chocolates are dairy free but double check if you are making for a vegan friend)
- 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil (to stop it cracking)
Method - Shortbread Base:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Put the margarine and sugar into the bowl of the Kenwood Chef with the K-Beater or Creaming Beater attachment.
- Mix together until smooth and creamy on a high speed.
- Add the flours and then mix again on minimum, as soon as a dough forms, stop mixing.
- Line a deep sided baking tin with non-stick baking paper.
- Press the shortbread mixture into the tin using your fingers, squash down with a fork dipped in a little flour (it will be quite sticky).
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or firm, golden and starting to come away cleanly from the baking paper at the edges.
Method - Caramel:
- Check all the stones are out of the dates.
- Put all the caramel ingredients into the Kenwood Chef food processor attachment and whizz until you have a thick, smooth paste.
Method - Chocolate Topping:
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water
- Take the tin filled with baked shortbread out of the oven. Leave to cool completely.
- Spread the date caramel on top of the shortbread.
- Chill for about an hour, then pour the chocolate on top, smooth and chill again for a couple of hours.
- I like to sprinkle with coarse sea salt and cocoa nibs or toasted nuts.
- Use a sharp knife, dipped in hot water to slice into squares.
- Best kept in the fridge as the date caramel will go quite sticky if left at room temperature.