Food and cooking, Lifestyle

Classic chocolate caramel slice – done dairy/egg/soy/nut-free

Soooo incredibly determined that “dairy-free” in our house will not mean “tastes weird and not very nice.” This journey of dairy elimination for little G’s eczema has given me a whole new level of appreciation for allergy mums/dads/carers out there not only because,

  1. It is SO HARD to find dairy product substitutes
  2. When you do finally find them they
    • Cost an absolute bomb (like a 200g block of “Biocheese” cost $8 at Woolies, or a 100g jar of “Almond butter” cost LITERALLY $14.95 at a health food shop – SERIOUSLY.  OMG. WTF. OTT.)
    • Taste weird

BUT mostly for me (as the crazed taste obsessed foodie that I am), the COMPROMISE you have to make on taste to make the dishes my kids usually love to eat… (and then suddenly… won’t) is completely unacceptable (not to mention unpalatable)!

I’ve tried a few recipes – the first one a mac’n’cheese that directly substituted “fake cheese” (ie soy cheese or whatever else the stuff is made from) for real cheese, soy cream cheese for real cream cheese, and soy Greek Yoghurt/pureed tofu for cream, Nuttelex for butter… and cripes…  although I wouldn’t say it was entirely inedible… it totes tasted weird.  Kind of floury, a bit sweet (but not in a good way).  Made a mushroom “cream” sauce for steaks on pureed tofu which wasn’t bad… but still not the same.

Thankfully I had a bit of success on the weekend with some sweet treats.  Said success can mainly be attributed to a few clever substitute products that really didn’t change the taste that much. The first one was the recipe for the Apricot “Amaze-balls” that I posted week before last… and then second, this one.  I have to credit my awesome work buddy and semi-pro baker Dr Erin for this recipe, and she credits hers to Donna Hay.  This is modified obviously to make it dairy free, but it really still tasted awesome.

My only advice would be to use a smaller slice pan.  I used a 31.5cm one and it was too big, meaning each layer was thinner than I would have liked… plus the secret ingredient (see gallery above) – “Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk” comes in a slightly smaller tin (ie 320g) than its dairy counterpart “Sweetened Condensed Milk” (comes in either 395g or 400g tin).   Find it in the ASIAN FOOD section of the supermarket – not with the regular condensed milk (took me WEEKS to figure that out!).  Nuttelex is easy to find – it is in the fridge section of the supermarket with the regular butter and margarine. Can I just say too, the pics of the slice in the gallery – ARE NOT MINE.  I got so excited about the flavour of the slice (ie it was actually yummy), that I chopped it all up and popped it in the freezer in batches, and completely forgot to take pics of it!

 

INGREDIENTS

Base:

  • 1 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup (40g) desiccated coconut
  • 125g Nuttelex
  • 1/2 cup (90g) brown sugar

Caramel filling:

  • 125g Nuttelex chopped
  • 2x 320g tins of sweetened condensed COCONUT milk
  • 1/3 cup (115g) golden syrup

Chocolate topping

  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped (I used the Lindt 70% cacao stuff)
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Mix flour, coconut, Nuttelex and brown sugar in a bowl
  3. Press the mixture into the base of a 20x30cm tin (as per Donna Hay recipe – I reckon use slightly smaller if you’ve got it) lined with non-stick baking paper and back for 15-20 min or until golden
  4. While the base is cooking, make the caramel filling.  Place the Nuttelex, condensed coconut milk and golden syrup in a medium saucepan over a medium heat.
  5. Whisk until the Nuttelex has melted and continue to cook (and whisk) for 5-7 min until the mixture has thickened slightly (it doesn’t thicken much).
  6. Pour the caramel over the cooked base and spread evenly.  Cook for 15-20  min (or until golden).   Cool slightly and then refrigerate until cold.
  7. To make the chocolate topping, put the chocolate and oil in a Pyrex bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and glossy.
  8. Pour over the caramel layer and spread evenly.
  9. Refrigerate for 30-40 min until firm.  Cut into slices with a warm knife to serve.

If you or someone in your family needs a dessert that is dairy-free – trust me, this dessert is WORTH IT. It was delicious and you would have NO IDEA that there was no dairy in it! Let me know if you give it a go!   xxDr Megs

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