Lovely, sweet yummy Christmas food is everywhere… but what about if can’t or don’t wish to consume lots of sugar? This Christmas Caramel Slice has a low sugar content and contains ingredients with high levels of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. True, this recipes doesn’t have the richness of a shop-bought caramel slice, yet it feels special enough for Christmas. This recipe uses ingredients that may not be familiar to you – see notes below.
Equipment needed: A blender or nut grinder. A 7-inch loose bottom cake tin or shallow dish to go straight to the table. A glass bowl that can sit in a saucepan without the bowl touching the bottom of the pan.
Ingredients for Christmas Caramel Slice
Makes 6 portions
For the base
100g buckwheat groats regular or toasted
100g lucuma powder
50g raw cacao powder
2 mirco spoons stevia extract powder
For the caramel topping
150g almond butter
65g yacon powder
½ teaspoon vanilla powder
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
For the chocolate topping
60g raw cocoa butter
30g raw cacao powder
½ teaspoon vanilla powder
1 teaspoon of raw honey
1 micro spoon stevia extract powder
40g crushed walnuts
Grease the loose-base cake tin with a little coconut oil, or line your tin/shallow dish with foil, or if you have a pretty shallow dish you can serve it straight from the dish.
For the base. If your buckwheat groats are not toasted, dry toast them in a frying pan. It takes just a few minutes – keep shaking the pan around. Place the toasted groats into blender and blitz for 15 seconds until a coarse powder. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the stevia powder into the 70 ml water. Mix to dissolve then add to the bowl along with the raw cacao powder. Mix thoroughly. Tip the mixture into a cake tin or flan dish. Press down firmly with the back of spoon–or use your hands. Pop the tin/dish into the fridge for 10 minutes whilst you make the caramel layer.
For the caramel layer. Add all ingredients to a bowl. Mix together. It will be quite thick. It it feels like you won’t be able to spread it, add a little more melted coconut oil. When the base has firmed up, spread the caramel on top of the base. Return the dish to the fridge.
For the chocolate topping. Test your saucepan and glass bowl combination. When the bowl is in the saucepan, the bottom is not touching the bottom of the pan. Now test the amount of water you need by putting a small amount in the pan, putting the bowl back into the pan. The amount of water only needs to be half way up the bowl – and it’s always less water than you think. After your experiment, make sure the inside of the bowl is dry. Put this to one side. Now but the water onto heat until it is simmering.
In the meantime, coarsely grate the cocoa butter, then tip into the glass bowl. Place the bowl into the hot water in the saucepan. Stir the grated cocoa butter and it will slowly begin to melt. When it’s completed melted, add the cacao powder, vanilla powder, raw honey and stevia extract and stir to combine all of the ingredients. Remove the glass bowl from the saucepan.
Remove the tin/dish from the fridge. Pour the warm chocolate on the top of the caramel layer and spread it using a palette knife or regular table knife. Sprinkle the top with crushed walnuts, pressing them lightly into the chocolate. Return to the fridge. Pop in the fridge for 20 minutes. It will keep for longer if needed.
If using a loose-bottom tin, remove the Christmas Caramel Slice from the fridge. Gently insert a blunt knife around the edges of the loosen it, then carefully open the side. Slide a palette knife under the base, and very gently slide the Christmas Caramel Slice onto a plate. the Christmas Caramel Slice looks special – and you now won’t feel like you’re missing out (at least not so much!) if you need to stick to a low-sugar diet.
Lucuma and yacon
These ingredients are considered superfoods and they are expensive. But you can buy just 100g of these powders from specialist health food shops and also on Amazon. This allows you try them for this recipe to see if you like it.
Lucuma is a large, yellow fleshed fruit with a green skin that grows in Peru. The fruits are dried and then ground into a powder. The powder has subtle sweetness – but it’s not overpowering. It’s often used in combination with another sweetener enabling the reduction of other sweeteners or sugars used in a recipe. Due to the structure of the carbohydrates, it has a low glycemic load making a useful sugar substitution for type 2 diabetics. For those fighting a candida over-growth, then this is OK during stage 2 or 3. And if you are trying to lose weight, lucuma adds more nutrients and less calories than table sugar.
Yacon is tuber that looks like a sweet potato. It’s also widely grown in Peru. Yacon has one of the highest levels of fructooligosaccharides (FOS for short) which means the sugars can to be digested by the body and so it again helps keep blood sugar levels steady. Because of this, it has low calorie and low glycemic load. There has been one study which showed taking one teaspoon of yacon daily, aided weight-loss. But his is only 1 study, so I’m treating this with caution. It also contains high levels of potassium which helps heart health. Again, yacon may be a good sugar substitute for type 2 diabetics. The FOS in yacon acts as a prebiotic – meaning it feeds the good bacteria in the colon. BUT for those with a candida overgrowth, yacon may feed the candida too. If you are in the early stages of the candida diet, yacon may not such a good option.
Carbohydrates and sugar content
Carbohydrates one portion is 36.5g of which sugars 10.4. I was unable to find out the more important glycemic load which would be low due the structure of the carbohydrates. If anyone reading this has more information on the GI or GL of yacon powder or lucuma – please let me know.