Servings : 12 – 16
This slice .. not for everyone, but I am all for it. The base is naturally dyed with fresh beetroot and contains coconut, chocolate, dates and vanilla.
The raw icing used one of my favourite ingredients ever - coconut butter and is naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup and flavoured with lemon juice.
A bit decadent .. a bit healthy. But, overall not a bad treat!
1 Small Beetroot (approximately 110g)*
2 Cups (140g) Shredded Coconut
1/2Cup (70g) Raw Cashew Nuts
1/4 Cup (25g) Shelled Hemp Seeds
1/4 Cup (25g) Raw Cacao or Cocoa Powder
10 Large, Soft Dates (Pitted) * (See Notes)
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup (30g) Cacao Nibs - Optional
*Raw beetroot. Do not use canned beetroot - you want the raw kind. It is best to take off the top of the beetroot (the woody part) and peel off the skin to give the best texture. If you really don’t like your hands turning red, wear gloves!
1/4 Cup (60g) Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup (60g) Coconut Butter
3 Tablespoons (45ml) Pure Canadian Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoons (30ml) Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Cups very finely ground blanched almond flour/meal or blanch, grind and dry your own almonds - I recommend the bought almond meal to ensure it's finely ground and sufficiently dry
1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar – or sugar-free/sugar-alternative diabetic sweetener
2 Teaspoons pure almond extract
1 Teaspoon food-grade Rosewater
1 egg white (vegan: use egg substitute 3+ tablespoons golden syrup or any other sticky liquid sweetener)*
Start with the base.
Prepare a 20 x 20 cm square tin by greasing and lining with waxed baking paper - or use a silicone one.
Place the almond flour and powdered sugar (or alternative, if using) in a food processor and pulse until combined and any lumps are broken up.
Add the almond extract and rose water and pulse to combine.
Add the egg white/egg replacement if using and process until a thick dough is formed.
If the mass is still too wet and sticky, add more powdered sugar and ground almonds.
Keep in mind that it will become firmer after it's been refrigerated.
Turn the almond paste out onto a work surface and knead it a few times.
Then place it in the bottom of the prepared pan and press evenly till it fills the whole pan.
Refrigerate while you do the rest.
* Egg white is what is traditionally used. If you're concerned about raw egg you can use pasteurized egg whites in the carton instead. If you absolutely must (though I don't recommend it), you can use a few tablespoons of golden syrup, other sticky liquid sweetener instead.
Wash and peel the beetroot, removing any tough parts at the top.
Cut into quarters and place in a high-speed food processor along with the coconut, cashews and cacao/cocoa.
Pulse until small crumbs have formed.
With the food processor running, add vanilla and pitted dates.
Turn off the food processor and check your mix: you should be able to squeeze it into a ball that holds well together.
If the mixture is too crumbly add 1 more date, process and check again. Repeat as needed (see notes).
Pour base into the prepared tin, spread evenly and condense the mixture by pressing down firmly all over. If preferred, you can use a small glass tumbler to make the layer nice and even (use it like a rolling pin).
Add the coconut oil, coconut butter and maple syrup to a small heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water.
You want to ensure the bowl does not touch the water, as this will cause the coconut butter to burn.
Stirring regularly, heat until everything has become liquid then remove from the heat.
Add the lemon juice and whisk until uniform.
A stick blender will really help to emulsify the icing here, but if you don’t have one whisking will do the job.
Pour over the base and refrigerate again – for ~4 hours.
Heat a knife in hot water and use to cut into uniform sized blocks.
Place in an air-tight container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
· As dates vary a lot in their moisture content, the amount needed will vary. We used fresh Medjool dates and do not recommend swapping for dry dates (as even when rehydrated, the base remains too crumbly). If you only have dry dates, use 20 dates and soak them in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain and squeeze out any excess water.
· If, when tested, your base remains too crumbly and you don’t have any more dates, add 1 Tablespoon of maple syrup, process and test again. Repeat as needed.
· Coconut butter can be found at Independent grocers, health food shops and online. We do not recommend substituting it for anything else.