With an awesome combination of healthy chocolate, caramel-y dates and almonds, this paleo-friendly and vegan fudge slice is a must-make treat recipe. It requires no baking and is easy to make with accessible, natural ingredients.
Initially, this recipe was meant to be dates, nut, chocolate covered eggs, but as I was in the middle of the first stage, something came up and I had to finish up quickly. There was no time to shape the eggs and coat them in chocolate, so instead, I decided to assemble everything into a slice instead. It turned into a delicious fudge-like slice (somewhere between fudge, Lara bar and caramel slice) topped with chocolate and almond flakes.
It’s a no-fuss and no-bake kind of recipe that you can easily make ahead of time and enjoy over a couple of weeks.
Okay, I need to touch on this really quickly so we are all on the same page. Yes, this fudge slice is made with whole, natural ingredients which contain nutrients and healthy fats. That’s great! It’s also gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free, so it fits into plant-based and paleo diets. BUT, it’s still a treat! To achieve that natural caramel flavour we are using nuts and dates. Both are energy-dense (high in calories) and dates are very sugary. Delicious, but very sweet.
One slice per person is more than enough and make sure you count it into your required daily energy intake. If you plan to work out or go on a long hike, this is great! If you’re having a lazy day and want to enjoy one of these? Go ahead, but maybe have a salad for lunch. You get my gist, yeah? See the full nutrition breakdown below.
How To Make This Vegan & Paleo Fudge Slice?
There are two layers to this fudge slice: the caramel-y date and cashew nut is the thicker bottom layer and the chocolate and almond flakes are the top layers.
Cashews are soaked and then processed in a food processor with dates, coconut oil, vanilla, a little cacao powder and salt. This mixture is then transferred to a tin tray and refrigerated. The chocolate sauce is then prepared and poured over the firmed up caramel mixture. The whole thing is left in the fridge to set and come to solid texture.
The fudge can be either very thick or thin depending on your tray/mould. There is no right or wrong way here.
You can replace cashew nuts with macadamia nuts, almonds or hazelnuts, although cashew nuts are much creamier.
Can I Free it?
Yes, you can. I recommend slicing the fudge as per instructions and then freezing individual portions wrapped in something like Clingwrap. You could also store thems slices in a container between sheets of parchment paper. Alternatively, lay the fudge pieces on a board and freeze for 1-2 hours. Once solid, store in a big Ziploc bag and they shouldn’t stick together once already frozen.
More Healhtyish Chocolate Caramel Recipes
For the fudge layer
- 5-6 tablespoons almond flakes or whole
- 1.25 cups cashew nuts soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
- 10 Medjool dates pitted (if they are very dry, soak them in some hot water for a few minutes)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
- Pinch of salt
For the chocolate top layer
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder regular cocoa powder can also be used
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey, can be omitted for less sugar
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk or almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
- Place almond flakes in a frying pan and toast over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly browned. Reserve 2-3 tablespoons of almond flakes and add the rest to the food processor. Whiz a few more times until ground and incorporated into the fudge mix. Almonds don't need to be as fine and they will add a little texture to the slice.
- Place the soaked cashews, dates, coconut oil, raw cacao, vanilla and salt in a food processor with an S-blade on. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the almonds. Grind/process for 2-3 minutes, scraping the sides as you go along, until the mixture is super fine and sticky (the nut oils will start to come out and it will get shiny).
- Scoop the fudge mixture into a square or rectangular tin with bottom and sides lined with baking paper. I used a small banana bread tin. Flatten and smooth the top with a spatula, then place the tin in the fridge while you make the chocolate sauce for the topping.
- To make the chocolate topping, place a small heat-proof bowl over a simmering pot of water or use a double boiler. Heat up the coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut milk and vanilla in a saucepan until hot to touch but not simmering or boiling, about 45 C / 113 F. Add the cacao powder and whisk until well incorporated, silky, and shiny smooth. Remove from the heat.
- Take the tin out of the fridge and pour the chocolate sauce over the top, spread with a spatula and sprinkle with the remaining toasted almonds. Place back in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
- Once firm, remove from the tin and peel off the baking paper. Slice and keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze the sliced fudge for up to 3 months.