Snickers with Macadamia Nougat
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar free.
While driving along the east coast of Australia, we stopped off in a magical wonderland called Tropical Fruit World.
I posted a recipe for snickers before, and though I loved them I thought that the recipe could do with a little tweaking. I thought the nougat would be better with a little less of a coconut kick and wanted to have individual bars rather than the messiness of slicing through a top layer of frozen chocolate. As such, they are decadent and delicious. The salt is still a fundamental part of the nougat recipe though, the quantity listed isn’t a mistake! Now excuse me while I go rub my belly; I may have eaten too much while “testing” each stage and then the final product!
Update: I’ve served these to a huge array of friends and family: mostly non-vegans and certainly a variety of people with attitudes to health. One and all thoroughly enjoyed them. Of course, if you are serving them to children I would cut the salt out almost completely. These are definitely meant for grown-ups, but the grown-ups all think they’re savage.
A good quality food processor is not needed for this. The cheap variety available in Argos or Debenhams for 30 euro will do the trick just perfectly. It is definitely worth owning one!
- Makes about 25 fun-size bars, takes about an hour (though almost all the washing up will need to be done at the end!) -
Base layer (Chocolate):
60g dark chocolate
1 tbs date water (the water in which you soaked the dates)
Pinch of salt
Second layer (Nougat):
3 tbs coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup oats (gluten-free if needed)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp maple syrup
30g macadamia, pulsed in the blender in a mealy texture
1 tbs natural peanut butter
1 tbs almond milk
Third Layer (Caramel):
250g pitted dates (don’t need to be Medjool)
1.5 tbs natural peanut butter
50g mixed nuts (I used macadamia, hazelnut and pecan: break them up a bit)
Top layer (Chocolate):
About 200g dark chocolate
1 tbs date water
Sprinkle of coarse pink Himalayan salt
Before you begin) [2 hours - overnight] Put the pitted dates in a bowl and cover with warm water. Leave to soak, preferably overnight. Drain the dates, reserving the sweetened date water. Squeeze a little water from the dates but do keep a good bit of moisture trapped in them.
Layer 1) [10 minutes] Make the base layer by melting the chocolate with the salt and date water using a water bath. This prevents it from burning and developing an acrid flavour. Sit a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water so that it fits snugly over it like a lid (I use a Christmas pudding bowl over a small pan. The pan does not need to be very full, just enough to hit the bottom of the bowl. Stir it quite often. When it is nearly melted, remove from the heat and stir until it is fully melted.
While you are waiting for the chocolate to melt, line a 10 inch by 8 inch tin with baking parchment. I stick mine down with a little coconut oil between the tin and the paper to facilitate it holding the shape of the tin well. Pour the chocolate over the paper and spread it to cover the entire base evenly. Put in the freezer to set. While it sets, prepare the nougat.
Layer 2) [15 minutes] In a food processor, pulse the macadamias until they form a moist crumble. Add the oats and pulse until they are combined and form texture like coarse sand. Add the coconut oil, salt, maple syrup and peanut butter. Pulse again to mix it well. Test the mixture by pressing it together with your fingers. It should stick together and be quite moist. If it isn’t, add the almond milk and pulse again. Remove the solidified chocolate from the freezer. Spoon over the mixture; I covered the base initially with six clumps that covered different parts of the tin. Starting at the corners, press the nougat down and out. It will form a thin (maybe 1 or 2 cm deep) layer, so be patient and continue to press it out. Return to the freezer while you prepare the caramel.
Layer 3) [15 minutes] Add the dates to the food processor. Provided you use a spatula or something similar to ensure the bowl of the food processor is relatively emptied of the nougat I would see no need to wash it. Add the dates and pulse until they begin to turn into a thick caramel. Taste little clumps to ensure the skin has been well dissolved. Add the peanut butter, salt and a tiny bit of date water if needs be to form a thick, oozing caramel. Stir in the sultanas and nuts. (I add the sultanas as they form a wonderful honeycomb substitute when frozen, omit them if that doesn’t sound appealing but good god they’re yummy.) Spoon over the nougat and flatten again. Freeze.
Layer 4) [20 minutes] Melt the chocolate and date water over the water bath again. Remove the base layers from the tin by pulling up the parchment paper. On a chopping board, slice into “fun-size” bars using a sharp knife. Pour the chocolate over the top of each bar (1-2tbs work per bar, use a tea spoon to spread it around the sides and down to the base chocolate layer if necessary). Leave to set on the counter. As they are beginning to solidify, crunch a little coarse pink salt very loosely over the tops so it is visible to the eye. Freeze in a tupperware container.
I eat these straight from the freezer: the centre layers will remain soft and chewy and the chocolate will give a satisfying bite.
hummus and spuds