Store bought caramel: you are delicious. I used to love you. But you're made with white sugar boiled in water and mixed with cream or butter, along with a host of additives and preservatives. So I’ll make my own, even more delicious version of you with vitamin-rich dates and a touch of peanut butter.
200g dates, stoned
1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter (look for unsweetened, made without any hydrogenated oils)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
A pinch of salt
250 g dark chocolate, chopped (preferably sweetened with unrefined sugar, or unsweetened if you can’t have sugar)
How to prepare:
Put the dates in a bowl of room-temperature water and allow them to soak for a few hours. They will soften and absorb some of the water, which will help when making the caramel.
Rinse the dates and put them in a food processor. Blitz until smooth, scraping down the edges of the bowl as you go. Once the dates have started to form a paste, add the peanut butter and continue to pulse. Lastly, add the coconut oil for texture and the salt to bring out the flavour.
Process again until the mixture naturally forms a large ball.
Pull off bite-size pieces of the mixture with your fingers and roll them into neat balls. Lay them out on the prepared baking sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. Leave until melted and completely smooth.
Remove the chilled caramel balls from the freezer. Place 1 caramel on a spoon and dip it into the melted chocolate so that it is completely and evenly coated. Return the ball to the prepared baking sheet. You can use 2 teaspoons to help shape the chocolate coating if that helps. Repeat with the remaining caramel balls, then freeze for at least 20 minutes to give the chocolate and caramel layers enough time to harden properly. Once they’ve frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer bag.
Remove the caramels from the freezer just before serving. Store them in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
It’s everything you need to host a brilliant Coffee Morning.