The hardest part about the new lifestyle the we are adapting to, is that I was not ready to give up chocolate. I don’t know if anyone is every really ready to give up chocolate though, so I guess (hope) I am not alone.
Somehow coming home after a long day and whipping out an apple to snack on just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe it will one day, but right now I miss chocolate. I’ve even been dreaming about chocolate cake and I never even liked cake before this change.
In my desperation I made some bars from the general feel of what I had gleaned off of Pinterest – I only had half the ingredients and none of the planning. The result? Burnt, rock hard things that were actually OK to eat when you had managed to get the stupid grease proof paper off it.
Undeterred, I went to the shops and tried again – this time there was huge success! I’m not an expert baker, but these were pretty awesome.
This is what you need:
- 1 cup Cashews
- ½ cup Almonds (I used the diced packet)
- ½ cup Pecans
- ½ cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- ½ cup Cranberries/Raisins (I used a quarter of each)
- ½ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ cup Honey
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving flaps on all 4 sides. I coconut oiled the greaseproof to ensure that it didn’t stick and fail like the time before.
- Roughly chop the almonds and cashews by hand. I like them a little chunky.
- Combine all ingredients except honey in a large bowl and stir until combined.
- Pour in the honey and mix with a fork until everything is evenly coated.
- Spread mixture into the prepared baking dish, pressing down to pack it in and reach all edges and corners of the pan. I use coconut-oiled hands to do this.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. (This time around 20 minutes was just a little too short – so I recommend checking it regularly after you hit the 20 minute mark – you don’t want it to burn, but you also need to make sure it sets together).
- Remove (in the tin) to a wire rack. Compact the mixture again with a spoon before they cool all the way.
- After the bars have cooled about 30 minutes, lift the bars out of the pan by the parchment paper flaps and flip over onto a piece of parchment so the bottom is now the top.
- Reshape back into a square and press down a little if the flipping moved things around a little. Peel off the parchment paper. (At this point, swear at how stupid greaseproof paper is and try and peel as much of it off as you can – if you get this right please let me know how!)
- Allow to cool completely and cut into a size that suites your appetite.
If you haven’t already eaten all of them by the end of the day like we did, you can individually wrap them and they should last for a week.
This is the result of the ridiculous grease proof paper. I ended up giving the bars a close shave to get it off. It took me 30 minutes, but it was so worth it!