Orange and Pistachio Layer Bars

I always take it as a green light if my kids like what I make. Children are honest and tell it to you straight. Well, both daughters gave this formula the thumbs up, so the recipe is good to go and yours to enjoy.

Raw, vegan and gluten free. 

Source

150g dates, pitted

220g pistachio nuts, (pecan or almond both work well too)

Pinch of salt

Zest and juice from half an orange (take care to use organic, as we’re using the zest)

120g maple syrup (agave syrup would also work)

120g coconut block, melted

1 tsp vanilla paste

125g chocolate, melted

1-2 tbsp coconut block, melted

Orange zest and additional chopped pistachio to dress

Action

Line a small baking tin. I used a 1lb bread tin to get the depth, although a brownie tray would suffice.

Using a food processor, blitz together the dates, nuts, pinch of salt and juice from half an orange, until a ‘dough’ is formed. Press this evenly into the base of your tin to form the first layer.

In a small bowl and using a spatula, beat together the syrup and melted coconut block, along with a tsp of vanilla paste, until a smooth ‘caramel’ is formed. Spread this evenly over the first base to create your second layer.

Finally, combine the melted chocolate with the melted coconut block – adding the coconut to the chocolate makes the texture less brittle and easier to cut – and smooth to cover. Transfer the tin to the fridge for ten minutes or so to allow the chocolate to set a little. Then, scatter with additional orange zest and chopped pistachio to decorate. Allowing for this initial set prevents the dressing from sinking into the chocolate.

A note on dressing: I learnt this tip during my time at E5 Bakery.  Always dress your bakes with additional ingredients taken from the recipe. This works as a steer to suggest what’s in the bake, eg pistachio shards denote a pistachio bar, and is also good use of left over ingredients.


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