We’ve made a lot of recipes in the Neat Kitchen but this one is up there with the best. Sometimes, refined sugar-free or ‘healthy’ versions of those naughty snacks we all love, don’t quite live up to the hype. In this case, the hype is true. Get on the protein caramel hype train! The only problem you’ll have with these is that you’ll want to eat the whole tray (we almost did).
You’ll need to set aside a little bit of time to make this (but it’s totally worth it), because each layer needs to set. If you’re a multi-tasker, you can be productive while you’re waiting!
Pop a sheet of clingfilm over an 8x8 tin and push down until the bottom and sides are covered. This will just make it easier to remove the slab at the end. The smaller the tin you use, the thicker the bites will be and vice versa for larger tins.
Start with the base: put the dates, nuts and oats into a food processor and process until the dates are broken right down and the mixture looks like a chunky powder. Add the syrup and peanut butter, then process again. If you have a food processor that allows you to add ingredients while it blends, pour the milk in slowly until the mixture binds together and is relatively sticky (it will ball up in the processor).
Press into your tin. It’s really easiest to do this with your fingers. Push to the edges and then place into the freezer and start your caramel.
Use the food processor again, or if you have a super blender, call in its services now! Put all the ingredients in and whizz. You may want to add a little more liquid if it's very thick. It should be like a thick smoothie (e.g. you should still be able to pour it, but it may need some help with a spoon). Spread over the base and place back in the freezer.
This is where you can twiddle your thumbs for a bit as the caramel layer will take a while to set. When it’s firm to the touch, you can make your chocolate. If you chose to make it from scratch, just pop everything into a saucepan and melt together over a low heat. If you go down the melting chocolate route, either use the microwave (can be tricky) or pop it in a bowl over a pan of boiling water until it melts.
Pour over the caramel and place back in the freezer. Once the chocolate is set, you can cut into bitesize squares. We found them the tastiest if we left them in the freezer and had them as ice cold bites!