When you go into a café in New Zealand and have a look at what’s on offer behind the glass in the refrigerated cabinet next to the till (there will always be one), you’ll find at least one kind of slice. Neither a cake nor a biscuit, this popular tea time treat is quintessentially kiwi. The slice usually comprises a biscuit-type solid layer with another flavoured layer or two on top.
At the Sushimi Cafe in Waikanae, as well as top class sushi, they sell raw slices in their refrigerated cabinet. These are slices don’t need cooking as they solidify in cold temperatures. I’d been eyeing these little beauties up for weeks and finally caved one afternoon when we were at the café for one of our all-too-frequent bubble tea excursions. The matcha slice I chose was utterly delicious and I was determined to try and find a recipe so I could make something like it at home. It took a while but I eventually came across a recipe that looked similar to the slice I had eaten. The recipe is vegan so it’s not technically a caramel but the end product is just as good!
To start off, you’ll need a loaf tin (if you want a taller slice which I prefer) or a 8″ x 8″ pan (for a thinner slice).
For the base you’ll need:
- 130g ground almonds
- 75g desiccated coconut
- 250g pitted dates
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp hot water
Measure out all your ingredients, stuff them into a food processor and proceed to blitz them into a dough-like ball.
Line your chosen pan with parchment (don’t skip this step or you’ll never get the slice out of the pan!) and then empty the ‘dough’ into it, flattening it out into a smooth layer with your fingers.
You can then pop the pan into the freezer while you make the second layer.
For the ‘caramel’ layer you’ll need:
- 3 tbsp matcha powder
- 110g coconut oil
- 210g tahini paste
- 95g rice malt syrup (I can’t get this here so I use black strap molasses but you could also use maple syrup at a push)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
Melt the coconut oil in a jug in the microwave (it’ll only need a minute) and then whisk together with the matcha power until there are no more lumps.
Then add the tahini, syrup, vanilla and salt and whisk hard until you get a nice thick caramel consistency.
Get your base out of the freezer and then pour your ‘caramel’ on top.
Stick the pan back the freezer (carefully) and leave it for at least 30 mins.
For the chocolate layer you will need:
- 110g coconut oil
- 50g cacao powder (you could probably use cocoa powder but I haven’t tried that)
- 30g maple syrup
- pinch of salt
Melt the coconut oil (same way as before) and then mix it into the cacao powder, whisking until there are no more lumps. Add the the maple syrup and the salt and give it another good mix.
Get your pan out of the freezer and pour the chocolate on top.
Put the pan back in the freezer for at least 2 hours to allow everything to set.
When it’s set, you can remove it from the pan and slice with a warm knife (makes cutting through the chocolate layer a bit easier) into either large rectangles or bite size chunks. When you’re ready to serve it, you can sprinkle on some flaked sea salt if you like but only do this right before eating it.
You’ll need to store your little matcha creations in the fridge but if you want to store them for longer, you can also freeze it them.
Note: Although these slices are full of healthy, wholesome ingredients such as dates, matcha, cacao and tahini, this does not make them low calorie! The original writer claims that because recipe is vegan, dairy free, gluten free and full of nutritious ingredients, she can convince herself that she can have more of them in one sitting. Actually, the recipe contains over 1000 calories in the tahini alone so I would definitely cut them into bite size pieces if you’re watching your waistline!