Almost raw chocolate-caramel shortbread
This post was created in partnership with Califia Farms.
Man oh man oh man OH MAN. What an interesting 12 days it's been, eh?
I spent the first week of #45s time in office incessantly checking the news (Thom would argue that 'incessantly' is an understatement) (heh). Do you have any idea what that does to a person? Of course you do because you, like me, were probably incessantly checking the news, too. So I don't need to tell you about how it made my blood boil. Or about how it started eating away at me. Or about how it turned me into a psychotic version of myself who would spew 20-words-a-second at Mike Coffman's voicemail at 5AM. I knew something had to give when I ended one of our solo chats with a gentle reminder that YOU WORK FOR US, MOTHERFUCKER. DON'T FORGET IT.
I apologized for calling him a motherfucker, BTW. And you'll be pleased to know my voicemails to him are far more pleasant now that I no longer start my days with 30 minutes of (bad) news. Instead I've been starting them with Arundhati Roy's War Talk. I've read the book at least half a dozen times now (it's a collection of short essays), but my favorite chapter has always been the very last one. It's called Confronting Empire. And reading it is my new favorite way to start the day.
Our strategy should be not only to confront Empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.
The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.
Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.
- Arundhati Roy
Notes: If you don't have cacao butter for the cashew caramel cream, you can replace it with 1/4 cup (45g) of coconut oil (making for 1/2 cup of coconut oil total). The roasted cashew butter can be replaced with raw cashew butter, almond butter, etc. but the roasted cashew lends a really delicious flavor to these things. If you don't want to make ganache, use magic shell and pour it on top of the shortbread once the caramel cashew cream is frozen solid. If you'd prefer to make the shortbread in bar form, knock yourself out. Just make sure you double the recipe so you have enough to fill the pan (I'd use an 8" square pan). This recipe was inspired by all the Livia's Kitchen millionaire bites I ate in London last spring.
This post is sponsored by Califia Farms, maker of my favorite non-GMO + carrageenan-free almondmilk (amongst other delicious beverages). All opinions are my own (and I think Califia rules).
ALMOST RAW CHOCOLATE-CARAMEL SHORTBREAD
OAT + COCONUT CRUMBS
1 cup (90g) rolled oats
1 cup (75g) unsweetened shredded coconut
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
4-6 (60g) medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons (24g) unrefined coconut oil
2 tablespoons (28g) Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk
CASHEW CARAMEL CREAM
1/2 cup (68g) raw cashew pieces, soaked 4+ hours or overnight
10-12 (160g) medjool dates, pitted and soaked
15 minutes 1/4 cup (55g) Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk
1/2 cup (120g) roasted cashew butter
1/4 cup (45g) unrefined coconut oil, melted
1.5 ounces (43g) cacao butter, melted (see notes above)
Pinch of fine sea salt
YOU'LL ALSO NEED
Toasted coconut flakes
Sea salt flakes
In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the oats, shredded coconut, salt, and vanilla bean powder into a super fine meal (this should take 1-2 minutes). Add the dates and pulse for 25-30 seconds, until evenly distributed. Add the coconut oil and almondmilk and process until fully incorporated. Divide and firmly press the crumbs into the cavities of a 12 cavity mini cheesecake pan; set aside.
In a high powered blender, such as a Vitamix, blend the cashews (drained), dates (drained), almondmilk, cashew butter, coconut oil, cacao butter, and sea salt on high speed until smooth and creamy; about 1-2 minutes. Divide the cashew caramel cream between the cavities then level with the back of a spoon. Tap the pan on the countertop to remove any trapped air bubbles. Transfer the pan to the freezer and chill the shortbread for at least eight hours. Once they're frozen solid, pop them out of the pan and transfer to an airtight container until you're ready to serve.
Just before serving, top shortbread with a spoonful of ganache then sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes, cacao nibs, and sea salt flakes. Leftover shortbread can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for at least a few months (though they won't last that long). I prefer to eat the shortbread straight from the freezer but, if you want to serve them at a party, you'll be pleased to know they'll keep their shape at room temperature (thanks to the cacao butter).
Yield: 12 shortbread