“While distance makes the heart grow fonder, resistance makes the taste buds wonder”– Me, 2018 (profound, I know. How did I fail poetry class during first year Uni with such lyrical genius?! )
There’s only one confectionery item I love as much as Kinder chocolate (I still receive a giant Kinder Surprise every Easter), and that’s Twix bars. There’s just no comparison to the signature combination of shortbread biscuit base, gooey caramel filling, and creamy chocolate blanket. I’ve always gone nuts over anything Twix. Twix Pods, Twix ice cream, Twix cheesecake, you name it.
I’d go so far as to blame Mars’ release of Twix Ice-cream Bars during my first European adventure in 2014 on at least five of the seven kilos I gained during that trip. The daily habit was justified by the fact that they were just 1€ a pop (much welcomed by my broke backpacking ass), and my “I’ve got one life, BITCHES!” mantra.
Anyway. It’s needless to say that Twix is never too far from my fantasies.
It frustrated me for a long time that I couldn’t create a healthier version of Twix, purely because I had no idea how to make healthy caramel without a bunch of dates. Low FODMAP caramel was one of the more ambitious goals on the backburner. Then Ashley Melillo from Blissful Basil turned up and answered all my caramel-deprived prayers. Her discovery that almond butter has an incredibly caramely potential when mixed with maple syrup and coconut oil revolutionised my low FODMAP dessert game. Not convinced? You’re going to have to take my word for it and try it.Print
Vanilla Shortbread Biscuit Base:
- 1 ¾ cups (210g) brown rice flour
- 1 cup (97g) tapioca starch
- ½ cup (100g) melted coconut oil
- ⅓ cup (100g) pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Almond ‘Caramel’ Filling:
- 1 cup (250g) unsalted 100% almond butter
- ⅓ cup (100g) pure maple syrup
- ⅓ cup (66g) coconut oil
- ⅓ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ cup (100g) coconut oil
- ½ cup (34g) raw cacao powder
- 1–2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- Small pinch of fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 180*C and line a square 18cm x 18cm slice or cake tin with baking paper, ensuring that the paper hangs over the sides.
- To make the biscuit base, combine the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated. Don’t worry if the mixture is a little clumpy or separated. If it seems too wet (and oil is noticeably pooling on top), add a little more rice flour.
- Spoon the biscuit base mixture into the prepared tin and use your fingertips to press the mixture in firmly and evenly. Use a fork to poke several holes in the base. Bake for 20 minutes or until the colour is becoming golden. Do not allow it to brown as it will be too dry and crack. Remove from the oven. It should still be a little soft to touch and will harden as it cools. My base often forms a big raised bump in the middle toward the end of baking – if this happens to you, gently push it down as soon as it comes out of the oven while it’s still soft. Allow to cool and harden completely in the tin, approx. 40 mins.
- While the biscuit is cooling, make the caramel filling by melting the coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat. Increase heat to medium and add the almond butter, maple, and salt. Lightly whisk until all ingredients are fully incorporated and silky smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temp, approx. 20 mins. Help yourself to a cheeky spoonful of the almond caramel while it’s warm. You’re welcome.
- Pour the caramel filling evenly over the cooled biscuit base and smooth with the back of a spoon. Set in the freezer for 30 mins, ensuring a completely flat position.
- To make the chocolate topping, place the coconut oil, cacao, maple and salt in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the ingredients have completely melted together. Pour the chocolate over the set caramel layer, smoothing with the back of a spoon. Return the slice to the freezer for a further 20 minutes to set, ensuring a completely flat position.
- Remove the slice from the tin and transfer to a chopping board. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting into 18 bars or 25 squares (see notes below on recommended low FODMAP serving sizes). Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week, or freeze for up to one month.
This recipe requires a bit of cooling and setting time between layers, so if you’re strapped for time, the biscuit base can be made a day or so in advance.
Regarding FODMAPs: According to Monash University, almonds are high in oligo’s in servings of 24g (equivalent to 20 nuts) and over. Each serving of this slice, when cut into either 18 bars or 25 squares, contains 14g and 10g almond butter, respectively, which are both considered safe for individuals with IBS.