23rd Birthday + Raw caramel coconut crunch slice recipe

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and certainly my favourite time too! Christmas is here, and I’ve already been enjoying the silly season festivities this past week.

Last Thursday was my 23rd birthday and was fortunate to have a few days off work to enjoy with my family. We started my birthday celebrations early with breakfast at The Kettle Black, where I enjoyed their Coconut chia pudding with macadamias, summer fruits and edible flowers. I never really order anything but eggs when I’m out for breakfast however after checking out their Instagram feed I couldn’t go past the ever-so-popular and colourful breakfast item. To say it was amazing would be an understatement.

Tip: before deciding to try out a new cafe or restaurant I always check out their website and/or Instagram feed to see what’s on their menu and how appetising it looks! 

Kettle Black. Emma Lauren Food.

Birthday breakfast at The Kettle Black.

As the Melbourne weather was not on our side, we enjoyed a spot of shopping after breakfast. Nothing like a little retail therapy on your birthday!

Turning 23. Emma Lauren Food.

Very spoilt – some of my gorgeous birthday gifts!

One of my best friends gave me Lorna Jane’s Nourish cookbook and having looked through it briefly I’m really excited to try some of her recipes.

The beautiful floral arrangement was from my Melbourne cousins wishing me a ‘Happy 1st Melbourne Birthday’! I definitely had a wonderful day!

Pana Chocolate. Emma Lauren Food.

Birthday cake from Pana Chocolate

For a few years now, in our household, birthday cakes have involved a selection of slices and individual cakes instead of one large cake. As we found there was always so much left over and didn’t really feel like eating birthday cake for the next week! We picked up these delicious healthy raw cakes from Pana Chocolate – everyone was able to sample the different flavours and I can assure you the plate was licked clean!

As I’ve mentioned previously, Christmas is my favourite time of the year! It’s a time when our whole family comes together and really gets into the festive celebrations. My Aunty is another Christmas enthusiast and over the weekend she hosted her Annual Christmas Cookie Exchange! The Cookie Exchange involves guests making multiple batches of cookies (which is more traditional) however slices or balls are also received well. Then hosting a party so the exchange can take place. Once it’s time to swap, guests take a few of each baked goods and end up with an assortment of Christmas treats! Such a great idea as you are able to enjoy a variety of Christmas sweets without having to bake them all yourself.

This guide will provide you with greater insight into how to throw a Cookie Exchange.

Cookie Exchange. Emma Lauren Food.

Cookie ornaments

Now these sugar cookies wreaths are by no means healthy, but they look (and smell) divine! Such a lovely gift idea, just need to make sure they are out of reach so they won’t be devoured!

Did you spot the gingerbread men in the background too?

Cookie Exchange. Emma Lauren Food.

Cookie Exchange

Here’s just a sample of what was made for the Cooke Exchange. As you can see there are an assortment of cookies, slices, balls and rocky road! Sadly I was unable to indulge in any however I did make the Raw caramel coconut crunch slice to enjoy.

Cookie Exchange. Emma Lauren Food.

Gingerbread House decorating

During the Cookie Exchange, we also decorated gingerbread houses which was a surprise to all the guests! The floor and guests were covered in icing and lollies but it certainly was a lot of fun. A few houses collapsed but we made sure they were standing before everyone left! Even though I’m not able to eat my house, I still love the getting into the Christmas festivities.

Ikea have kit gingerbread houses available for $4.99 each and we made this royal icing recipe – with 10 gingerbread houses we went through 21 eggs whites and 4.5kg icing sugar! That’s A LOT of sugar!

Just a note, black isn’t a good colour to wear when decorating gingerbread houses – you could say I learnt the hard way!

Raw caramel coconut crunch slice

As I was unable to indulge in any of the Cookie Exchange baked goods or the gingerbread houses, I created this healthy Raw caramel coconut crunch slice. It’s perfect for the Christmas festivities as you don’t feel like you’re missing out on sweets and it’s super easy to make. I made it in the morning and it was all set for that evening. All that’s required is a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon, oh and a baking tray!

Raw caramel coconut crunch slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Base ingredients

Almond meal is a great ingredient to use in raw slices and cakes as it’s not overpowering in flavour and is quite fine in texture which I find isn’t too heavy on the stomach.

Raw caramel coconut crunch slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Pressed into baking tray

Don’t mind my fingerprints! Thankfully they were covered by three more layers. The base was rich and chocolately in flavour which balanced out the light coconut crunch and caramel layers.

Raw caramel coconut crunch slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Coconut crunch layer

I have a slight obsession with coconut chips and they are a great addition to my granola, as a snack and to raw treats. As the slice was served straight from the freezer, the coconut crunch layer was actually crunchy thanks to the chips and coconut oil.

Raw caramel coconut crunch slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Crunchy layer!

Absolutely love the contrasting colours and complementing textures of the chocolate and coconut crunch layers!

Raw caramel coconut crunch slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Caramel layer – so smooth!

Tahini, preferably unhulled, has been my go-to spread as of late. I’ve been trying to cut down on my nut consumption and as tahini is made from sesame seeds it fits the bill. Admittedly, when I first tried tahini I thought it was awful – I did try it straight out of the jar so in hindsight I should have mixed it with other ingredients first up! My tastebuds have developed over time so much so I now enjoy it on its own.

Tahini has quite a bitter taste and each brand differs in texture and bitterness. If you’re new to tahini, try my Chocolate tahini spread – a delicious way to introduce your tastebuds to this new flavour.

Raw caramel coconut crunch slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Homemade chocolate

Always a good idea as a raw slice wouldn’t be the same without some raw chocolate on top!

Raw caramel coconut crunch slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Check out that chocolate!

Nothing better than glossy, smooth homemade chocolate as the final layer. How amazing does the chocolate look when it’s being poured?!

Raw caramel coconut crunch slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Evenly spread

Once the chocolate has been evenly spread, it’s time to let the slice set in the freezer. The longer it’s in the freezer the better!

Raw caramel coconut crunch slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready to be devoured

This slice will keep in a sealed container in the freezer for up to two weeks! Make sure you place sheets of baking paper in between so the slices don’t stick together.

Raw caramel coconut crunch slice

Makes 30 slices*

Ingredients:

Base
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 3 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup*
  • 3 TBSP cacao powder
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
Coconut crunch
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut chips or shredded coconut
  • 3 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Caramel
  • 1/2 cup tahini – hulled or unhulled*
  • 2 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Chocolate
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil, melted
  • 3 TBSP cacao powder
  • 2 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup

Method:

  1. Line a square or rectangle baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix base ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Press into prepared baking tin, until about 0.5 cm thick. Set in the freezer.
  4. Mix coconut crunch ingredients together and press on top of base. Return to freezer.
  5. Mix caramel ingredients together and spread over coconut crunch. Set in the freezer.
  6. Mix chocolate ingredients together and once caramel layer has set, pour the chocolate over. Place in the freezer for 2 – 4 hours until solidified.
  7. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Notes:

  • Makes 30 slices, depending on how large you cut them.
  • Substitute 100% pure maple syrup for coconut nectar, honey or rice malt syrup.
  • Substitute tahini for almond butter.
Raw caramel coconut crunch slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Enjoying a slice with a cup of tea

Can’t believe there’s only two weeks until Christmas! Would love to hear what your favourite festive celebrations are below!

2 thoughts on “23rd Birthday + Raw caramel coconut crunch slice recipe

  1. Pingback: Healthy Christmas recipes | emma lauren

  2. Pingback: Happy 2nd Birthday… Emma Lauren Food! | emma lauren

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