Just for a change, I’ve taken inspo from my dear old ‘Ma. Her Millionaire’s Slice (pictured below) is second to none. It’s a family tradition and to my mind it encompasses our Christmas’s in a dessert. Perhaps not the most obvious Christmas option, I mean hello, Christmas cake? Christmas pudding? Yes. But my Granny’s recipe pips even Christmas pudding to the post and certainly any Christmas cake.
The combination of the dark chocolate, rich toffee and sweet shortbread is just delicious. It was this combination that inspired the below recipe. I was thrilled with the results. The shortbread base was a new experiment I adapted from my vegan Raw Millionaire’s Slice to be sugar free and higher in protein. I wasn’t sure how it would bake; whether it would brown too much, whether it would turn to a crumbly mess, or whether it would just be a complete taste disaster.
It was for this reason I chose to use baking beans and to blind bake it much like a pastry case for a quiche. My theory was that the beans would weigh it down and the pressure would help prevent any crumbling disaster, it covered it to prevent any burning on the top and remaining raw on the bottom, and give a more even bake from the heat the beans retain. And guess what. My logic actually worked! Whether or not it would work without the beans I don’t know. But if you don’t have any, dry rice or chickpeas work as a good substitute.
The next challenge was the filling: I wanted a gooey pumpkin peanutty caramel like filling, but not by just using a bunch of dates, syrup, artificial sweeteners or nut butter. I wanted it to be a little bit, ahem, less rib sticking but without destroying my gut with high fibre sweeteners like erythritol. And with so many people undertaking the #veganuary challenge, I wanted it to cater to that too.
The filling did come out gooey as I’d hoped, but much like regular Millionaire’s Shortbread, it firms up and after a couple of days and the goo becomes decreasingly goo like and transforms into more of a firm filling. A similar thing happens with the base as it does with regular Millionaire’s Shortbread too – it loses it’s crispness. That’s not to say it isn’t still delicious, it is, but, all I’m saying here is that although still good after a a few days, it’s prime eating time is when it’s freshhhhh FRESH! (yes, yes I did just almost break out into the written format of singing *rolls eyes*). Alas, singing aside, I enjoyed it when it was in both fresh and after-it-had-taken-residence-in-a-box-for-a-few-days format, as did my Mum.
- 15g vegan spread (I used avocado spread)
- 15g granulated sweetener
- 40g superfine oat flour
- 25g vegan protein*
- additional equipment: baking beans and baking paper
- 100g canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 20g peanut flour
- 5g lucuma powder (opt)
- 40g soft pitted dates
- 10g coconut blossom nectar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- 35g dark chocolate
- 1/8 tsp coconut oil (opt)
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- In a bowl, melt the spread. Mix in the sweetener and microwave again for a couple of seconds. To this mixture, add the oat flour and vegan protein. Stir together to form a crumble mixture, rubbing in with your fingers if necessary.
- Press it into the bottom of a baking dish. I recommend using the base of something firm to make pressing it down a little easier! Crumple up a piece of baking paper and put over the shortbread base. Fill with the baking beans and bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and use a hand blender to blend until smooth.
- Allow the base to cool a little before spreading on the pumpkin filling. Cover with the baking paper and bake in the oven (at 200C still) for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Gently melt the chocolate, stir in the coconut oil (if using) and spread/pour over the top. Allow to fully cool before slicing.
Macros (1/9th): 86 caories, 9.5g carbs (4.6g sugars), 4g protein, 3.7g fat, 1.3g fibre
Notes: For a protein powder free base, I would recommend subbing 30g oat flour, or you may try using the base from my Raw Millionaire’s Slice.