If at first you don’t succeed …
And so that’s been the way over the last few months as I’ve been trying to get the base of this recipe right – something close to a lovely short biscuit base but not quite so crumbly.
I was able to roadtest it on my book group last week. There was a unanimous thumbs up so at last it’s ready for you as well.
This recipe is quite low in sugar. The base has added sugar but the middle layer is just puréed apricots, and the chocolate layer is guilt-free with no added fructose. So the kids will think it’s a sweet treat but you’re not overloading them with sugar.
I used apricot halves that I’d had stored in my freezer since summer. They worked like a dream – I simply defrosted them in the microwave and puréed with the defrosted juices. If using fresh apricots, microwave them until they are soft (don’t add any liquid) and then purée. If using tinned apricots, try to find brand that’s low in sugar and drain thoroughly before puréeing.
And if you’re sending them in the lunchbox, pack an ice brick so that the chocolate topping doesn’t melt.
100 g tapioca starch
80 g sorghum flour
80 g brown rice flour
5 g psyllium husk
100 g white sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
120 g butter, cut into cubes
1 tbs milk
400 g fresh or frozen apricot halves (with juice), or tinned apricot halves (drained and juice discarded)
40 g coconut butter, melted
15 g cacao powder
50 g rice malt syrup
Preheat oven to 160° Celsius (conventional oven) or 140° Celsius (fan-forced oven). Grease and line an 18 cm x 28 cm slice tray.
Into the large bowl of a food processor, add tapioca flour, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, psyllium husk, white sugar, vanilla bean paste, egg, butter and milk. Process until mixture comes together into a ball.
Press into the tray. Lightly grease a small rolling-pin, jar or drinking glass and roll mixture until it is even and fills the base of the tray.
Bake for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, purée apricots.
Once the base has cooked for 10 minutes, remove from oven and spread puréed apricots evenly over base. Put back into oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until apricots are firm and base is cooked (it should be firm and look slightly crumbly).
Remove from oven. Leave in tray to cool.
Put coconut oil, sifted cacao powder and rice malt syrup into a small bowl. Use a whisk or fork to combine thoroughly.
When slice has completely cooled, spread cacao mixture evenly over the top of slice. Refrigerate for approximately 15 minutes or until set.
Trim edges and cut into 3 cm x 4 cm rectangles.
Makes approximately 30 pieces.