With just over a week to go until Christmas, what is there really left to do except (over) indulge?
As regular readers will know, I have a real thing for salted caramel. It's just one of those delicious, classic combinations that will always have me drooling when I'm reaching for a menu.
Of course, Christmas is also time for wowing guests with your culinary creations (or, at least, attempting to), for having treats ready-prepared for unexpected visitors, or for simply having a fridgeful to keep you entertained...
These Paleo Mini Salted Caramel Cheesecakes are the perfect healthier indulgence. Made with a salted caramel concotion (true salted caramel requires far more patience, calories and even a sugar thermometer - who has the time?) crafted from coconut sugar and with a dairy-free cashew cream "cheese", these are perfect for enjoying, but without overdoing it...
PALEO MINI SALTED CARAMEL CHEESECAKES
(Creates 20 mini bites)
For the base -
1 3/4 cup Sukrin almond flour
1/4 cup Lucy Bee cacao
3.5 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp coconut flour
3 tbsp melted Lucy Bee coconut oil
1 tbsp peanut butter
Pinch Himalayan pink salt
For the filling -
1 cup cashews, soaked in water overnight
1/3 cup canned coconut milk
1/4 cup melted Lucy Bee coconut oil
3 tbsp Sukrin zero calorie icing sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
Squeeze lemon juice
Half a peeled and chopped courgette
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the salted caramel -
3/4 cup Coconom coconut sugar
1/2 cup tinned coconut milk
1/3 cup grass-fed butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Himalayan pink salt, to taste
1) Stir together the melted coconut oil with the nut butter and honey until smooth. Stir in the remaining base ingredients until the mixture clumps together, then press into mini silicone cake / chocolate liners. Place in the fridge to set.
2) Blitz together the cashews and coconut oil until almost smooth. Add in the courgette and blend once more. Throw in the remaining ingredients and blitz until smooth and creamy. Spoon over the set bases, then place in the freezer to set for around 4 hours.
3) In the meantime, make your salted caramel sauce. Place the sugar, coconut milk and butter into a saucepan over a low heat, stirring until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bring to a gentle boil, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Increase the heat once more and bring the mixture to a boil for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat, whisk until smooth, then place back on the heat to boil for a further couple of minutes. Repeat for a few more times until the caramel is thick.
4) Leave the caramel to cool, then pour into a container (it keeps in the fridge for a week or so). Remove your mini cheesecakes just before serving, then spoon over the caramel and sprinkle with a further pinch of salt, if desired. Remove from the silicone cases and serve.