I distinctly remember the first time I ate a Snickers bar. I was 12 years old and had just started high school where I purchased it from a vending machine that was conveniently located at the school gym. After all snickers really satisfies as the perfect post work out snack, right? It was an exciting moment, as my mum had never allowed me to have one of these mysterious Snickers bars before. So now, having access to a limitless supply of chocolate bars at school, I rebelled and snapped one up. It was bloody delicious and I immediately felt like I had been ripped off in my first 12 years of life.
Unknowingly what I had experienced was the ‘bliss point’ that clever and cunning processed food manufacturers work so hard at achieving – the perfect amount of sugar and fat – so that they can exploit consumers, especially children, and keep them addicted to their chocolate bars ensuring they come back for more and more and more.
Well, it worked. I ate Snickers bars from that moment onwards, not all the time, but I couldn’t tell you how many bars I’ve eaten in my lifetime and that is scary as every 50g bar of snickers is 50% sugar, that’s 6.5 teaspoons of sugar in just one very small bar… that’s a whole lot of empty calories.
It ticks me off that these giant food conglomerates are making so much money off food that makes people sick. The most recent statistics I can find on the web for global sales of Snickers bars is from 2013 where the Mars Candy Company sold 3.5 BILLION dollars worth of snickers. Clearly, the snickers bliss point is working.
I’d like to tell you that one bar every so often isn’t going to hurt you, and for some of us it doesn’t, but sugar is more addictive than cocaine (or so they say!) and our bodies are hard wired to desire things like snickers bars as food companies have manipulated our taste buds and brain functioning so that we consume more and more of these sugary things than we should. It actually is really hard for us to stop!
But despite all this knowledge I am still salivating at the thought of biting into a snickers bar. Geez they really got me good!! But enough is enough, I am not buying your chocolate bars any more Mr Mars. You’ve had me hooked for 17 years and I ain’t eating your crap “food” no more.
So instead I am making my own version of a snickers bar because let’s be honest, I love the combination of peanut, chocolate and caramel, and there is a way to enjoy this as a healthy treat. You might say, who could be bothered making this tart when you can just buy a bar from the petrol station? Well, that’s kind of the point, this dessert is more time consuming then putting $2 into a vending machine, and that is why you wouldn’t and shouldn’t eat it all the time. But when you do make sure to enjoy every single yummy bite. Dani x
PS: Thanks mum for not letting me eat Snickers bars for the first 12 years of my life. Proof that Mum’s really do know best.
Makes 12 ‘snickers bars’
Allow a few hours to cook this tart and let it set
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
2 cups almond meal
½ cup coconut flour
½ cup smooth pure peanut butter
2 tablespoons raw cacao
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt flakes
¼ cup water, or as needed
1 cups raw cashews or roasted unsalted peanuts OR
1/2 cup cashew butter or peanut butter
(depends if you would like to make your own, use peanut butter for a more ‘snickery’ taste)
1 cup fresh medjool dates, pitted (approx 20 dates)
½ cup coconut milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1½ cups unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
100mls melted coconut oil
100mls melted cacao butter
100g raw cacao
100mls pure maple syrup
pinch of salt
HOW YOU MAKE IT
Preheat fan forced oven to 180 degrees
Line the base of an approx 25cm long rectangle tart tin with baking paper and lightly spray the sides with oil
To make the base of the tart, place all base ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Add a little extra water if needed to bring the dough together. Press dough into the tart tin a little at a time to form base and sides of tart (no need to roll out first, this dough is very forgiving), ensure the base and sides are even. Prick the base of the tart with a fork lightly. Line with baking paper and add baking beads or rice, place in oven for 15 minutes, remove baking beads and baking paper, place back in oven until tart shell is crisp and cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool before removing from tart tin.
Tip: If you have any leftover dough, roll into a ball and press down slightly to make cookies
Make your own cashew or peanut butter by placing nuts in high powered blender, like a Thermomix, and blitz on high until nuts become oily and buttery. Scrape down sides as needed to ensure a smooth butter.
When tart is cool, add cashew or peanut butter to the base of the tart. Cashew butter looks more like a snickers bar, but peanut butter tastes more like the real deal. It’s up to you what you choose.
To make the peanut caramel, place the medjool dates, coconut milk and vanilla bean into a high powered blender, whiz until a smooth, thick paste is achieved. Stir in peanuts and salt.
Add a thick layer of peanut caramel to slice, leave about a 2mm gap for the chocolate layer.
To make chocolate, place coconut oil, cacao butter and maple syrup into a double boiler to gently heat on low or in a thermomix at about 40 degrees. Melt then stir in raw cacao, whisk well to combine. Pour into tart shell to complete the tart. Place in fridge to set. Slice into bars to serve!
Tip: If there is any left over chocolate, place on baking paper in the base of a deep plate or pie dish and set in fridge for raw chocolate snacks!