OK guys, this is one of the recipes I’m most proud of to date. Working with the wonderful Pic’s peanut butter, this festive dessert is a feast in itself and certainly worth making every element: An oat, date and nut mixed spice base topped with a salted peanut butter and maple syrup middle layer, finished off with a raw white chocolate and your very own handmade chocolate-coated Christmas oaty peanut biscuits and balls. The result is a beautiful centrepiece of a dessert than can be made a few days ahead (so no stress on the day when it’s going to be manic!), plus it is going to please all your guests, whether they are vegan, dairy-free or gluten-free, woohoo!
For the base –
- 100g oats (I used Mornflake)
- 100g dates (I used Whitworths)
- 50g walnuts or pecans (I used Whitworths)
- 50 almonds (I used Whitworths)
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
For the peanut butter layer –
- 4 tablespoons Pic’s Crunchy Peanut Butter
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (I used Lucy Bee)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup (I used Indigo Herbs)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
For the raw chocolate topping –
- 50g cacao butter (drops are easier!)
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla powder
For the balls & biscuits –
- 100g rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I used Schwatrz)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (I used Schwartz)
- 2 tablespoons Pic’s Smooth Peanut Butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 100g dark chocolate, broken up into pieces (I used Monetzuma’s)
- Sprinkles & cacao nibs
- Dried apples and dried cranberries, to decorate (I used Lio Licious)
- First make the base: Place everything into a blender or food processor (I use my Ninja Kitchen) and blitz until everything is roughly broken down and forms a slightly sticky mixture. Press this into a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Chill while you prepare the next part.
- Gently melt the coconut oil, peanut butter and maple syrup then whisk in the vanilla. You should have a slightly runny peanut butter mixture. Pour this over the base and use a spatula or back of a spoon to smooth out evenly. Place back in the fridge.
- Make the raw chocolate by very gently melting the cacao butter and coconut oil. Remove from the heat then whisk in the maple syrup and vanilla powder. Pour over the peanut butter layer to cover completely. Chill for at least 4 hours to set.
- Meanwhile make your balls and gingerbread men: Place the oats in a blender and whizz up to ground them down to a flour then add in the spices. Melt the peanut butter, 2 tbsp of the coconut oil and maple syrup then add to the oat mixture. Mix well so it comes together to form a dough.
- Divide this into 8 balls – place on a lined baking sheet. Use the remainder of the mixture to roll out and cut about 4 mini gingerbread men shapes. Place on a separate baking sheet. Chill for 15 minutes.
- Gently melt the 2 tsp coconut oil with the chocolate. Coat each ball and half of the men in chocolate and roll them in different sprinkles or cacao nibs before they set. Place back on the baking sheets and chill again for 15 minutes.
- You should have some melted chocolate leftover: Remove the cake from the tin and place on a board. Use a teaspoon to drizzle the remaining chocolate around the edges and working quickly, arrange the balls and men on top around the edge (the chocolate helps to set them on top). Sprinkle over the dried apple and cranberries – even spray with edible glitter! – and keep in the fridge until needed.
- When ready to serve, remove 5 minutes before then use a large sharp knife dipped in hot water to slice – it helps to prevent the chocolate from cracking when you cut into it!