Peanut Butter Slice [Vegan]

One of the very first things I ever made for Cameron was a peanut butter slice. It was mostly born of a couple of chocolate failures in my early baking days. The chocolate I was working with seized and I didn’t want to waste it, so I whipped it up into some sort of icing. I raided the cupboards for whatever else I had on hand and made a peanut butter slice to go beneath the icing. I thought it was a bit rubbish, but he loved it and regularly nags me for another.

Cakcrumbs' Peanut Butter Slice

This weekend just gone was Father’s Day in Australia, and we’d planned a gathering with Cam’s immediate family. We had a gorgeous lunch at an Indian restaurant and went to his brother’s place for dessert and chatter. All the ladies usually bring some dessert or munchies along. I was making a mudcake for his dad and figured I should also bring something vegan so his brother and sister-in-law could eat it too. Veganising a basic peanut butter slice seemed an easy way to finally give Cameron the slice he wanted while creating something everyone could enjoy.

There’s not a lot of animal dairy that needs to be substituted out of the recipe, but by far the hardest task was the biscuit base. I had a lot of trouble finding vegan chocolate biscuits that didn’t look bland and sickly or contained palm oil. So I trudged off to the regular biscuit isle of my supermarket and grabbed a packet of my favourite chocolate biscuits. Whenever I’m reading the ingredients looking for vegan products I feel like I lose my ability to read, but none so much as in that moment. I thrust a packet at Cam and got him to read it over, while I re-read the packet for the 7th time muttering ‘how did I not know this?’

Arnotts Chocolate Ripple Biscuits are vegan. It was the most exciting news all week. I use them in a tonne of desserts. Not only do they have the most incredible flavour, but at $2 for a 250g packet they are far cheaper than any vegan-marketed product I can find.

Cakcrumbs' Peanut Butter Slice

I quite happily blitzed up a whole packet of them and combined them without enough soy spread to bind them into a base, feeling rather excited about the whole thing.

Cakcrumbs' Peanut Butter Slice

Next came the peanut butter layer. I’m yet to see a brand of peanut butter with dairy in it, so I love turning to it when making vegan desserts. I opted for the crunchy variety for the slice as I just liked the textural aspect.

Cakcrumbs' Peanut Butter Slice

Then for the top layer, I made a chocolate ganache. This part I was a bit concerned about as the only animal-dairy-free cream I had on hand was coconut and I didn’t want that in the flavour profile. I made it with almond milk instead and just hoped it would set.

Cakcrumbs' Peanut Butter Slice

I didn’t have to worry, it turned out perfectly. On top I garnished them with chocolate coated peanuts. I had a lot of trouble finding vegan chocolate coated anything for less than a terrifying price, so I simply coated the peanuts in chocolate myself: cheaper and a lot nicer.

Cakcrumbs' Peanut Butter Slice

Normally chocolate that is dark enough to be vegan is far too dark for my tastes. I find it really bitter and hard to swallow. But the peanut butter layer is quite sweet, so it helped balance it out.

Cakcrumbs' Peanut Butter Slice

When we all sat down to our dessert-y feast a couple of people were eyeing off the size of the slices and declaring they’d have to go halvies. They look so rich, and after our massive Indian banquet we were all pretty stuffed. But as we got to them we found that that very balance made them a lot more refreshing on the palate and all too easy to finish. Halfway through, Cam’s brother declared to his wife and promised recipient of the second half that he was going to finish it all and later polished off a second slice.

Cakcrumbs' Peanut Butter Slice

You can quite easily make this dairy-free or not. If you don’t have particular dietary requirements to cater to you can just as easily make this with butter and cream instead.

Peanut Butter Slice
Ingredients
250g chocolate ripple biscuits

50g soy spread, melted

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup icing sugar

60g soy spread

100ml almond milk

200g dark chocolate, chopped

chocolate-coated peanuts

 

Method
  1. Line a lamington tin (mine’s 18 x 26cm) with baking paper.
  2. Crush or process the biscuits in a food processor until the mixture is finely crumbed. Mix or process the soy spread into the mixture. The crumbs should just adhere when pressed together (add a little more spread if they don’t). Press mixture evenly into the tin. Place in the fridge for half an hour to set.
  3. For the peanut butter layer, combine peanut butter, sugars and spread into a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until mixture melts and is completely combined; pour into tin. Place in the fridge for half an hour to set.
  4. For the ganache, heat the almond milk in a small saucepan until mixture boils. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is combined.
  5. Pour the ganache into the tin; tap the tin on the counter top to even it out. Allow to chill in the fridge until ganache thickens, then (before it has set) place the chocolate-coated peanuts intermittently on top of the ganache.
  6. Return tray to the fridge and allow to set completely, then cut into even squares using a hot knife.

 

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8 thoughts on “Peanut Butter Slice [Vegan]

  1. Can I just say that this was one of the most amazing slices I have ever eaten! When these slices arrived in my kitchen for plating up, I must admit I thought they were not vegan.

    We were very lucky to be given some of the leftovers for dessert the following night. Suffice to say, my husband and I enjoyed our own slice each without having to go halvies 😉

    Thank you so much for making these vegan, especially for us. We really appreciated the effort you put in. It just goes to show that people don’t necessarily have to freak out about vegan cooking. As you’ve shown, it is very easy to do – just a matter of substituting core ingredients with others that are very easy to find in any supermarket 🙂

    • I’m glad you guys liked it so much! I don’t think I’ll ever stop being nervous when bringing food over for you all, but especially now when I bring veganised food. Working with unfamiliar ingredients is intimidating, but I think I’m getting the hang of it!

  2. What is the “soy spread” in the recipe? And with what should I replace it if there’s no need to make it entirely vegan? (Avoiding too much milk is a good idea because of lactose intolerance in the family, but other than that, there are no specific baking needs.)

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