These bars are inspired by the new, Christmas themed bakewell tart Nákd bars. I was very excited to hear about them. Alas, I haven't found them in any stores near me yet (although I have seen the related Christmas pudding flavoured bar). Given I have my food processor back, I thought I'd try a homemade version.
Nákd bars are one of my favourite UK products. They are made by the same company, Natural Balance Foods, that makes Trek bars. They were available in a few supermarkets in Australia when I left, but normally for about $2 per bar. They are quite costly here too - around £2.80 for 4, or £0.75 each - but not quite as exorbitant as in the Australian market. Plus, the ingredient list helps to justify the price. The standard bars consist purely of dried fruit and nuts, plus various natural flavours. As many of you know, raw vegan treats can be costly to make.
The bakewell tart Nákd bars have a typically simple ingredient list: dates, cashews, sultanas, and natural flavouring. I made my version with dates, cashews, dried cherries, and almond extract. I considered adding oats too, but in the end stuck with a raw fruit and nut based version.
These bars do taste remarkably like a bakewell tart. As you would expect, the flavours are not exactly the same, and it is the cherry-almond tones that come through rather than a taste of pastry. The bars are delicious though, and very easy to eat. I am keen to compare my version with the commercial Nákd equivalent in time, but for now, will be satisfied with this batch.
Incidentally, for those of who you want an actual vegan bakewell tart - I have a recipe for them here. They resemble the real thing in all possible ways, but are not raw and have a slightly less healthy ingredient list!
Raw vegan bakewell tart bars
A simplified, raw vegan version of the classic British dessert
Makes 10 to 12 bars
Raw, vegan and gluten free
Food processor required
Author: Bite-Sized Thoughts, with inspiration from Nákd bakewell tart bars
1 cup (130g) raw cashew nuts
3/4 cup (110g) loosely packed dates
1/2 cup (70g) loosely packed dried cherries
1/2 - 3/4 tsp almond extract, to taste
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until the mix starts to clump together, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally if needed.
When the mix is ready, line a square or rectangle baking tin with non-stick paper. Press the fruit and nut mix into the lined tin, distributing evenly to give a height of 2 to 3 cm (1 inch). Allow to set in the fridge for at least an hour before cutting into slices.
Do you enjoy Nákd bars? If so, what is your favourite flavour?