In my spare time, I have been crafting more treats and have been inspired by some recipes on the Missfits protein powder site, notably the imitations of millionaire shortbread, that delectable and moreish treat of layers of shortbread, caramel and chocolate. It’s a treat that I love but that I cannot have, thanks to its excessive amounts of refined sugar and their potential to drastically imbalance my hormone profile. Furthermore, why eat something that has no nutritional value?
Instead, making these treats from scratch with nutritional ingredients, like bananas, non-dairy milk, peanut butter and coconut flour, conquer that need for the crunchy gooey without making me feel like I am eating myself ill.
Since I came across two different recipes for essentially the same product, this quick review of both recipes might be helpful for anyone looking to use or adapt recipes like this. Random photos and cooking by moi.
L-to-R: recipe #2; recipe #1
As you can see, there isn’t too much difference between the look of the two when sliced into squares from the centre of the batch or when looking top-down. The first recipe has a tempered dark chocolate finish, which gives a nice snap to your bite. They’re a bit flat, but even so – the ones I was able to fully cover with the chocolate have the banoffee layer is visible.
Dark but luxurious. There’s a soft gooeyness from the middle layer that makes these indulgent. For the base the oats give it a rawer texture which is pleasing – unless you are like me and have frozen and thawed it a couple of times. Top tip – unlike, vegan/raw cheesecakes, these bites don’t need to be frozen after the chocolate has hardened as it stays solid and tempered when cutting through the slices. In fact, repeated freezing and thawing causes the base it get too solid then too squished. It doesn’t crunch like the base should and then blends with the middle layer.
And sticks to others in the box.
Further note: don’t freeze them after you cut and place them on top of each other in tupperware. They will stick together. Which is great if you want an undefined cake-like pile of chocolate, banana, and oats, but not great for watching your portions like me.
It’s not too difficult a recipe to follow. You do need the right balance of quantities – as I found, it’s easy to lengthen the mixture for the first two layers but the chocolate layer doesn’t spread as well as them and sets quickly.
The addition of sliced banana between the banoffee and chocolate layers makes it more difficult to pour on the chocolate layer, especially over the pan surface area. Please note that to make the banoffee layer this recipe suggests blending the ingredients.
Recipe number two approaches banoffee from a different angle. The banana (and the salted caramel protein powder) is still star (though, having learned from my previous makings, I omitted the sliced banana between the layers), but almond milk bulks up the mixture and the recipe adds peanut butter and agave to sweeten. As with the previous recipe, the sweeteners I omitted, but I had high hopes for a recipe the first of which involves baking the coconut/almond flour until achieving a ‘cookie-like’ base.
Full disclosure: I cannot bake cookies so the base might’ve had a different texture if I achieved cookie-ness.
The second recipe focused on smaller quantity produced, and so I utilised a different tin – in fact I used my banana loaf tin and managed to cover all of this base and banoffee layer with the chocolate mixture. Because of this, the visual results – at least, the cut-through – look neater than those of the previous recipe. There’s even a smoothness in the look of all three layers after freezing. Be careful not to leave any fingerprints on the chocolate layer when picking these up!
So far so good. How does it hold up on the other aspects, however?
Look – pretty nails and pretty rings
Because of the almond milk and coconut oil, the chocolate topping on this one is sweeter and of course lacks the snap of the tempered chocolate. Once you add something to pure chocolate, it loses the ability to temper. It’s definitely a personal preference but that snap when you bite recalls to me the bites by which these are inspired.
The flavour itself is richer, a bit more milk chocolatey and pairs nicely with the gooey banoffee and soft sponge-like bits of base (I told you – I can’t make cookies).
However, having a softer, sweeter chocolate top is made up for by the base, which is the most unlike the other recipe of the three layers. For starters, when baked until brown mine tasted like the edges of a cake. A good, fullness of flavour.
Even if it wasn’t a cookie.
It’s not damp like the oat-mixture and doesn’t get damp when freezing, and there’s a added something from the peanut butter in there, even if just from the flavour.
I am still searching for that perfect crunch that one normally gets in millionaire slices.
Theoretically, this recipe takes longer because of the baking element. However, thanks to the inclusion of almond milk in each layer, the additional liquid provides a more pourable application into your tray, especially useful for the top layer, making at least for me, this recipe the one with more ease. The caramel of the protein powder comes through stronger in the banoffee layer and my washing up appreciates not using a blender. I need a bullet blender 😉
All in all, more experimentation is definitely required to achieve the required texture and quantity from these healthier alternative and filling millionaire bars. They are, though, just as moreish as their bulk-made shop-saccharine sisters.
I hope this has been helpful if you are thinking of making your own layered protein bars. You can find recipe #2 here as well as recipe #1 on the Missfits Instagram.