By Frances
On my quest to find the perfect raw caramel slice, here is version no. 3 from Keilanaskye. The caramel part is particularly good - just tahini and maple syrup really. For the base I used sunflower seeds and activated buckwheat (buckinis) instead of cashews (just over 1/2 c each). I find the buckwheat gives a nice crunch that I really like.
I'm going to enter this in November's Sweet NZ monthly blog event, hosted by Toast.

For the base:
1 1/2 cups raw, organic cashews (pre-soaked for at least 2 hours and rinsed - if possible, allow to completely dry or dehydrate first)
6 organic medjool dates (pitted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Organic shredded coconut (optional)
Sprinkle of Himalayan pink rock salt (optional - but helps bring out the flavours)
For the caramel:
Just under 1/2 cup organic tahini (I use unhulled*)
1/2 cup organic maple syrup (or just a little bit over 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup organic coconut oil (liquefied) 
1 tsp vanilla extract
Large pinch Himalayan pink rock salt
For the chocolate topping:
1/2 cup coconut oil
3 tbsp organic, raw cacao
1 tsp  organic carob powder (optional)
2.5 - 3 tbsp organic maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Base: blend or process all ingredients together, until a doughy texture is formed.  Press into coconut-oil greased dish and put in the fridge.
Caramel: blend all ingredients together except coconut oil.  Once well blended into a thick, smooth caramel; blend in the coconut oil until combined (should only be 15 - 25 seconds or so).  The texture should be very gooey now.  Pour on top of the base immediately and put back into the fridge.
Chocolate topping: in a saucepan, heat and melt the coconut oil. Do not overheat or let it boil, as this destroys the nutrients.  The coconut oil should only be lukewarm, not at all hot.  Once melted, take off the heat and sift in the powders.  Stir until combined. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and stir well.  Pour the chocolate over the caramel.  Try not to wait too long, as the chocolate will harden and set. 
Wait a few hours for all the layers to set properly, cut into squares and store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
*  Dry cashews process/blend better than wet cashews.  You'll get a better texture as well.  You can use unsoaked nuts, but do be aware that the 'enzyme' will still remain.  See below post for this information.

* Unhulled tahini has more nutrients and far less sodium.  Taste wise, unhulled tahini is more distinctive and has an almost smokey flavour, but it does not disturb the caramel mixture. Please use whichever tahini you prefer.