Energy bars have become very popular these days. Here is an upscaled super food bar made out of date paste and mandarine pâte de fruit. Yields a 9X13-inch/23X33 cm half baking tray (greased and lined with parchment). Make a few hours prior to serve.
Halve dated and remove pits. In a saucepan, gather dates along with juices and water. Heat up and puree in a food processor. Transfer date paste to a separate container – keep the blender bowl for the following steps.
Make more if desired. Peanut can be subbed for any other nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts... Toast peanuts needed for the peanut butter and for the energy bar mixture in the oven for about 15 mins at 400ºF/200ºC. Reserve whole peanuts for the mix and turn whatever left into paste. Store peanut butter in a sealed container at room temp.
In a food processor, mix date paste with peanut butter first and incorporate egg whites. Add rolled oats, chia seeds, preserved lemon peel, coconut oil, and pumpkin seeds. Give a few pulses (do not overwork), and add half of the toasted peanuts. Give a couple of pulses to combine. Spread mixture evenly in the prepared pan. Tuck in remaining peanut halves.
Bake at 350ºF/180ºC for 20 minutes. While still warm, spread date paste over (8 ounces/250g). Let cool.
Combine sugar along with dextrose and agar-agar. Meanwhile, heat up mandarine puree with lemon juice and vanilla. Mix in sugars-agar mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Remove pate de fruit from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Then pour it over the bars mixture slab. Place it in the refrigerate for 4 hours until completely set.
To un-mold the slab, run a small offset spatula all around the edges. Cover slab with a lightly oiled large Ziploc plastic sheet and to another tray (bottom down). Flip and remove the tray and parchment. Top with a tray and flip it again. Slide the energy bar slab onto a cutting board. Sprinkle some raw sugar if desired and cut into 2X10 bars. Date mandarine bars can be kept for up to a week in the refrigerator or frozen for weeks. Enjoy!