Archive of ‘Slices’ category

Chocolate caramel slice

A word of warning, this is the second time I’ve tried to write this up. The first time I started, got very hungry, left for the kitchen and never came back. This time I’ve come armed with tea, cookies and jam on toast to help me through (for, surprise, surprise there is no chocolate caramel slice left in the house).

To get yours to look like the picture, double the amount of chocolate topping outlined below. It was an accident as I was originally halving the recipe, but it turned out to be a fabulous mistake. I also used leftover easter eggs chocolate, which worked really well.

Ingredients: Base
1 cup flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
115 grams butter, melted

Ingredients: Filling
1/3 cup golden syrup
115 grams butter, melted
2 x 400g cans sweetened condensed milk

Ingredients: Chocolate Topping (I doubled this)
170 grams dark chocolate
3 teaspoons olive oil

Method: Base
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (350F).
2. Place the flour, coconut, sugar, and butter in a bowl and mix. It should be crumbly, but sticking together.
3. Press the mixture into a rectangular 20x30cm (ish) baking tin that has been lined with baking paper. I also sprayed the baking paper with olive oil spray for good measure. Press the mixture in really well to give yourself a good base for cutting later.
4. Bake for around 15-18 minutes (until browned).

Method: Caramel Filling
1. Place the golden syrup, butter and condensed milk in a saucepan over low heat and stir for 7 minutes, or until it has thickened slightly.
2. Pour over the cooked base.
3. Bake for 20 minutes (check after 15), or until the caramel is golden. The caramel can bubble up a little with the cooking, but it will settle upon cooling and will be covered with chocolate.
4. Refrigerate until the slice is cold – about two to three hours.

Method: Topping
1. Place the chocolate and oil in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted.
2. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Spread over the slice.
4. Refrigerate until firm.
5. Cut with a heated knife.

Cut in to 2cm squares, this makes 36.

Don’t: Melt the butter in the microwave on a high heat. It exploded everywhere and then you have to put more in your jug to make up for the stuff all over the microwave. Not to mention clean the microwave.

And really don’t: stick your finger in the hot caramel. Not that I’d know….

Healthy? Really? Do you really have to ask if? I’ll tell you what, I will write it very small, and then you don’t have to read it unless you magnify the page, for ignorance is bliss. Like this slice. Calorie count: 150  a slice (which really isn’t that bad anyway).

Gluten free? The base is not. The GF recipes I have seen just substitute the flour with GF flour, but I haven’t tried it. With all the butter and sugar, I think it would be fine and bind well enough. Or, you could do something like:

GF alternate for base
Ingredients
170 grams digestive type GF biscuits from the supermarket, crushed
60 grams butter, melted

Method
Combine the digestive biscuits and butter together. Press firmly into the base of the tin. No need to cook it for this method. Then just add the caramel sauce on top and keep going as above.

Storage: In an airtight container.

Source: Modified from Donna Hay “Modern Classics book 2: Cookies, Biscuits + Slices, Small Cakes, Desserts, Hot Puddings, Pies + Tarts” pp. 16-17.

Fruit and nut flapjacks (granola bars)

Would you like a granola bar with that flapjack?

I love granola bars. I ate a bucket load when I first moved to London because Starbucks has awesome granola bars and free wifi. Handy for the hungry, unemployed traveller.

Then, once I was employed I went to a local café and asked for a granola bar and was looked at like I had two heads. Turns out that there is a lot of international debacle about what is a flapjack and what is a granola bar.


Call them what you like, they’re awesome oaty-fruity-nutty goodness. I’ve eaten a lot, but I like Starbucks ones the best. I tried to recreate them – there is a Starbucks recipe on line, don’t be fooled, it’s NOTHING like the in-store version – and after three tries I’ve come up with this recipe.

Ingredients
70 grams butter
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
300 grams honey/golden syrup or 150 grams of each. You can add more for extra moistness
1/2 cup oat bran (not the cereal, this is found with the oats in the supermarket)
2 cups of oats
50 grams sunflower seeds (1/4 cup)
50 grams pumpkin seeds (1/4 cup)
90 grams almonds (about 1 cup, or mix it up with half-half hazelnuts and almonds)
200 grams dried fruit (I used glazed apricots, coconut, dates, sultanas)
Dash of cinnamon and ginger
2 spoonful of peanut butter

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C and grease a 18cm square tin.
  2. Melt butter, vanilla essence and honey/syrup in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over a low heat.
  3. Mix everything else together in a large bowl.
  4. Pour hot butter mix into bowl, stir well.
  5. Spoon into prepared tin and bake for around 20 minutes, until golden on top.
  6. Once pulled out of the over, flatten mix with rolling pin to pack the mixture tightly, if not packed well enough it won’t stick together. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then cut up while still warm.

The flattening of the mix with the rolling pin/tin/bottle (I found a cider bottle worked well) is key here. There are two ways to make flapjacks, I’ve tried both and find the below method (which doesn’t get baked) produces a slightly chewer, firmer bar. But the above is more like Starbucks and my preference. Take your pick and let me know.

A handy rolling pin, and a reward for baking done!

Alternate method
Same recipe. Preheat oven to 180. Mix together oats, oat bran, seeds and nuts. Mix ingredients thoroughly and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Toast this mixture in the oven for approximately 8 minutes tossing the mixture every 2 minutes so it doesn’t burn.

Meanwhile melt butter, vanilla essence and honey/syrup in a saucepan, simmer on low heat. When the oat mixture is done toasting, place in bowl and add hot butter mixture. Mix and transfer to a baking tray. Then, place wax paper or baking paper over the mixture and press down to pack the mixture down tightly. If not pressed down tightly enough it won’t stick together. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then cut up. Leave in pan to cool completely.

Healthy? Cut into about 20 or 24 squares you’re looking at about 180 calories a square. But it’s dependent on what fruit and nut you use.

Gluten free? Yep. Just use the GF oats. If you can’t find GF oatbran, substituting normal oats, or quick oats will work fine.

Storage: In an airtight container. No eggs means it’ll last for ages.

Don’t: Just add more fruit and nut because it’s yummy. Been there, done that, had it all fall apart on me.

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