Mocha Slice

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This is another one of my Grandma’s classic recipes. I made it on the weekend and took it to share with the family after we watched her house sell at auction.

It was a great auction and it will be hard to say goodbye to a house that is full of so many happy memories (not to mention her amazing new kitchen- you might have seen it in this post.)

As this is Dad’s favourite sweet recipe of his Mum’s, I thought it a good one to post following Mothers’ Day.

You’ll need

For the base:

  • 1 cup self raising flour, sifted
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt

For the icing: 

  • 1 heaped teaspoon of instant coffee dissolved in 60ml of boiling water
  • 15g butter, melted
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder, sifted

Method: 

1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a standard rectangular slice tin with baking paper.

2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.

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3. Add butter and egg and stir until completely combined. Press into the prepared tin and smooth with the back of a metal spoon.

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4. Cook slice for 15-20 minutes, it will harden on cooling so keep an eye on it and test to check whether it is becoming hard after 10 minutes in the oven.

5. While the slice is cooking, make your icing by mixing all together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. It should be reasonably runny, with a similar consistency to melted chocolate.

Questionable photography skills that day.
Questionable photography ‘skills’.

6. Remove the slice from the oven and allow to cool slightly for five minutes. Pour the prepared icing over the still warm base and spread evenly. Cool in tin until the icing has set to a glossy finish and slice.

You can also sprinkle some extra cacao powder and roughly ground coffee beans on top to add a bit of extra oomph to the presentation if you so desire!

Let me know what you and your taste testers think of this one.

The below photo says it all for my place- I had set up my slice to take photos, went away for five minutes and came back to find my most attractive piece missing. Dad had unknowingly devoured it!

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Salted Caramel Fudge

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Yep! It’s salted caramel again.

This yummy fudge is really simple to make and great as a homemade gift, or as a sweet addition to your next gathering.

I made two batches this week, one as a part of a housewarming present for some work friends and another split between two of my good friends for their birthdays. It was very well received in all cases and had some excellent reviews!

The fudge itself has very few ingredients- sweetened condensed milk, butter, muscovado sugar, vanilla and sea salt. I like to decorate it and add to the flavour with a few different toppings- I’ll suggest a few below, but definitely feel free to leave it plain or sprinkle with some extra salt flakes.

You’ll need:

  • 395g can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 80g butter
  • 150g light muscovado sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
  • freeze dried raspberries, crystallised violets, crumbled walnuts, edible glitter, cacao nibs etc

Method

1. Place the sweetened condensed milk, sugar, vanilla and butter in a large (preferrably non stick) pan. Fill a glass with iced water to use to test the fudge and place a large piece of baking paper on the bench.

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2. Stir mixture with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.

3. Slowly bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring constantly for around ten minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for five minutes.

4. Add half of the sea salt (and some glitter if you’d like to) to the cooled mixture and begin stirring again. I place my pan on a teatowel on the bench so that it doesn’t move around, as the mixture becomes quite stiff. Stir as briskly as you can for around eight to ten minutes- you’ll notice the texture change and thicken as you go.

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5. Drop a small piece of fudge into the glass of water- you want it to drop to the bottom of the glass and make a soft ball or teardrop shape.

6.  Spoon the thickened mixture onto the prepared baking paper and spread out with the back of a metal spoon. Even it out with a rolling pin until you have a nice rectangle of around 1cm thickness.

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7. Press your chosen toppings into the fudge slightly and leave to cool completely.

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8. Cut the cooled fudge into squares. Store in an airtight container or jar.

told you it was easy! I hope you’ll give it a try at home.

I’d love to hear about your cooking and baking inventions if you’d like to leave me a comment below.

Perhaps you can tell me what you’d like to see next? I’m thinking something with passion fruit to capture a last taste of summer…

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Two of the albums I listened to while I was making the first batch of fudge.

Salted Caramel Slice!

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You might have already noticed my fondness for salted caramel goodies.

It began in 2011 at an amazing chocolate shop in Camden Passage, London called Paul A. Young Fine Chocolates. Their sea salted caramel was a revelation and I have been a devotee ever since.

That devotion means salted caramel appears in my kitchen on a pretty regular basis; this incarnation is a twist on a well loved classic and is definitely one of my favourites.

I love it so much that I usually give most of it away so I don’t indulge too much!

You will need:

Base

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 120g butter, melted

Salted Caramel filling 

  • 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 30g butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • about 2 tsp sea salt flakes

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  • 180g dark eating chocolate (I used Cadbury Old Gold)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Method 

1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 20x30cm slice tin.

2. Stir the sifted flours, coconut, sugar and butter in a bowl until combined.

3. Press base mixture into prepared tin and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until slightly browned.DSC_0203

4. Meanwhile, heat condensed milk, golden syrup, 30g butter and 1tsp salt flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously for about 15 minutes or until golden. Let cool for 2 minutes and then carefully taste the still hot mixture, adding the rest of the salt if desired.

5. Spread salted caramel over base, sprinkling with more sea salt flakes if desired, and return to oven for 10 minutes.

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6. Remove slice from oven and cool.

7. Stir chocolate pieces and oil in a small saucepan over low heat until melted, then pour over cooled slice, smoothing with a spoon if necessary.

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8. Refrigerate slice for 3 hours or chocolate has hardened.

9. Cut into around 30 pieces with a hot knife.

I sometimes top the slice with additional salt flakes, like Himalayan pink salt, to finish the look. I didn’t this time because I had added salt between the chocolate and caramel layers, and because it wouldn’t have stayed on top for the journey in for morning tea at work.

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This recipe yields a nice big batch that will have you firmly in the good books with friends and family. Plus, the satisfaction of eating something this mindbogglingly delicious is always amplified when you’ve made it yourself.

Have a great week and happy baking!

Lemon Slice

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A slice like this was a regular at home and in school lunches when I was growing up (thanks Mum!).

It’s great with a cup of afternoon tea- the crunchy biscuit base contrasts perfectly with the sweet lemony icing spread on top.

A plus, as we head into summer, is that there is no actual baking required- you use the stove briefly but most of the work is done by the fridge.

Another easy recipe with a supremely satisfying result. Yum.

The recipe below is adapted from the Lime & Coconut slice in my favourite book of sweet treats, Macaroons and Biscuits by The Australian Womens’ Weekly

You’ll need:

Base 

  • 240g plain sweet biscuits (my favourites are Marie)
  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Icing

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 15g butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp lemon rind
  • Water

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Method

1. Grease and line a 20x30cm slice tin, extending paper 5cm over long sides, to make it easy to lift the finished slice.

2. If you have a food processor: Process 3/4 of the biscuits until fine, and roughly chop the remaining biscuits.

If you don’t (like me): place the biscuits (having eaten one or two to get the required weight) – still in their packet- in a ziplock bag or two, and have fun smashing them with a rolling pin or mallet to get them as fine as possible. This is never going to achieve exactly the same result as a processor but I’ve come to like a nice chunky biscuit base, and you can keep smashing them with a wooden spoon once you’ve put them into a large bowl.

The Beatles judging me for using a dessert spoon on the stove.
The Beatles judging me for using a dessert spoon on the stove.

3. Stir condensed milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter has melted.

4. Add the butter mixture to your biscuits, lemon juice and rind, and coconut and stir well to combine.  Press the (amazing smelling!) mixture into your prepared slice tin and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.

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5. To make your lemon icing, combine sifted icing sugar with the melted butter, juice and rind, and add enough water to make a thick paste. To make it spreadable, you can place it over a small saucepan of simmering water and stir until spreadable OR 1/3 fill another bowl with boiling water and carefully place icing bowl on top, stirring until you achieve the right consistency.

6. Spread icing over your base and pop in the fridge for another 30 minutes, then cut into about 24 pieces and enjoy that sweet lemony, biscuity goodness.

Let me know how you go with it!

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