Thursday, February 28, 2008

The first masterbake challenge - cinnamon

Nikki from Crazy Delicious has started a new monthly blog challenge called master bake. She has the most gorgeous web design – I am so tempted to get mine re-designed by the same designer!!!! Anyway, this month’s challenge is cinnamon. Now, because I enjoy the challenge of making new recipes I would almost always try a new recipe for a blog challenge. However, this time I haven’t, making Belgium Slice, which is a tried and true family recipe. There are two reasons why I picked Belgium Slice – one is that I thought it would be a good recipe to share as not too many people know about it (and I bet especially not those in the States) and secondly, it is a favourite of my Dad and one of my sisters, both whom I am going to see this weekend when we go down to the Hawkes Bay for the mission concert.

You may be more familiar with Belgium biscuits than the slice version. I am not sure of the history as to why they are called Belgium biscuits, but they are a cinnamon dominated spiced biscuit, joined together with raspberry jam and then iced on top with either pale pink or white icing and sprinkled with raspberry jelly crystals!!! They also have a little cocoa in them which gives them a browner look. They are yummy and are very popular in NZ, especially in Southland where I grew up.

Belgium Slice is a slice version of this – it has a more cakey texture rather than the crisper biscuits. I think I like the slice better than the biscuits. I don’t actually like raspberry jam and the jam doesn’t seem to dominate the slice like it does the biscuits. The slice is a good keeper as well, and actually keeps better than the biscuits which soften on keeping – the slice is meant to be soft!

You can make the icing pink, but I prefer to leave it white. I do add a few drops of raspberry essence to my icing which gives a slight raspberry lift to the sweetness of the icing. Usually the recipe calls for 2 tsp mixed spice and 1 of cinnamon but in the spirit of the cinnamon masterbake theme, I swapped the ratios around. If you haven’t tried Belgium Slice before, I would love to know if you make this and what you think!!

Belgium Slice

120g butter
1c sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 egg
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
about ½ c raspberry jam (I used my own home made which I think makes a flavour difference)

· Cream butter and sugar, then add golden syrup then egg
· Mix in dry ingredients
· Roll out half of the mixture to cover the base of a 18 x 23cm slice tin
· Spread with raspberry and jam and then cover with the other half of the mixture rolled to fit (this patches really well)
· Bake at 180c for 20 minutes
Once cold ice with plain white or pink icing (I used about 2 c icing sugar, 1 tsp butter and enough hot water to make a smooth icing, then I added a couple of drops of raspberry essence). Sprinkle with raspberry jelly crystals


Anonymous said...

Tammy your cinnamon squares take me back to my childhood. My Mum used to make them for our lunches, Tuesdays were always baking day & the smells were very tantalizing. So lovely to see an old recipe reserected.Lyn

Nikki57 said...

I have never tried Belgium Slice before but it looks amazing! And being the pink lover that I am raspberry jelly crystals on top just makes it even more amazing.

Thanks for the entry!

Rachel said...

This sounds really yummy. I'm going to try it!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Tammy

Your Belgian slice looks so much moister and nicer than the one that I bought in Geraldine. I'd like to give this one a try just to see if it tastes better home made.

Katherine said...


I'm from the States and a British friend of mine just asked me to make these for him. Yours is really the only recipe that I've been able to find anywhere. But, I have 1 question. What is golden syrup? I have a feeling that it is what we call Light Corn Syrup. Does that sound familiar? Let me know :)


Tammy said...

Hi Kat

Golden syrup is more like treacle (dont know if you have that. You could try corn syrup, but it's not the same. Maybe maple syrup, but even that will give a slightly different flavour. A light molasses might work (maybe half molasses and half corn syrup)

let me know how it goes!


Katherine said...

Great, thanks! We don't have treacle either, hahaha. But, i did some more research and they said it was also similar to honey. So, I will try to make it work :) Also, have you seen a form of Belgium Slice that is more biscuit-y and involves clotted cream?

Thanks for your help!!


Tammy said...

Hi Kat

I also make belgium biscuits - just made some for my Dad yesterday, so will post about them next week. they dont have clotted cream though


Robyn said...

Hi Tammy, I made your Belgium slice and it was fantastic (got a big thumbs up from my son!). Do you have a good gingerbread man recipe?


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Anonymous said...

Wow I'm glad I came across this blog. I am also from NZ (Christchurch). But I have been living in Australia for some time now and when ever I go home for a holiday it's a quick trip to Couplands Bakery to buy Belgium Slice. So thank you I made some tonight and will post the end result on my blog. Thank you from another amateur cook :)

Anonymous said...

Have chef'd around a couple of University Halls of Residents in Dunedin and pretty much this recipe and presentation was standard fare. The kids loved it. Google'd the recipe because I want some for me tonight.