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!!
1 tbsp golden syrup
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