Friday, June 19, 2009
One of the best Caramel Slices
I think I have mentioned here many times before that caramel slice is my youngest sister’s absolute favourite thing. I think her favourite is chocolate base with chocolate topping, but I made this slice for her a couple of week’s ago. The recipe is from one of Bill Granger’s books. The base is a coconut (but not so you would notice) one and the topping is straight chocolate.
Those little white grains you can see on top of the cake are fleur de sel grains. Bill recommends sprinkling the caramel slice with fleur de sel to make it a bit more grown up. I don’t think I would have tried it if I hadn’t made those salted caramels from the daring bakers challenge last year, which absolutely out of this world! The slight saltiness of the fleur de sel works perfectly with the caramel and the chocolate. I wouldn’t try it with normal sea salt (unless you are a huge salt fan) as I think it would be too salty, but the fleur de sel is incredibly mild (and incredibly expensive!) and is just perfect.
On Wednesday night I made a barley, pumpkin and bacon risotto for dinner. Barley sounds like an unusual thing to make risotto from, but it actually works really well. You do have to cook it longer than for a normal risotto as the barley grains take a lot longer to soften. The barley also retains a lot more bite than rice does, but I really like that nuttiness. My husband said it was the best risotto he had tasted – can’t ask for much more than that!
Chocolate caramel slice (from Bill Granger Holiday)
225g unsalted butter
125g (1 cup) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
90g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
100g brown sugar
400ml tin condensed milk
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g good-quality dark chocolate
15g unsalted butter, extra
Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease and line a 20 x 30cm baking tin with non-stick baking paper.
Melt 125g of the butter. Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl, add coconut, caster sugar and melted butter and stir until well combined.
Press the mixture firmly into the base of tin, place in oven and bake for 12 minutes or until light golden.
Meanwhile, place the remaining butter, brown sugar, condensed milk, golden syrup and vanilla extract in a medium size saucepan over a low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, bring to the boil then continue to cook, stirring over a low heat, for a further 5 minutes or until light golden. Remove from heat and pour evenly over base.
Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
Once caramel is cool, place chocolate and the extra butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally until chocolate has melted. Spread chocolate evenly over the caramel.
When chocolate has set, cut into squares.