Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Waking up to a caramel slice :)

Yep, that's right.  Greeted on a Monday morning by a lovely caramel slice sitting confidently on top of my desk in maths class.  Yummmmm :) Because dessert should be the new breakfast.  I swear, sometimes being on a budget makes breakfast kinda boring. No granola or greek yoghurt or pain au chocolat, or the fancy schmancy Bourke St Bakery goodness.  Just Kellogg's Corn Flakes.

Speaking of being on a budget, me and a few friends decided we'd go on $10 of food, for each person, for 5 days.  Yep, that's right, 2 bucks a day.  It's to raise money for LiveBelowTheLine, whose aim is to promote awareness and raise money to combat the extreme level of poverty there is in the world.

It's definitely going to be hard for me.  An entire week of filler food.  Cheap bread, instant noodles, anything we could muster with a budget of $30.  Not much to enjoy, eh.  I'll be blogging about our $10 Food Challenge soon, but yeah we're trying to think of creative ways to eat our food and not get bored.  Initially, I signed up on my own, and was doting on eating dry cereal and apples for 5 whole days.  ($5 Plus cereal, and $5 worth of apples)  I actually like Plus cereal, and apples, but to eat it for brekkie, lunch, snack and dinner for 5 days, that's gotta get boring eh.

As of today, I have raised $50 out of my desired goal of $200. So I'm calling out to you to help us make us a bit of difference to this cause :) Your help would be appreciated!! Here is my link:

Anyways, without further ado, we have a special feature recipe from my friend Jess X :) She’s known in her group to be an awesome baker, and she provided me with this awesome recipe to share! 

What I love about the caramel slice is that it isn’t too soft or too hard, it’s almost like biting into heavenly truffles, leaving your teeth marks on those decadent layers (which according to Christina Marsigliese in her Mocha Truffles post, is how you can tell if the truffles are well-made or not), and the slice leaves such a lovely creamy taste in your mouth.  

The biscuit base isn’t hard to bite in, or sticky and chewy either. And the choc layer is almost like a separate top layer, so when you bite down, the middle layer oozes out that caramelised goodness :)
 
If you’re a fan of salty caramel, or caramel, or chocolate, or really good slices, then you should try this recipe :)
See what I mean? :) Just look at that caramelly layer ready to ooze its way out! :)
Caramel Slice Recipe - Jess X's notes in brackets

                        INGREDIENTS
Base:

-          1 cup plain flour, sifted
-          ½ cup desiccated coconut (I used the really fine type)
-          ½ cup brown sugar
-          125 grams butter, melted

Filling:

-          1 tin Nestle sweetened condensed milk (395 grams)
-          2-3 tablespoons golden syrup
-          60 grams butter, melted
-          A few drops of vanilla essence

Top:

-          100 grams cooking chocolate, chopped
-          50 grams copha, chopped

METHOD
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, line a rectangular baking tin (the type for lamingtons, at least 3-4cm in height) with baking paper
  2. Mix all the dry base ingredients well and then pour through the melted butter and mix until everything is combined.
  3. Put mixture into tin and press down well so that it’s all smooth and compressed
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden, take out of oven and cool.
  5. While that’s cooling, mix all the filling ingredients in a saucepan at medium heat, taking care that it doesn’t boil. Keep stirring for 5-10 minutes or until it has a nice yellowy-golden tone
  6. Pour over base mixture, making sure it’s smooth, and put back into oven for another 10 minutes max. Don’t worry if it’s bubbling a bit, just make sure it’s light golden and firm-ish when you take it out.
  7. Put into the fridge for 2 hours or until the top feels cool to the touch.
  8. Mix the top ingredients in a heat proof bowl or small saucepan, and place over a large saucepan of simmering-boiling water, stirring until it all melts. Pour over the caramel mixture.
  9. Place in fridge for 1-2 hours or until the chocolate has set, then heat the blade of a large knife and cut the edges off each side to make it neat. Cut into sizes as desired, wiping the blade in between each cut to make sure the crumbs don’t stick to the chocolate.
* Jess X NB: It tastes so much better if you put it back into the fridge overnight, and eat it cold the next day :)

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