Monday, 29 April 2013

Caramel Slice

There's no point in denying it, I'm a lover of chocolate. 

If you look back at my blog, at least 70 percent of my recipes include chocolate in some way or form. I'm not ashamed and I only do it so all you chocoholics out there can reap the benefits of my chocolate addiction. 

So in carrying on with my chocolate affair, this recipe came to me the other day after I made a visit to one of my favourite little hot spots Servery and Spoon. This place does amazing breakfast and lunch. But more importantly unbelievably delicious cakes (and being a cake snob I don't say that very often). But with over a dozen varieties I swear I have sampled all of them. 

Anyway, I went in there the other day for a coffee and as I was eyeing off these delicious cakes the barista asked me if I had tried their Salted Caramel Slice. HANDS DOWN one of the most amazing pieces of food I have ever put in my mouth. Soft, sweet with a hint of mouth is beginning to water at the thought

This outing inspired my own variation of the infamous caramel slice. Although, I didn't add salt and typically caramel slice has a butterscotch base, I am convinced that you guys will not be able to stop at just one piece. 

250g Butter, melted
2 cup Plain Flour
2/3 cup Cocoa
1 cup Coconut, toasted
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Golden Syrup
125g Butter
2 x 400g tins Sweetened Condensed Milk
200g Dark Chocolate
4 teaspoons Vegetable oil 

To make the Base...
Pre heat oven to 180°C. Place the coconut on a baking tray and toasted for 5 or so minutes or until slightly golden. Keep a good eye on the coconut as it can burn quickly. 

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together until a soft dough forms. Press down in a lined 20 x 30cm slice tin and bake for 15-18 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. 

Coconut before toasting.

Coconut after toasting. Some bits toast more than others, but don't worry it all aids in the flavour. 

To make the Caramel...
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir over low heat for 7 minutes or until the caramel thickens slightly. It is important to do this over a very low heat to ensure the caramel doesn't catch on the bottom of the saucepan. 

Once thickened, pour over the base and bake for 20 minutes or until the caramel is golden. Set aside to cool. 

To make the topping...
Melt together the chocolate and oil until smooth. Pour over cooled slice and allow to cool completely in the fridge before cutting. 

Friday, 26 April 2013

Monte Carlos

Well, it has been awhile since my last post. 

With a trip to the country for easter, my recent university graduation and my home care job it has been one busy month. But not worry I haven't forgotten about you guys. And I hope this recipe more than makes up for my absence

I absolutely LOVE these biscuits (in all seriousness I love all my recipes) but there is something about Monte Carlos that gets me excited. 

When I first started baking, I always had a soft spot for these biscuits and they got made quite often. I remember waking up at my ridiculous time of day and have them ready before I headed off to school. I must say there is nothing like having a freshly made biscuit for play of my many small pleasures in life. 

I think what I love about Monte Carlos is the coconut! I can't quite put my finger on it, but coconut is just one of those ingredients that gives a certain something no matter what you add it too. Sitting here now these biscuits would be even more AMAZING if you toasted the coconut beforehand (mental note for next time). 

I also love the contrast of the jam and vanilla icing. Whenever my mum made these she'd mix the jam into the icing. But I didn't think it had the same effect. And the good thing about doing it this way is you can use as many different flavour jams as you like without having to make umpteen different icings.

Much like an Oreo, Monte Carlos are fun to split apart and eat the two biscuits separately (well that's how I do it anyway). But no matter how you eat them, these biscuits will soon become one of your all time favourites as they are one of mine. 

185g Butter, Softened
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup Self-Raising Flour
3/4 cup Plain Flour
1/2 cup Coconut
60g Butter
3/4 cup Icing Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoon Milk
Jam (Any Flavour of Your Choice)

To make the Monte Carlos...
Pre heat oven to 180°C

With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy. Stir in the dry ingredients until well combined. 

Roll mixture into balls of your size, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and press down with a fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool before sandwiching together with icing and jam. 

To make the Icing...
Simply beat all ingredients together until fluffy. 

To assemble the biscuits...
Pair up biscuits so they matched roughly for size. On half the biscuits place the vanilla icing and other  half the jam of your choice (you should use approx. half a teaspoon of both, depending on the size of your biscuits). Gently press the two sides together, being mindful of slight oozing.