Thursday, January 12, 2012

slice it up

I am on uni holidays at the moment and am attempting make something of my time, sometimes. Somehow the hours seem to get sucked away as I look at blogs and Facebook and most recently Twitter! There are so many crafty and busy people out there that always seem to be producing something of actual merit. My challenge for yesterday was to make caramel slice. Hubby is most content when he has a nice home-made treat to put in his lunch box. Often he will whip up a cake of some kind but as I am on holidays I thought I'd give him a break. I chose to make caramel slice.

Caramel slice is a childhood favourite of mine. As a special treat my mum and I would visit a bakery or cafe and indulge in a piece of caramel slice. It didn't happen all the time but probably did go some way to contributing to the ample amount of 'puppy fat' I was blessed with. Even using the term 'puppy fat' makes me want to puke so we will quickly move on from there and focus on the more pleasant side of this childhood memory.

I have made the slice numerous times from a recipe in an awesome old cookbook called The Muscular Dystrophy Cook Book. It's method calls for making the caramel by bringing the condensed milk, butter and golden syrup to the boil in a saucepan and then stirring it constantly for five minutes. Sounds easy but it catches quickly meaning that your caramel can burn!

So you can imagine that my interest was sparked when I discovered another recipe which bakes the caramel in the oven instead. The verdict has been positive with my husband giving it two firm thumbs up. I sampled a slice this morning with my coffee and I am impressed. The recipe called for two cans of condensed milk and I only had one. I panicked for a moment as I had already started the whole shebang. I called upon my cooking confidence and thought about what Nigella or Jamie would do. They would say bugger it, use what you have. As the new recipe was out of a promotional pamphlet for a brand of condensed milk, and the old recipe only called for one can, I decided it must be a ploy to make you buy two cans instead of one. I pulled this conspiracy card to back up my decision to use one can. I was undecided about whether to adjust any measurements for the other ingredients and promptly forgot to before it was too late. No fear though! It turned out lovely.

My only challenge now is to perfect the art of cutting the slice without butchering the chocolate on top. A quick survey from Facebook friends tells me that the hot knife method works well as does scoring the chocolate before it is fully set. I will try both of these tips next time. If you are interested, my modified recipe is below.

Cheers, Kirsten.

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