We’re in the thick of it now. It’s cold most days and we got a dump of snow a couple of weeks ago. A blizzardy Friday meant the boys were picked up early from school and the town went into panic mode. Lucky for us, we don’t rely on our car. I had a little skid on our street on my way home from doing my grocery shopping before the storm hit which was a bit scary. The heavy fall meant a weekend stuck at home. But we made the most of it by building snow people. I took my inspiration from The Snowman, using tangerines for noses.
The winter weather has also seen the return of my monstrous appetite. I say monstrous because it really is that. I can keep it together during the day, avoiding carbs and what not, but come 6pm and I turn into a not-so-lean, mean eating machine. Dinner never suffices and I find myself baking and snacking like a hibernating creature from the wilderness. I’ve set the scene and now you can see why I just had to make chocolate caramel slice. I told myself and I’m telling you that I made it as a thank you gift for Ken my neighbour. He shovelled all the snow between our houses during the ‘great blizzard’ which meant we were one of the only spots on the street with a nice clear pavement. There was a pride in that I can tell you. And so it was with sincerity that I made our neighbours a chocolate caramel tart, bagged in celo and tied with a twine bow. But it was also no mistake that there was enough left over for us to enjoy my efforts as well.
I ‘tarted’ up Ken’s slice by baking it in a loaf tin and slightly raising the edges. I then kept the filling inside the edges which turned it into a tart as opposed to a simple slice. Now you might scoff at the overly descriptive method below, but there’s a reason. This recipe goes by sight. Don’t set the timer and walk away. Stay in your kitchen, and watch the oven like a hawk. As soon the slice starts to get colour, take it out. Because the base gets baked twice, it needs to be looked after. If you over cook any component of this slice it will ruin it. I know this because I’ve done it. More than once. I burn food and kitchen utensils, chopping boards and pots all the time. Why? Because I get distracted. So look alive people!
Take note of my kindly advice. It’ll prevent your base from being overly crunchy, the caramel from being too chewy and the keep the chocolate topping glossy. If you don’t think the caramel is cooked enough in the pot, don’t worry, it’ll get another chance in the oven. Using a microwave to melt chocolate is the greatest gift ever, but go slow and steady or you’ll burn it. Burnt chocolate isn’t blackened and smokey – it goes hard and kind of gritty. You’ll know when you’ve ruined it. Again, I know this because I’ve done it. HEAPS of times. AT threatens to invent some kind of device to prevent my kitchen mishaps but he’ll never tame my rapid-fire brain.
Caramel Chocolate Slice Recipe
1 cup SR flour
1 cup coconut
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
125g melted butter
400g can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp golden syrup
125g dark chocolate
Lightly grease a slice pan
Mix all the BASE ingredients together and press into the pan.
Bake till starting go golden around the edges, about ten minutes.
Put all the FILLING ingredients into a small pot and stir over low heat for ten minutes, or until golden brown.
Pour the hot filling over the base and put back in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Watch it carefully and when it starts to bubble and brown, take it out.
Put the TOPPING ingredients into a bowl and microwave on low for a minute at a time until chocolate melted.
Pour chocolate mixture over the caramel slice and let it cool.