Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Caramel Slice . . . almost !

Yes, almost.

You see, in Australia, they have this magical product called "Golden Syrup." Who on earth knows why there's NOTHING like it here in the U.S. but, there's NOT! I told my mother in-law, Judy, "no problem, we'll at least find an expensive version of it at Whole Foods." WRONG. There's eight different brands of molasses at Whole Foods, there's also magically six different brands of maple syrup... but golden syrup? Mystery. Anyways, for taste and color's sake, I decided to go with raw agave. I knew the texture wouldn't be quite right, but I assumed it'd cook to be at least similar to this crazy syrup. ALSO WRONG.

SO, we've made May's (Mavis, James' grandmother) famous Caramel Slice, and it tasted JUST the same as hers... but the consistency of the "caramel" in the center was OH so gooey and not how you'd find it in Australia. However it didn't stop us from enjoying it as dessert for our Downton Abbey fest last night, and I'll confess it was our treat for "afternoon tea" today as well. ;)

For those of you who don't mind gooey caramel:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly grease or parchment paper a small rectangular tin or an 8x8 baking dish.
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar, and 1 cup shredded coconut.
  • In a smaller bowl, melt 1 stick of butter (4 oz.) and pour into your flour mixture. Mix well.
  • Press mixture into the bottom of your tin or dish with your fingers or the back of a fork and bake for 10 minutes.

WHILE THE BASE IS BAKING, make the caramel:
  • Mix together one can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk, 2 Tablespoons agave and 1 ounce butter in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until starting to boil. Once just boiling, remove from heat and continue stirring. *make sure to really scrape the bottom to assure the condensed milk doesn't start to coagulate and burn*
  • Once the base has finished it's 10 minutes, pour the caramel over top, spread evenly with a spatula, and return it to the oven for 10 more minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let the caramel completely cool. We put ours in the fridge for a few hours to let it get nice and hardened. (although it was still slightly gooey under the surface) ;)

ONCE THE CARAMEL HAS FULLY COOLED, start the chocolate melting:
  • Keeping with tradition, we only used Australian Cadbury... which is by FAR superior to the UK version that we have over here in the states. But if you're not married to a hot Australian like I am, you'll have to do with the store bought kind here. ;) Melt 125 grams (4.5 oz.) Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate over a low heat in a heat proof bowl, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn't burn.
  • Once melted, pour the melted chocolate over the caramel, spread evenly with a spatula, and return to the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour until the chocolate has hardened completely. Slice while it's cooled into small squares and serve! (good luck with the slicing... that caramel is sticky!)
And there you have it... some truly Australian "lolly" tradition. I know, I know... It doesn't quite fit in with our regular, semi- health conscious theme here at Recitherapy, but my Aussie in-laws are here! And it's my husbands FAVORITE dessert.

So go ahead, join the party... and excuse me while I go detox and try to stop my sugar shakes. ;)


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