Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Slice

As part of my review of seventies recipes, I've checked a great Aussie favourite - chocolate caramel slice - a bit of a revamp. Chocolate Caramel Slice entered the scene in the seventies when The Australian Women's Weekly first published its recipe cards. But since then some things have changed. The size of the tin condensed milk comes in, for one. And slice tins seem to have changed too. These days the brownie tin is easier to find than a traditional old slice tin. Although in the original CCS recipe, they do call for the slice to be assembled in a lamington tin!

I've made some revisions of Chocolate Caramel Slice, and I have to say I'm pretty happy with the result. One important note: the quality of your slice hinges on your choice of chocolate for the top. If you choose a cheap chocolate, you'll get a very ordinary result. Try and choose cooking couveture that has at 70% cocoa content - your slice will be so much better for it.

Ingredients
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup desicated coconut
1 cup brown sugar
125g butter, melted
790g condensed milk (2 x 395 g tins)
60g butter
4 tblsp golden syrup
250g dark cooking chocolate
60g copha (vegetable shortening)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a non-stick brownie tin with a piece of baking paper, ensuring the paper comes up about two inches above the longest sides of the tin. Don't worry about the other two sides.
2. Combine the self raising flour, coconut, brown sugar and melted butter in the bowl of your Kitchenaid. Using the paddle beater, stir the ingredients on first gear until they are fully combined and starting to form a crumb mixture.
3. Pour the crumb mix into the brownie tin and spread it evenly to all four corners. Using the back of a spoon, press the biscuit base down to compact it. Make sure the corners have as much mix as in the middle. Then using a small rolling pin or perhaps a small drinking glass, roll the biscuit base so that the surface is perfectly flat. This will help create a visually pleasing layer effect once the rest of the ingredients have been added on the top.
4. Bake biscuit base in the oven for 10 minutes.
5. Combine the condensed milk, golden syrup and butter in a medium saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until the butter has melted. Bring to the boil and try to allow the caramel to continue to boil for at least one minute. The longer you can do this, the better the caramel will taste. But be careful - this caramel is quick to burn and stick like glue to the bottom of your saucepan!
6. Pour the hot caramel over the biscuit base and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes baking. Caramel will continue to boil, thicken and set. Once cooked, set the base aside and allow to cool completely.

Troubleshooting: there's a lot that can go wrong at this step. If the caramel burns on the stove you have to throw it out and start again. Constantly stirring it can help. The idea here is to kick start the boiling process that's going to continue in the oven. If you under do this step, the slice will need to cook in the oven longer. If you under cook it in the oven, the flavour will be bland and the caramel won't be set. Your slice should look like the below picture. If it doesnt, keep cooking 3mins at a time. 



7. Combine the chocolate and copha (vegetable shortening) in a glass bowl and heat in the microwave oven on high for two and a half minutes. Remember - chocolate holds its form when microwaved; the only way to check it's melted is to get it out and stir it. Mix the chocolate and copha until thoroughly combined. Extra 10 second bursts in the microwave can help complete this job, but be careful not to burn your chocolate.
8. Pour the chocolate mix over the caramel layer of the slice. Carefully tilt the tin from side to side to ensure the caramel is completely covered with chocolate. Place the slice in the fridge and allow to chill for at least three hours.
9. Remove the slice from the fridge. Run a hot knife along the two sides that don't have baking paper to loosen the slice, then using the baking paper flaps as handles, lift the whole slice from the tin and place it on a chopping board. Run a calving knife under hot water, dry it off then score the top of the chocolate through to the caramel layer. This will ensure the chocolate doesn't crack when you cut the slice. This slice can be cut into 16 or 18 pieces. I've even served it up as 32 cocktail sized pieces to make it go further.
10. Keep chocolate caramel slice refridgerated. Keeps for a week if you don't eat it all before then!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My grandma Ruth and step mum lynne made this exquisitely and now I can't as Luke can't have dairy or eggs... Long live Tuff-tuff!

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