What i'm most excited about (apart from my beloved cat Chouquette having a garden to explore again, and of course my fruit trees!), is exploring the burgeoning Oakland food scene. We have had some great meals out East, but feel we have barely scratched the surface yet and I cant wait to get amongst it!
These last few weeks back in San Francisco i've found myself often upon an evening, craving a small but delicious sweet treat after dinner. Contrary to popular belief, I don't always have a freshly baked something around to nibble on, but sometimes nothing else will do. This slice I thought would fit the bill perfectly, as unlike a light cake, this little beauty will last a week without deteriorating in texture or flavour, so no need to feel obligated to eat it all within 2 days or you'll have 'wasted it' haha! (Yes, I eat cake out of waste-obligation frequently!)
I guess for this exact same reason, its time-hardiness, this was also the slice my Mum would bake me to take on school camps. Its a slice, so easily transported in a container stuffed somewhere at the bottom of my backpack, and is definitely sure to please a crowd of hungry Kiwi Kids back from a days bivouac building. Or a Kiwi woman half a world away from where she grew up.
Camp Caramel Slice
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
120 grams of unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt
100 grams butter
2x 14 oz/395 gram tins of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup golden syrup
Pinch of salt
250 grams milk chocolate, melted.
Sift the flour into a bowl, then add in the sugar and coconut, mix to combine.
Make a hole in the dry ingredients and add the melted butter, mixing to combine.
Press the mixture into a greased slice tin, approx. 8 x 10 inches in size, but there is definitely some wiggle room here.
Bake at 180 deg C or 350 F for 10-15 minutes.
Leave to cool for 15 mins.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the butter, condensed milk, golden syrup and salt.
Bring to a gentle boil on the stove, stirring constantly with a flat utensil (I use a wide flat wooden spoon). This is very important or the sugars will burn on the bottom, leaving your caramel flecked with burnt sugar spots.
Once the mixture is bubbling, keep stirring for 4- 5 minutes, then pour over the coconut base.
Put in the oven for another 15-20 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned. Leave to cool in the fridge.
Once the caramel has cooled, poor melted chocolate over the top, spreading evenly. Place back in the fridge until the chocolate sets.
For best cutting results, take out of fridge 15 mins before cutting to allow the chocolate to soften and not crack.