So, the usual writer of this blog has decided to let me write an entry. I’m the boyfriend referenced previously, and I’m an acceptably mediocre cook when I give it a go. Fortunately, everything that appears on this blog is basically piss easy so the odds of me royally screwing up are minimal. More on that later.
So here’s the recipe for chocolate caramel slice – I eat it so you don’t have to (though apparently this serves 16. 16 church mice, maybe)
3/4 cup plain flour
1/3 cup dessicated coconut
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
90g melted butter
60g more butter
400g can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or golden syrup, if you’re tight like we are. Maple syrup’s really dear!)
200g dark eating chocolate, chopped coarsely
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
It does say tightly packed brown sugar, right? Tip – sharp knives can have several uses with only small-medium risk of injury!
Here are the dry ingredients for combining, sugar tightly packed TO THE EXTREME. The sharp-eyed among you may have realised that actually the mixture isn’t supposed to be dry. Though this didn’t stop me combining (what does that even mean?) for 5 minutes before twigging that the butter should have been melted.
“Start over then” says the expert. But am I going to let myself be beaten by such an early setback? Uncharacteristically, no. And with a spark of inspiration, I discover what the “low” setting on a microwave oven is for.
Yep, I bunged the whole mixture on in the microwave for 90 seconds on low until the butter was essentially melted but nothing was actually starting to cook. Just think, if I wasn’t such an idiot I wouldn’t have been able to prove what a genius I am.
Anyway, that’s what it looks like combined. Quite a lot like oats for something with no oats in it.
And there it is, pressed firmly into a pan (lined and greased by your regular correspondent, and I must say she did a very good job, considering). The size of the pan isn’t quite right – the recipe suggests a 22cm square pan but I reckon we’re within an acceptable margin of error here.
This then gets baked for 15 minutes at 170 C, giving me ample time to prepare the heart attack layer.
Shh, no-one will notice the “and here’s one we prepared earlier”-ness of this photo. Look at the sugar and fat! Look at it!
The condensed milk, remaining butter and golden/maple syrup then are combined on the hob while the buttery biscuit base is cooling in the fridge, then poured over the same. You may be worrying that it all looks a bit thin and gloopy. (sorry if you’re expecting reassurance here – for all I know it WAS too thin and gloopy. We’ll find out in a couple of hours)
Any health and safety inspectors reading should probably look away now. In our defence, the dog has to enjoy the sugary, milky leftovers as she ain’t having the chocolate/dog-poison ones later. Apart from anything, I’m going to be eating them.
Although the recipe said dark chocolate, I wasn’t sure I was man enough for a topping of 70%, so I mixed it half and half with Dairy Milk. Half for the pot, half for my tummy. Not really.
Is our tea towel prescient? Seemed like it early on… But with a bit of luck we’re back on track once the base + caramel comes out of the oven.
Hmm. At this point I wasn’t feeling too positive – the jigsaw-piece shape in the middle is where B’s patent foil method for preventing burning stuck to the sauce and lifted it clean off.
But hey, it might be okay. The chocolate is chopped and heated gently with the vegetable oil (we used groundnut, which is good as it’s tasteless and its massive saturated fat attack will be swamped by the rest of the ingredients anyway) and stirred until silky.
And here is what it looks like when poured over the (cooled) biscuit ‘n’ caramel. It sort of looks how it’s supposed to, which obviously teaches an important lesson about how a layer of chocolate hides all culinary sins.
Anyway, as I type the whole shebang is in the middle of a frankly unreasonable three (3!) hourse cooling and setting in the fridge. Watch this space for the verdict…
Update. I don’t think this needs words. *fistpump