This is the stuff of nostalgia for me. Mum use to make this all the time when we were growing up and you really can’t beat the homemade version. Often those bought in stores or bakeries just can’t seem to get the caramel right. Indeed, I like to push mine to the edge of burnt when making it on the stovetop and once it’s in the oven, to achieve that deep caramel flavour. I am aware most people are in the throngs of the “New Year, New Me” healthy eating portion of the year but in my opinion, special considerations must be made for something this delicious.
It’s such a cinch to make and can be easily whipped up in no time. The only tedious part is the stirring of the caramel once its on the stove as you have to continuously whisk to avoid any catching on the bottom of the pan. If a bit of mindless stirring doesn’t have the same appeal to you as it does for me, might I suggest some child labour, provided they are supervised as this does get hot. This sweet treat was requested by my brother who needed something to go along with tea and coffee for a dinner he was going to. I managed to squirrel a few squares away before he took off with the rest, so I was more than happy to oblige. The great thing about this slice, is that you can happily satisfy any sweet tooth in the room and a little really does go a long way. You know this statement is true, if even a glutton like myself believes it.
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 desiccated coconut
125g unsalted butter
400g tin sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons golden syrup
60g butter melted (you could use unsalted again here, same as in the base, however I like the salt here).
125g cooking chocolate, either in button/chip form or cut into small shards (I used a 50/50 of both milk chocolate and dark).
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Combine all base ingredients, excluding the butter, in a bowl and combine, ensuring that the brown sugar is dispersed evenly with no lumps. Pour over the melted butter and combine until a crumbly dough forms. Spread mixture into the base of a lined 28 x 18cm square baking tin/dish and press evenly into the tin. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.
While the base is cooking in the oven, get started on the caramel filling. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat. I opt for the bigger sized saucepan as the greater surface area means the caramel will cook quicker. If you’re nervous about burning (don’t be) I would suggest using a smaller sized saucepan and lowering the heat. You may have to stir a little longer but it’s better that than losing your head and getting frazzled over the possibility or burnt caramel. I always say in the kitchen (and life), you have to pick your battles.
Cook, whisking continuously for 10 minutes until the caramel reaches a warm, golden colour. It may seem a little pale than caramel usually looks but don’t worry, once it is in the oven it will burnish up to a rich, bronzed caramel. Pour this mixture over the already cooked and cooled base. Bake for 15 minutes, keeping an eye on it as ovens do vary.
To make the chocolate topping I simply add the broken up chocolate (or chips) into a microwave-safe bowl and zap it in 30 second intervals. You can muck around with a double boiler but like I said before, pick your battles, plus the microwave works just as well. Once it’s melted pour over the cooled slice and allow to completely set for 3-4 hours in the fridge.
I cut these into relatively modest slices, but please don’t think this as a mean thing. Like I said before, these really go the distance and are quite rich. Deliciously so. They’ll keep for a good 7 days in the airtight container in the fridge, however, I doubt they’ll last that long in any household. They don’t in mine.
Give these a go, they’re stupidly good.