Caramel Slice

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This is one of the first recipes I remember my Mum making in the kitchen. The reason I remember it so well is because my sister and I would hover nearby, waiting for her to finish pouring out the sweetened condensed milk before handing the remains over to us to scrape out with a spoon. We always thought she was too meticulous about getting every little bit from the tin before handing it over and we would beg and scream as we watched her steal precious condensed milk away from us.

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The recipe has changed a lot since then but it was originally based on the Nestle recipe that is printed on the tins of condensed milk themselves. I don’t know if this is an Australian thing or not but it seems that a lot of peoples treasured recipes originally came from some kind of recipe suggestion printed on a packet. One of my favourites is the recipe for Pea and Ham soup that comes on packets of green split peas.

The main modifications that I’ve made to the original caramel slice recipe are halving the base and doubling the caramel. For me this results in the perfect ratio of base-to-caramel-to-chocolate but play around with it to find what you like. Sometimes I’ll be in the mood for an even thinner base so I’ll make the usual amount but halve it and freeze the other half for making a slice in the future. I started adding coconut oil to the chocolate to make it shinier and easier to cut but if you don’t have it in the house just add a few tablespoons of butter instead.

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It’s Mother’s Day here in Australia, you couldn’t forget it even if you tried with the amount of jewellery ads on TV. My mother died three years ago and days like this are just starting to get a bit easier. My memories of her are heavily connected with food, she didn’t love to cook as much as me but she definitely loved to eat. I think about her every time I’m eating the remains of a tin of condensed milk (yeah, I don’t eat straight from the tin or anything…) and whenever I eat coriander, her absolute favourite herb. Cooking is my happy place and I’m glad she’s in it.

Caramel Slice

Base:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup self-raising flour

1/2 cup dessicated coconut

1/4 cup brown sugar

60g butter, melted

Caramel:

2 tins sweetened condensed milk

4 tbsp golden syrup

Top layer:

200g 70% dark chocolate

3 tbsp coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 180 C, line a slice tin with baking paper.

Combine all of the base ingredients together in a large bowl, mixing well so that everything is combined and moistened by the butter.

Transfer to the slice tin, pressing down with the back of a spoon to form an even layer.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly while making the caramel.

To make the caramel place the condensed milk and golden syrup in a medium saucepan together over medium heat.

Stir constantly with a spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan until the mixture starts to thicken, at which point keep cooking for another 10 minutes.

Pour the caramel over the base in the tin, spreading evenly with the spatula.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the top of the caramel has blistered.

Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in the microwave or a double boiler, mix well to combine then spread evenly over the caramel.

Place in the fridge to set.

To cut easily, allow the slice to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

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