Just try telling me you don’t want a piece of that.
I could, alternatively, call this my Everything But The Kitchen Sink Slice. However, that would be a lie because I didn’t stir in the can of sardines I found next to the gluten-free vegan coconut cookies in my parents’ cupboard.
But you go right ahead, if that idea floats your boat. Personally, I don’t enjoy the taste of fish bones and chocolate together, but you might be more adventurous than I. (Mmm, chocolate cartilege…?)
This is the kind of old-fashioned, very sweet, bits-n-bobs-n-fun-to-make slice that would look perfectly at home at a school fête. Next to a plate of garishly-pink coconut ice and in front of a pile of toffees-in-patty-pan-cases-sprinkled-with-hundreds-and-thousands, this Ugly Duckling Slice would, I’m sure, be quickly snapped up by hordes of sugar-lovin’ children.
If it appeared in an Adriano Zumbo pastry case, though, I’m equally certain that this Ugly Duckling Slice wouldn’t stand a chance against Zumbo’s sophisticated creations. But you know what?
Sometimes you just want to make and eat a treat that reminds you of your childhood. And sometimes that’s enough to turn an Ugly Duckling into a Beautiful Swan.
Ugly Duckling Crunchy Fudge Fruit Nut and Coconut Chocolate Biscuit Slice
Very loosely adapted from the Family Circle Brownies, Fudges and Toppings mini cookbook. The original recipe called for 250g plain biscuits (instead of the half/half arrowroot and coconut combination I used), and glacé cherries and crystallised ginger (instead of the craisins and dates I threw in). Feel free to use whatever you have in your cupboard.
- 125g Arnott’s Milk Arrowroot biscuits (or any plain sweet biscuits)
- 125g Naturally Good Coconut Crunch cookies (or more plain sweet biscuits)
- 125g butter
- 3/4 cup (90g) pure icing sugar
- 2 tbs (4oml) cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup (25g) desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup (60g) slivered almonds (or chopped walnuts/pecans)
- 1/3 cup (90g) craisins (dried cranberries)
- 1/3 c (70g) dates, chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 200g dark chocolate, chopped
- Grease and line an 18cm x 28cm tin with baking paper, extending paper over the two long sides.
- Crush the biscuits and cookies in a food processor until fine.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add icing sugar and cocoa and stir over low heat until mixture is dissolved and smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the biscuits, coconut, almonds, craisins, dates, egg, and vanilla essence.
- Mix until well combined, then press into the tin.
- Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave, then pour over the slice, smooth with a spatula and allow to set at room temperature.
- Cut into squares and eat while planning your 11th Birthday Party, which is totally going to involve fairies and sparkles.
Note: Slice keeps in fridge for about a week (as if it’ll last that long…) but be warned: if you cut the slice straight out of the fridge, the chocolate topping will probably crack. So long as you don’t step on it, though, you won’t break your mother’s back.
Question Time: Are there are slices or cookies from your childhood that you sometimes wish you could revisit? (I’m not saying I’ll necessarily make them… but I might.)