Recipe: Caramel Walnut Slice
Book: The Australian Women’s Weekly Cakes and Slices Cookbook
This isn’t the post I intended to write tonight. To be more precise, this isn’t the post I intended to write last night. My aim had been to tell you about my whirlwind work trip to Sydney last week, during which time I squeezed in a dinner and dessert extravaganza with two members of Sydney’s food blogger royalty. (I was also lucky enough to bump into three other Sydney food bloggers.)
I also planned to use the weekend to write and preschedule some chocolate reviews, the dessert I cooked for my friend Robert, and a fictional piece about my pet wombat Princess Clara Pompidou. Instead, I managed to “schedule” a virus into my laptop. Because I’m clever like that.
Rather than getting anxious about my inability to blog, I used my computer-incapacitation to catch up on last fortnight’s Celebration theme for the Cookbook Challenge. (Funnily enough the morning before I got the virus, Fiona had advised me over coffee to not fuss about the Cookbook Challenge but simply keep an eye out for anything I cooked that might vaguely fit its themes. Hey Fiona, are you a prophet?)
Therefore while my Superhero Computer Magic Hands Dad valiantly worked towards curing my computer, I baked. I baked this Caramel Walnut Slice, which I have renamed my Sweet Celebration Slice.
My Sweet Celebration Slice celebrates fathers who graciously don’t yell at you or say “I told you so” [more than once] despite having repeatedly told you to back up your computer. This Sweet Celebration Slice also celebrates anyone who decides to go with the flow rather than chuck a tantrum about mean people in the world who create computer viruses for fun.
This Sweet Celebration Slice celebrates brothers who call you up on Sunday night to support but also inspire you, and it celebrates thermal socks that are a boon as the weather gets colder.
Lastly, this Sweet Celebration Slice celebrates the fact that at the end of a week and weekend which has been challenging, exciting, full of laughter, and marked by an abundance of friends and an absence of sleep, there is sometimes nothing better than a three-tier slice that starts with a crispy coconut and nut topping, moves into a rich and gooey caramel-esque layer, and finished with a coconut biscuit base.
After all, as I sang at my recent gospel choir performance:
It’s time to celebrate
It’s time for rejoicing!
Caramel Walnut Slice, aka Sweet Celebration Slice (gluten and dairy-free)
Adapted slightly from The Australian Women’s Weekly Cakes and Slices Cookbook
- 1 cup self-raising flour (I used Orgran’s gluten-free self-raising flour)
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 125g Nuttelex/butter, melted
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- ¾ cup desiccated coconut
- ¾ brown sugar, firmly packed
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- Grease a 19cm x 29cm lamington pan, and preheat the oven to 190°C (380°F).
- Combine sifted flour, first lot of coconut, sugar, and then the melted Nuttelex/butter. Press evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
- For the topping, mix together the eggs and vanilla, then stir in the second lot of coconut, sugar, and walnuts. Pour over the baked base and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool before cutting.
- Or cool for 10 minutes and then cut two large squares for yourself and your Superhero Computer Magic Hands Dad to enjoy, then package up the rest later when it has truly cooled.