It’s the penultimate (always wanted to use that word in a sentence) week of school holidays and we’ve been gallivanting hither, and thither and yon. Which explains the erratic blogposts.
As we roamed far and wide (actually, to be honest it was mostly to the beach and back), our path took us to the door of Ellie from Almost Bourdain who invited us to her home (thanks Ellie!). Not wanting to show up empty handed, I quickly put together one of my favourite, easy slices. I hadn’t actually planned to post it here because this treat is really not very photogenic. However, there have been recipe requests from Mr Kitchen Hand’s colleagues (who helped eat the other half of the slice) so who am I to refuse?
Nut, honey and caramel slice
(adapted from a recipe I clipped from a mag ages ago. Unfortunately, cannot remember the name of the mag –oops)
2 cups (300g) plain flour
½ cup (100g) firmly packed brown sugar
180g chilled unsalted butter (chopped)
pinch of cinnamon
1 cup (200g) firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp maple syrup (or use all honey instead)
1 ½ tbsp pure cream (not thickened)
250g nuts (I used a mixture of macadamias, walnuts and pistachios) – the original recipe calls for pecans
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (more if using essence)
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease and line a 4cm deep, 21 x 30 cm slice pan (I just used a pan I had which was roughly the same size give or take a few cms). Allow the baking paper to overhang the pan to make removal easier.
To make the base, process the dry ingredients in a food processor until evenly distributed (about half a minute), then add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles damp sand. Put the mix into the lined tray then flatten with the back of a large spoon or roll a small glass over it. (I prefer to use a spoon so that I can press down with a bit more pressure). Bake until golden (about 20 minutes or so).
While the base is baking, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the sugar, syrup, honey and cream and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let the mixture boil then reduce heat and simmer, stirring for about a minute. Add in the nuts and vanilla, stir well until combined. Remove from heat and keep warm.
When the base is done, remove from the oven and let it stand for a couple of minutes, then pour the warm nut mixture over the top. Tilt the pan to make sure it’s even, then put it back in the oven and bake for about 15-18 minutes. The top should be bubbling and deep golden. Don’t be tempted to pull it out too early or the mix won’t set as well. Turn the pan around if needed.
Remove from oven and cool in pan. When cold, slip a thin metal spatula or knife to loosen the edges of the slice from the pan, then carefully slide the whole thing out onto a chopping board. Slice into squares or fingers or whatever takes your fancy. It is supposed to keep for 5 days in a cool spot and also freezes well, but I haven’t had any last that long yet (but then again I always give a lot away because I don’t want to be tempted into eating the lot!)
And before I go, I must say a very big thank you to the Heavenly Housewife who’s handed this Happy 101 award on to little ole moi. If you haven’t yet met HH, she’s a dah-ling who always makes me smile, so do stop by and say hi. Thank you very much HH.
And of course not forgetting the Honest Scrap award handed on by Hungry Dog just before Christmas. Do check out Hungry Dog’s musings as well and say hello to their little hungry dog Frances (who’s really a dog). Thanks HD!
Now, both awards come with their own set of rules and by the time I wrote it all out, it turned into an ultra long rambling post, so instead, if you’d like to know more, just check out the rules for Honest Scrap here, and for Happy 101 here.
As you probably already know by now, colouring outside the lines is more my style - so instead of following all the rules, I’m just going to list the things that make me happy (because it’s easier).
Oh ok, I’ll give you two honest things about myself, can’t think of anything else more profound, I’m pretty much a WYSISWIG type.
1) I’m not a breakfast person (hold the lecturing). I know it’s supposed to be the most important meal of the day etc, etc, but I just cannot face it and only feel hungry around morning-tea time. It’s probably because I’m neither a fan of bread nor cereal, but if I had curry on tap maybe I would eat brekkie more often ☺. (For the record, I make sure the kids eat breakfast!)
2) The geek within me loves trying to figure out how things work and why, must be a throwback to my days as a science student.
3) And these things make me happy: the kids (most of the time)
4)Warm, sunny days spent at the beach
5) Hanging out with Mr. Kitchen Hand, drinking tea and chatting at the end of the day
6)Going for lunch
8)Shopping at the weekly farmer’s/ organic markets
9)Music and dancing
And I’d like to pass it on to a few bloggers who I read often and some whom I’ve just met. If I’ve tagged you, just pick whichever award you prefer and feel free to pass it on or don’t do anything (whatever makes you happy☺).
a)Trissa from Trissalicious
b) Pierre who’s from Paris
c)Devon at Travelling Tastebuds
d)Lisa Michelle from Parsley, Sage, Dessert and Line Drives
e) 3 hungry tummies over in Melbourne
f)Erica at My Colombian Recipes
h)Ellie from Almost Bourdain
i)Juliana at Simple Recipes