G is for Gallivanting, a slice and a couple of awards

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

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


125g butter
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

7)Good coffee

8)Shopping at the weekly farmer’s/ organic markets

9)Music and dancing

10)Being creative

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


3 hungry tummies said...

First I would like to thank you for the award :) I really appreciate that!
secondly I have to say how wonderful these slices look, something I love to munch on after dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

Pierre said...

thanks Shaz for any award that is very nice of you and I will look at other foodies blog you have mentionned ; I already know and appreciate many of them !!
I wish you a very good day but mine has started very well (it is now 7am in cold Paris!)

Trissa said...

Thanks so much Shaz - you just made my day! Especially honoured as this is coming from you! Hmmm... which award? Can I have both? hehe...

Julia @Mélanger said...

Delicious. I do love a good slice. And you could also be forgiven for thinking it's healthy....with all those nuts!

shaz said...

You're welcome 3 Hungry Tummies!

Cheers Pierre, I love my weekly visits to Paris :)

Aw Trissa, sure you can have both hon.

ha ha Julia, no way is this even remotely healthy (check out the butter measurements) eek!

Lisa said...

shaz..thank you so much for the lovely sentiment!! I'm so flattered that you chose me as one of the bloggers to pass it on to and congrats on recreiving these awards yourself :)

sarah @ syrupandhoney said...

That first photo looks sooo tantalizing!

Juliana said...

Shaz, thank you so much for the award...very sweet of you :-) And the slice looks absolutely delightful, like the idea of using mix nuts...this way you can capture all ;-)

Hungry Dog said...

Congratulations on the awards and thanks for the shout out! Enjoyed reading your list...although how can you not like bread?! I don't like breakfast either, although I force myself to eat something before heading to work.

Sook said...

I so want a bite of this!! Maybe two or three! :) Yum!

shaz said...

Thanks Sarah, it's hard to photograph but pretty easy to eat :p

You're very welcome Juliana.

Cheers Hungry Dog - oh I don't mind bread at other times of the day, (like sandwiches at lunch) but just not a big drawcard at breakfast! Don't mind sourdough though, so got to get my act together and start trying to make some :)

Nice to meet you Sook, have as many bites as you'd like

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Oh me oh my! That looks absolutely scrumptious. Are you serious about it not being photogenic? I'm thinking the entirely opposite thing! Please excuse me while I try and reach into the screen... :P

grace said...

your treat looks pretty photogenic to me--after all, caramel is involved!
congrats on the awards, shaz, and on using "penultimate" appropriately. :)

Barbara said...

Congrats on the awards, Shaz. You deserve them!

Now as to your comment about how unphotogenic these slices are: I don't know how you could top those photos. I was drooling on my keyboard!

(I'm sure magazines and old cookbooks forgive us for not remembering who did what. Besides, I put my favorite recipes in a computer program years ago and never thought once to put the source. Naughty me.)

Meagn @ FeastingonArt said...

Haha curry on tap for breakfast - what a dream!

Ellie said...

The slices are delicious!! Thanks for making them and it was great to meet you and your cute daughters! Thanks for the award too!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Oh neat you got to see Ellie! I imagine you two had a great time. How fun!

I also read and love those blogs you listed. I try not to be a lurker, but often am.

shaz said...

Thanks Lorraine - too kind. I just found it hard to make the slice look more interesting - it was nutty and brown and that's it.

Thanks Grace - very proud of "penultimate", must find more words to practise:)

Thank you very much Barbara - a lot of my recipes were clipped pre-blogging days, never realised one day I might have to quote the source! I think you're right, hopefully no one would mind too much. So I think we can safely get off the naughty step.

:) Megan - a pretty good one!

No worries Ellie, thanks for your generosity (and That Cake!)

Hi Laura (aka The Cooking Photographer) - it's great when the real world and blog world meet. (Ellie and I discovered we live in roughly the same area) very fortuitous (hey, new cool word!)

Heavenly Housewife said...

Not a breakfast person? Im a breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, brunch, snack and snack person LOL. These little slices would make a great snack ;).
Have a fabulous weekend!
*kisses* HH

Devon said...

Thanks for the award! And your pictures came out fine, but I know how you feel. I make so many tasty, brown, ginger-apple type cakes but they're not the cutest pastries-poor things.

Liz said...

Oh yum, these bars look delish! I love honey ANYTHING.

Erica said...

Thank you for the award! I really appreciate it! Those bars look delicious.

Marcellina said...

Congratulations on the award! I was ready to pass this one on to you but found you had alread received it. No surprise, you deserve it! Great slices, by the way.