Caramel slice reminds me of two things – the 80s and my mum. Did everyone’s mum make caramel slice in the 80s? It sure seemed like it. I don’t really remember for sure if my mum made it regularly but each time I make it the memory of her is near. There is something familiar about it, comforting and nostalgic.
It’s an easy recipe to modify to make it gluten-free friendly, I’ve included the modification below.
Modified from a recipe by Donna Hay
1 cup gluten-free plain (all-purpose) flour mix (Use regular plain flour here if you don’t need it to be gluten-free)
125g butter, melted
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
125g butter, melted
1/3 cup golden syrup
1 can (400g) sweetened condensed milk
1 block dark cooking chocolate
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 180°C (355ºF).
Base: Place the flour, coconut, butter and sugar in a bowl and mix to combine. Firmly press the mixture into a 20cm x 30cm tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool.
Filling: Place the golden syrup, butter and condensed milk in a saucepan over low heat and stir until thickened. Pour over the base and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Refrigerate until cooled completely.
Topping: Place the chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted.Pour the chocolate mixture over the caramel and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.
To serve slice with a warm knife. (Leave the slice out of the fridge a few minutes if it’s too difficult to cut.)
Cakes with long names sound impressive, however bundt cakes remind me of school fetes and bake sales. There is something old-fashioned about them. To me, they say homemade cake. According to Wikipedia, bundt cakes took off in the ’60s. I bought a 24cm bundt pan to make this recipe – actually it’s a “fluted pan”since bundt appears to be a registered trademark. The burnt sugar bundt cake looks like a grown up, sophisticated version of what I usually expect bundt cakes to be.
I attempted this cake twice today. The first time around, I didn’t burn my sugar for long enough. I can’t remember being disappointed I didn’t burn something before! The cake and the frosting both require a burnt sugar solution which is made of sugar, cream, coconut milk and lemon juice. Half of the mixture goes into the cake batter and half into the frosting. The first batch of burnt sugar I made was golden and brown, but for a dense-coloured and extra flavourful cake, the burnt sugar needs to be quite dark and rich in colour. Stir the sugar in a pan over medium heat until it’s the colour of molasses, and then keep stirring and heating it some more. Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly add the cream while you keep stirring. Adding the cream too quickly will result in lumps of hard sugar. You can dissolve the lumps over heat on the stove but it seems best to avoid them if you can. Below are samples from the burnt sugar mixtures I made, the one on the right wasn’t heated long enough to make a dark-coloured cake.
The frosting came together easily in my food processor. I added a little extra icing sugar to thicken it, and omitted 1 tablespoon of rum. Next time I’ll use vanilla extract instead – I don’t care for the rum flavour. The sugar shards were easy to make with some melted sugar and water over high heat but mine were quite sticky to handle when arranging them on the cake.
Official taste-tester hubby seemed pleasantly surprised by the caramel flavour of the cake, he remarked it wasn’t sickly sweet like some caramel-flavoured desserts. Find the recipe here on Amy Atlas’s blog. It comes from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented.
Happy Father’s Day Dad!
This time I used white flour instead of wholemeal for these caramel cupcakes. I served most of them with warm caramel sauce (3/4 cup brown sugar dissolved over low heat in 1 cup cream, simmered 8 minutes) and vanilla ice cream. This cupcake has melted white chocolate on top instead.
Today I tried a new recipe from The Australian Women’s Weekly Cupcakes & Cookies cookbook. I followed the recipe with one exception: I used wholemeal plain flour instead of the usual white plain flour. The wholemeal flour gave them a grittier texture but the caramel flavour came through. It made it feel like a less “sugary” cake, and overall was quite yum! The recipe suggested dusting the tops with icing sugar, however I made a caramel syrup to go on top – by dissolving 3/4 cup brown sugar in 1 cup cream and then simmering for 8 minutes. The sauce thickens as it cools, so you need to wait a little while before serving.
30 minutes was just right for the medium/standard size cupcake tray, 40 minutes is recommended for Texas size cupcake trays. The silicone trays are great, the cakes pop out easily even without patty cases. I also made mini cupcakes with leftover batter – they cooked in about 10 minutes.
Caramel Mud Cakes
From: The Australian Women’s Weekly Cupcakes & Cookies
125g butter, chopped
100g white eating chocolate, chopped coarsley
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
2/3 cup milk
1 cup plain flour
1/3 self-raising flour
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (or 140 degrees Celsius fan forced)/320 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine butter, chocolate, sugar, syrup and milk in a saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cool for 15 minutes.
Whisk sifted flours then egg into mixture.
Divide among cupcake tray and bake for 30 minutes for standard size cupcakes.