Good, old-fashioned baking is enjoying a well-earned revival, and while it might be well-intentioned and worthy for home bakers to reproduce recipes in their original form, a fresh look at an old favourite can add increased flavour and texture. And it makes the process of baking more dynamic.
This year I have judged many baking competitions, also experiencing a resurgence, and noticed the home bakers who are innovative with traditional baking but not disrespectful to the original. A bit like doing up an old house, really.
CHOCOLATE FUDGE SLICE WITH MACADAMIA NUT CRUMBLE
Makes 25 squares or 50 triangles.
Refrigerator fudge slice is usually made with packet biscuits, but for a point of difference and economy have a receptacle in the freezer for collecting unwanted bits of cakes, biscuits, fruit breads or slices in the freezer to replace the packet biscuits. Fudge slice is then surprise slice.
660g biscuits (vanilla wine biscuits or leftover cake, biscuits or slice offcuts)
120g (12 Tbsp) butter
200g (1 cup) brown sugar
65ml (1/4 cup) milk
30g (1/4 cup) cocoa
2 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
395g (2 3/4 cups) sultanas, raisins or any dried fruit (chop dried fruit to raisin-size)
80g (sfr3/4 cup) roughly chopped walnuts (or a mixture of nuts)
Chocolate icing (recipe follows)
Macadamia nut crumble (recipe follows)
Grease one 32cm x 23cm (or similar sized) low-sided baking tray with baking spray or butter.
Crush biscuits finely with rolling pin. Alternatively place them into a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process to a fine crumb. Transfer crumbs to a large bowl.
Place butter, sugar, milk and cocoa into a medium pot set over a low heat and cook until butter is melted. Increase heat and bring just to the boil. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Pour butter mixture into crumbs and add vanilla, sultanas and nuts and mix together. Place into prepared baking tray and press down firmly to make an even thickness. Refrigerate for three hours or until set.
Ice with chocolate icing and sprinkle with Macadamia Nut Crumble.
Cut into 5cm x 5cm squares. If you wish, cut each square into two triangles.
225g (1 1/2 cups) icing sugar
20g (3 Tbsp) cocoa
40g (4 Tbsp) butter (softened)
25ml (1 Tbsp + 2 tsp) warm milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl.
Add butter, milk and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Macadamia nut crumble
Crumble on top of fudge slice creates eye appeal and texture. Substitute other nuts for macadamia if you wish.
110g (1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp) brown sugar
50g (1/3 cup + 1/2 Tbsp) flour
3g (1/2 tsp) cinnamon
45g (4 1/2 Tbsp) very cold unsalted butter (cut into small dice or grated)
40g (33 to 36) macadamias (lightly toasted and roughly chopped)
Place brown sugar, flour and cinnamon into a small bowl.
Sprinkle butter over sugar mix and with fingertips rub in until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add macadamias and toss to combine.
Place a small, heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat. Add crumble mixture and cook for three to five minutes or until golden brown and mixture begins to bind together.
Remove from heat and cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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