Hello everyone, how’ve you been?
I’ve been fairly busy, both in and out of the kitchen. I haven’t had anything particularly noteworthy to share with you until a few days ago, but I thought I might do another little compilation like I did a few posts ago to catch you up with what I’ve been making.
A few weeks ago we had a fundraiser car-boot sale at my church for an awesome organization called Freeset, to raise funds to buy a building on the entry to Sonagachi, the red-light district in Kolkata, India. Freeset do amazing work helping set women free from the sex trade, so it was really cool to be able to get involved in supporting them. I made the Spiced Mexican Brownie again, but this time I topped it off with some melted dark chocolate, mixed in with a pinch of cayenne pepper and cinnamon… which made it look a bit fancier. I also made Ginger Slice from an Alison Holst recipe I hadn’t used before. I LOVE Ginger Crunch, but alas the base wasn’t very crunchy, so I renamed it Ginger Slice for sale, haha. I also made some gluten-free Date and Hazelnut truffles… this recipe is delicious. I made them last year as Christmas gifts, you should give it a shot.
Now, in my last post I promised to try and make some healthier recipes. I’m always quite skeptical of healthy baking recipes, but I thought I’d give it a shot, making sugar-free, low fat, gluten-free Ginger Slice based on a number of recipes I’d seen online (See here, here, here and here). All those gorgeous photos couldn’t be wrong… right? Well… I wasn’t particularly impressed. Most of it is still sitting in my fridge. But, I won’t give up… I just think I might have to opt for healthier recipes, rather than totally ‘guilt-free’ recipes. There is a reason baked goods taste amazing and it’s name is butter. So, I’m going to try reducing the amount of butter and sugar in my favourite recipes as a sort of compromise, and we’ll see how we go.
The recipe I’m about to share with you is not a compromise. Though I suppose it’s not the most unhealthy thing I’ve ever made. A friend of mine shared this recipe with me and I thought it sounded pretty good. Turned out it was pretty good. Pretty darned good. I had to change a few things, and the timing and temperature for baking in the original recipe would have majorly overcooked my slice if I hadn’t been paying attention, so if you try this recipe, keep a close eye on it, as I haven’t ironed out the timing quite yet.
This slice is made up of a shortbread base, a layer of chocolate (which will harden when it cools) and a macaroon topping. Yum!
Heavenly Coconut Slice
For the base:
- 100g flour
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 110g butter, cut into small cubes
For the chocolate layer:
- 160g dark chocolate chips
For the macaroon topping:
- 160g brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 200g desiccated coconut + a bit extra to top
- Preheat oven to 160°C, fan-bake. Line a 23cm square baking tray with baking paper.
- Sift and combine the dry ingredients for the base. Add butter and use your fingers to combine until the dough resembles breadcrumbs.
- Tip the base mixture into the tray and use your hands to press the mixture into the tray until it is flat, smooth, firm and not crumbly.
- Bake the base for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven.
- When the base is cooked, tip the chocolate chips onto the hot base. Leave for a few minutes until the chocolate starts to melt, then smooth the chocolate over the base until it is covered.
- In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until it thickens and has lots of small bubbles.
- Add in the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Fold in the coconut.
- Tip the coconut mix over the chocolate-covered base and spread out. Sprinkle with a handful of desiccated coconut (optional).
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden and the centre is not wobbly.
- Allow to cool before cutting into squares.