This recipe is pretty uncomplicated, with just melting and stirring and then more melting and stirring involved. However, there’s a few elements that make it not your average supersweet chocolate-topped caramel slice. Not that I’m anti the regular stuff, I struggle, and always have, to choose anything else when I go to bakeries. First, there’s the salt. Then, fine cornmeal is added to the base, giving a little contrasting grit and crispness, and echoing the sweetness of the contents more than just plain flour would. Finally, the sweetened condensed milk feels more heat than usual, boiled away in the pan and then further blasted in the oven, reducing its liquid and making it as spreadable and roof-of-mouth coating as peanut butter. That’s a good thing, by the way. All told, it’s one heck of a recipe.
Salted Caramel Slice
Adapted from a recipe by Fiona Smith, from the September/October issue of Cuisine. For example, I didn’t have a tin small enough and so increased some ingredients.
115g brown sugar
100g fine cornmeal
100g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons golden syrup
A 395g can of sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
Set your oven to 180 C/350 F and butter and line an average sized slice tin. Mix the brown sugar, cornmeal, flour and baking powder together in a bowl.
In a pan, melt 120g of the butter. Pour it into the dry ingredients, mix together well and press into the base of the tin, flattening out carefully with the back of a spoon. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes.
In the same pot/pan, melt the rest of the butter, tip in the condensed milk and the golden syrup, and cook over a low heat for six minutes or so, stirring plenty. The caramel should darken slightly and thicken up. Spread it carefully and evenly – it’ll only be a thin layer – over the base, sprinkle with the salt, and return to the oven for another 10-12 minutes.
Allow to cool, then slice how you like.
It is without hyperbole that I tell you that this is intensely dazzlingly delicious. Real special stuff. The sort of thing you should definitely make for your friends, or even people that you’re hoping to be friends with, because it’s so good and no-one could hate you after eating it, no matter how bad a first impression you made (unless they’re allergic to dairy or something, in which case this would be a really, really bad first impression). And for all that it has three different kinds of sugar in it, it’s not scarily sweet.
Title via: Light of the Earth from Godspell, a musical that I love unashamedly (although loving musicals in the first place could be cause of shame for some, but not I!) This isn’t even the best song from it. But it does use the word salt.
Music lately: I really recommend listening to Judy Garland’s You Made Me Love You followed by Sherie Rene Scott’s hilarious version from her musical Everyday Rapture. Which does not appear to be on Youtube. But if all you can manage to locate is just Judy’s original or anything by Judy and/or something that Sherie Rene Scott has sung, things are still looking up for you. All Your Love, John Mayall’s Blues Breakers – Tim bought this record on Saturday and I was all “Eric Clapton? Boring!” but actually that was a bit of an unfair call.