Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gluten-free Caramel Slice and a visit with Michelle and Elijah

My lovely friend Michelle has just had her third baby...a beautiful little boy called Elijah...(one of my most favourite names). So the other day I went for a visit to get an Elijah-fix. And this little boy is a fix! He is snuggly and delicious and very very kissable. I didn't get to see his big sister Charlotte (who I call little Miss Lotts), but by all accounts she is pretty amazing with her new little brother. I did see Michelle's other baby Sammy who is fantastic with Elijah and very tactile and you can see in the photos which are to follow. 

Anyway my friend Michelle is a real doer. She never relaxes and chills out instead using her free time when the baby is asleep to do housework, cook and generally make things happen. Therefore I wanted to make her some food to maybe take the load off for a night. As she is reluctantly gluten-free it needed to be something that she could eat so I made a couple of lasagnas with one having gluten-free pasta and the other with normal pasta and the cheese sauce made with cornflour instead of the normal flour/butter roux. Of course something 'treaty' had to be in order too and as one of Michelle's favourite things to indulge in is caramel I knew it had to be a caramel slice. This is very easy to make gluten free or to keep 'normal'. I did add macadamia nuts to the topping as the recipe suggested but I think it was a waste as the thick caramel just hid the flavour of them instead just giving the slice a bit of a crunch. Next time I would leave them out altogether. By all accounts Little Miss Lotts liked the slice too so it obviously didn't have a distinctive gluten free flavour to it (I find as someone who isn't gluten-free that the flour can have a funny texture to it).

Michelle's Gluten-free Caramel Slice

1 c Healthries Simple wheat & gluten free Baking mix
½ c desiccated coconut
½ c soft brown sugar
125g melted butter

60g butter, extra
¼ c golden syrup
1 X 400 g can sweetened condensed milk
70g macadamia nuts, chopped (I wouldn't use these again but go for it if you to add them)

200g chocolate melted

Preheat oven to 180ยบ C. 

Combine the flour, coconut, brown sugar and butter. Press into baking paper lined 26 x 16cm slice pan and bake for 12 -15 minutes or until golden brown. 

Heat extra butter and golden syrup in a saucepan until butter has melted and add condensed milk. Stir over a medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until caramel is becoming golden brown in colour. Pour over the prepared base and bake another 10 mins until it is gloden brown (but don't overcook it). 

Melt the chocolate and stir until smooth.Spread over the caramel and refrigerate to set before slicing.

And here are some photos of a slightly jaundice-looking Elijah mostly being held by big brother Sam...

Sammy and Michelle


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