Saturday, July 16, 2011

Baking for Nightshift- Lemon Marshmallow Slice and a Caramel Slice

See how the topping slides...

The 'by-default' Caramel Slice

So after the last post on Ginger Crunch I got to thinking about those old nostalgic things we used to bake and which were part of the everyday housewives repertoire. Having said that, while my own mother baked sporadically, we were not the kind of family who had their baking tins filled every Sunday in preparation for the long week ahead. My mum was a good baker but not a committed one. She would go in fits and starts generally making the same things which we all loved and adored. These included Afghans, Ginger Crunch, Marshmallow Slice (made with jelly crystals as mum is allergic to eggs so the egg white method was a big no-no in our house), Anzac biscuits and so on...but her all time favourite to make would be Chocolate Fudge and Coconut Ice.

I well remember those lazy Sunday afternoon when my mum would send me up to the dairy to get a big bottle of Coke (in the glass bottles which we used to be able to sell the empty one back to the dairy...fantastic recycling idea), a big bag of Bluebird Potato Chips, and on occasion a big bar of Chocolate (always Cadbury's and always Plain, Crunchie or Caramello). To put this into perspective, we weren't a well-off family and so these days were a rare treat which we all loved. They were usually accompanied by TV and a rainy outside meaning we had to stay inside. If money was a bit tight, or if my mum had the urge she would whip up a batch of fudge or coconut ice. She was the best at these! Her fudge was creamy and delicious and was always set in my Poppa's battered, old, blue enamel dish to which we would be able to grab a piece almost at will. That dish, over the years, got a real working out. To this day it is the one thing I would have really loved to have in my own kitchen for when I make my own fudge but I think it long since died... no doubt from overuse. Amazing how some things really get the wear out making them most likely to be the cheapest thing you could have ever bought.

Anyway I digress with this nostalgia. My mum made amazing Marshmallow Slice and to this day it remains to be the one thing I have hardly made and am still in search of the ideal recipe. In an internet search for one, I found this recipe on the Chelsea Sugar website. The idea of the lemon layer really appealed. I did look at the ingredients and method for the marshmallow topping and I did wonder if it would work. BUT when I cook or bake I almost always make the recipe as it is then make my adjustments with it the next time. In this case I should have trusted my instincts and gone with a different topping. While the base and lemon filling were lovely, the topping was too set and as you can see in the photo above was able to be slid off all too easily. You can find the recipe here but as I have said look for a different recipe for the topping.

When I initially made the base I made it in a tin which was too small to hold the lemon topping so I whipped up some caramel, covered it with chocolate and called it Caramel Slice. This was actually quite good as the base was soft and cake-like so was quite different to the usual Caramel Slice recipe where the base is more crunchy and dense. Regardless both went pretty quickly at work last night so they couldn't have been too bad to eat.

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