So I’ve turned in my last assignment (hurrah!) for my Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary) and results come out on the 3rd of December.
I have got a job as an English teacher in a rural town, which is really exciting! I’m thinking I need to fire up the blogging again to help with my processing and professional learning, and also to document the adventure of moving out of home and having a real grown up job for the first time.
I’m excited. This is going to be good.
Here’s a republish of my gluten free, low fructose (and delicious!) caramel slice.
Fructose is a kind of sugar that is found in many foods, and can be tricky to avoid if you’re fructose intolerant. Most people know it as the sugar found in fruit, but it is also found in many other foods. A person who is fructose intolerant needs to avoid wheat, as do many coeliacs and gluten intolerant people. However many recipes that are gluten free are not always fructose friendly.
This is my recipe for gluten and (almost) fructose free caramel slice. It is suitable for all people who need gluten free recipes, and for fructose-intolerant people who have known about their condition for a while and are managing their diet well. This caramel slice should be avoided by people trying to get their body free of fructose.
For the base:
- 125 grams Butter
- 1/2 a cup packed Brown Sugar (This ingredient helps the base stick together, but also introduces the fructose, since brown sugar contains molasses.)
- 1 generous cup Gluten Free self-raising flour (up to 1/2 a cup extra, depending on the dough consistency)
- This recipe removes the desiccated coconut, which is on the “avoid” list for fructose. (original recipe says 1/2 a cup.)
My mum has swapped almond meal for the coconut and it works quite well to bulk up the base. You might want to add a smidge more sugar, as the almond meal can be a tiny bit bitter, but the base is pretty sweet as it is.
For the middle:
- 1 400 gram tin of condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
For the top:
- A block of chocolate. Another friend of mine is intolerant to cocoa, the main ingredient in milk and dark chocolate, but not white chocolate. This slice works really well with dark chocolate or white chocolate, and I’m sure it would work well with milk chocolate as well.
- 1 deep tray greased and lined with baking paper. The paper is really useful because then you can just lift out the slice when you want to cut it. You may find you want to double the recipe (I often do) to fit a larger tray.
- 1 saucepan large enough to be used as a mixing bowl (for the base).
- 1 metal bowl suitable to be used as the top of a double boiler
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 scraper
- chopping board
- Large, straight sharp knife
First of all, preheat your oven to 180 degrees C, and then take the saucepan and melt your butter in it. Once the butter is melted take it off the heat. Mix in your brown sugar till you get a nice slurry, then add your flour, a bit at a time, stirring the flour into the slurry as you go. You should end up with a nice ball of dough that you should be able to run around the edges of the pan to get all the little bits of dough, and the pan should be surprisingly clean at the end.
Take your greased and lined pan and press the dough into the bottom of it, so it covers the pan. I usually go with (about) between 1/2 a centimetre to a centimetre depth. Bake the base for 10-12 minutes until it is golden brown. Aim for undercooking because we’re going to bake it again.
The next step is the ooey-gooey caramel, arguably the best part of the slice.
2012 revision: Pour on the condensed milk onto the base and bake it for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
(Put the tin of condensed milk into a saucepan and mix through the tablespoon of regular sugar (optional). Let it heat over a slow heat, always stirring it, because the caramel is just waiting for you to turn your back so it can boil over, stick to the bottom, or burn. Take it off the heat when it becomes a golden brown colour. Cooking it before we spread it on the slice gives a firmer caramel, but you can skip this step and spread the condensed milk directly on the base if you prefer.)
As soon as your caramel is done, spread it evenly all over the base and put it back in the oven to bake some more. The caramel will bubble up a little. Cook for 15-20 minutes until it has caramelised a bit more. Keep checking it, don’t let it burn! Take your almost finished caramel slice out of the oven, and after it has cooled a bit, put it in the fridge to cool the caramel, for about half an hour.
While your caramel is cooking and then setting is a good time to clean up the caramel sauce pan and wooden spoon- hot water and a little elbow grease should clean it up.
Now you need to prepare the chocolate topping. The best way to melt chocolate is in a double boiler: that is, over hot water. Take a metal bowl that fits over the top of one of your saucepans. Put boiling water in the saucepan and put the chocolate, broken into bits, into the metal bowl. Carefully rest the bowl over the top of the hot water. The chocolate can be left alone until the end, when you can give it a bit of a stir to get rid of any lumps. Spread this all over the cooled caramel base, and then put it back in the fridge to set.
After the slice has set for an hour (or until firm) take it out of the fridge and, using the lining paper, lift it out of the tray and on to the chopping board. It’s much easier to make straight cuts if you can cut right down the edges of the slice. Start by scoring a grid on the chocolate and into the caramel. This is fairly rich so monster slices don’t work well for finger food. Using the long knife, slice all the way through the slice so you’ve got lots of rows. I find it helpful to cut the slice in half, and work on one half at a time. I also find it useful to set aside all the rows and work on one at a time to get neat blocks.
Now you can store them in a container in the fridge. (Layer baking paper between levels so they don’t stick together.) If the day is a warm summer one, be aware of the potential for melting chocolate when you serve them.
- Kid Spot Australia caramel slice recipe
- Exclusively food caramel slice recipe
- Gluten Free Living NZ Caramel Slice (gluten free)
- Fructose information: Can/Can’t/Maybe list of food.
I have had a bit of fun the last couple of days with the Jet Punk world quiz, where you have 12 minutes to name all 196 nations of the world (officially there are 195, but they count Taiwan as a sovereign nation. That’s an interesting political issue that I won’t be going into.) Any places/nations that are territories of a sovereign nation (for example, French Guiana, Greenland) don’t count, and it’s the UK, not Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland.
I found that my weak spots were Africa and Eastern Europe, but after lots of drills, I am able to get all 196, which includes the small city states of the world (like Vatican City.)
There is also the 50 United States challenge- keep in mind, if you read the comments, that most Americans memorise these at primary school.
And for the crazies: World capitals Quiz.
When the floods struck Queensland and Victoria at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011; many people, though devastated by the floods, thought that their insurance would help them to set things right again.
However, many people discovered, to their horror, that sometimes they were paying for insurance with no flood cover, or even that when they had double checked that ‘flood’ was included in their policies, the insurance company didn’t cover them for the type of flood that impacted so many homes across Australia.
According to lawyers and consumer advocates, water flowing from rivers, creeks, dams, lakes or reservoirs may not be covered in some insurers’ definition of a flood, leaving some insurance policy holders unknowingly unprotected to flood damage.
(from Brisbane Times)
In January 2011, I suggested on a 774 Melbourne Facebook comment that the government should legislate a standard definition of flood.
How about having a legally mandated definition of “Flood” for the insurance companies to use, so no-one can weasel out of paying out when people have faithfully been paying premiums?
Friday, 21 January 2011 at 09:13
So I was quite impressed to see ABC news say in November:
The Federal Government has announced plans for a major shake-up of disaster insurance, including the introduction of a standard definition of flood.
It’s nice to see your ideas picked up and used.
Of course, this is no excuse for not reading your insurance policy, but they can be quite thick texts to wade through, and the insurance companies shouldn’t be using confusing language to avoid paying out on claims.
Melbourne has been basking in a typically indecisive spring, which can’t decide whether to send glorious sunshine or miserable grey wet weather. I actually kind of like the difference and the fact that not every day is the same. However, it is a bit cruel that the weather has been so glorious during the week and then miserable on the weekend.
Sunday was a lovely day though, and warm. Today we’re back to the wet, showing just how fickle a Melbourne spring is.
This radar image (screenshot from The Bureau of Meterology) is from Saturday morning, proving that Saturday was not a beach day.
My friends have released a music video!
I have just submitted my first ever job application online. I have had different paid jobs and temporary jobs- Most recently as a kitchen hand at Wholefoods, and as an election official at the various state and federal elections.
It’s quite hard to motivate myself- I find it discouraging when you finally find a job in the right area and for whatever reason you aren’t a valid candidate. Then writing a cover letter is a bit of a chore. (Hopefully with this first one down I have a bit of a template to work with.)
It would be nice if this blog brought in a good income, but obviously I don’t write enough for this to be a high traffic website.
so it’s been ages since I’ve blogged properly. I guess it is because of my own laziness- I find I prefer to consume content rather than put the effort into creating content- even though the buzz of satisfaction lasts longer when I have the accomplishment of creating something.
The brain can be addicted to information and teamed up with procrastination- that is, the avoidance of an unpleasant task (such as university assignments) I found that I was spending lots and lots of time just reading random stuff on the internet.
Blogging is also less attractive when it’s just another version of an essay- read and research, write, edit, submit. With real life obligations as well, any time I had for ‘fun’ was spent just surfing.
So, hopefully I can achieve some creativity and write, and publish.
My life has changed a bit- I’ve now finished a double degree of Arts and Computer Science, after six long years! (4.5 actually studying). I went to Canada for three weeks. I am now currently in the process of job searching and applying to do a Graduate Diploma of Education.
So, for some reason, some bright spark decided to remove the “warn on quit” default from firefox. As you can probably tell, I think this is a bad idea, because I often accidentally click command-Q instead of command-W (swap ctrl for command, PC users). If firefox would warn you, you could save tabs you had open or cancel the quit.
Here’s how to fix it: with this add on called ‘always ask’:
Here’s how you used to fix it.
about:configinto the address bar and hit enter.
- There will be a warning saying “Here be dragons” – choose the “I’ll be careful, I promise” option to continue.
- in the small search box (not the browser search box) type these words to find the settings and check their values:
browser.tabs.warnOnCloseand make sure it is set to true (click on it to change the value) also check”
- close the tab you’ve opened for about:config, and try quitting your browser with a few tabs open.
You should find that you are now prompted about whether you actually want to quit, which might save you from any fat-finger moments!
This is what I listen to when I’m trying to be productive and study. It needs to have some oomph and rhythm, and yet not be too repetitive, annoying, or stressful.
Here’s a playlist I’ve imaginatively titled: “study no lyrics” – the track name is in bold, artist in italics, album in normal text.
American Wake (The Nova Scotia Set) Riverdance (Music From the Show)
The Butterfly Celtic Woman Celtic Woman
Celebration Michael Kieran Harvey In the Time of Sakura – the Piano Music of Mike Nock
Cerro Negro Fiesta Fiesta Downloaded Jazz
Classical Gas Mason Williams Music – 1968-1971
The Harvest Riverdance (Music From the Show)
I am the Doctor Murray Gold & BBC National Orchestra of Wales Doctor Who: Series 5 (Soundtrack from the TV Series)
Last Of The Mohicans (Last Of The Mohicans) Musica Paradiso The Very Best of Cinema & TV Classics
Minor Swing Rachel Portman Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli Chocolat – (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Music for a Found Harmonium Penguin Cafe Orchestra Preludes, Airs & Yodels
Music for a Found Harmonium West Australian Symphony Orchestra & Benjamin Northey Simon Jeffes Just Classics 2: The Gold Collection
Party Preparations Rachel Portman Chocolat – (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Pride and Prejudice Carl Davis & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Carl Davis: The World At War, Pride and Prejudice, and Other Great Themes
Reel Around the Sun David Spillane, Des Moore, Des Reynolds, Eoghan O’Neill, Kenneth Edge, Maire Breatnach, Mairtin O’Connor, Nikola Parov, Noel Eccles & Tommy Hayes Riverdance (Music From the Show)
Spanish Flea Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
Star Wars Overture (Credits) Johannes Schwartz Sr. & South Pacific Symphony John Williams Sci-Fi Classical
Tsar Saltan: The Flight of the Bumble-Bee Queensland Symphony Orchestra & Vladimir Verbitsky Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Cardio Classics – Orchestral Workout!
Vianne Sets Up Shop Rachel Portman Chocolat – (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
William Tell: Overture (excerpt) The Tasmanian Symphony & Ola Rudner Gioachino Rossini Cardio Classics – Orchestral Workout!
I also listen to the Cardio Classics – Orchestral Workout! album; items by Mozart, Vivaldi and Bach; The Hallelujah chorus in full; The Sound of Music Sound track (yes really.) and when things get really bad, “The Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor (from the Rocky album). Also a “yes, really”. Unlike Sound of Music, which I’ve seen 20+ times, I haven’t ever seen a Rocky film.
What do you study to? Do you have similar tastes or am I just really weird?