caramel slice

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.

Ingredients

For the base:

For the middle:

For the top:

Tools:

Method

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.

Sources

April 30, 2012 | Leave a Comment |

icecream cone… without the cone.

[ Nestle Choc Shock ice cream box ]
We tried out the Special Edition Choc Shock Nestle Peters Drumstick. First, a quick review:
It has a layer of chocolate ice cream, white chocolate sprinkles and white chocolate instead of the regular chocolate (also at the bottom of the cone.) The cone is also chocolate flavour. This is all good, but the chocolate ice cream soon gives way to a white ice cream: not the traditional vanilla but a strange coconut flavour. That WAS a shock! A shame really, because I feel the traditional vanilla would be nicer. (Or the chocolate from the top)

However, an even bigger shock was in store for us!

One of the cones in the pack was lacking a cone! No cone at all. (note, the comparison cone has already been eaten a bit in this photo, however it was normal when unwrapped.)
[ Nestle Choc Shock, lacking cone ]

and the same photo, just rotating so you can see the wrapper.
[ Nestle Choc Shock ice cream - wrapper shot ]

November 12, 2010 | 2 Comments |

(almost!) fructose-free caramel slice

Republished in 2012

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.

Ingredients

For the base:

For the middle:

For the top:

Tools:

Method

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.

Sources

March 11, 2010 | 4 Comments |

the cheesecake we had to have


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

I made this cheesecake a little while ago, and have just gotten around to uploading pictures.

The first thing I had to do was crush up a packet of Marie Biscuits, (plain biscuits) and mix these crumbs with a few table spoons of melted margarine, then press this into the base of the dish to make the base. I popped it into the fridge to set.

For the filling, I had two packets of philly cheese, softened them in the microwave, and started mixing it with an electric beater. I added about 250 ml (half a 500ml jar) of thickened cream, and mixed it till it was smooth. I added to this maybe a cup or so of icing sugar, to take away a little of the savoury taste. Then I melted half a block, maybe more, of dark chocolate in the microwave. This I mixed into the cheese and cream.

After mixing up the filling, I poured this into the dish on top of the base. Smoothed it and spread it out a bit and put it into the fridge. At this point I cleaned up my cooking utensils and had a bit of lunch.

While the cheesecake looked pretty good, with grated chocolate on top, I didn’t think it was finished. The beaters, just cleaned, where going to get another outing- this time in the rest of the cream. I whipped the cream till it was very thick, adding a little squeeze of orange juice to knock back the richness- you couldn’t taste the orange, but it did temper the richness of the cream a bit.

After adding the whipped cream to top off the cheesecake, I grated a little chocolate on top, and then left it in the fridge to set.

The next challenge was transport- it was a big cheesecake and it would be good to share with a group of friends. We found the old electric frying pan was a good fit, so I used that.

So, that was my first attempt at cheesecake making, and it tasted alright, so I was impressed.

November 19, 2007 | 4 Comments |

electricity fuels my lifestyle

How dependent are you on electricity? Last night I found out how much my lifestyle depends on electricity, as a large storm bore down on Victoria. Lots of rain (60mm at last check) and gusts of damaging wind forecast, it was no surprise to find the power out. We noticed at about 4 o’clock, as my Grandma saw that her clock was dead. A quick test of the light switch showed that in fact, the power was out. Now, we were both reading by natural light at this time, and this didn’t bother us. As the sun dipped (not that we could see it for the clouds) it became darker and darker and harder to see. We rang the energy company power-out hot line, and heard the recorded voice list lots and lots of areas, ours included, and the expected times that the power would be restored. 10:30pm! So we got the candles out of the top of the cupboard.

A candle lit dinner!
The first part of our routine: dinner. Oven cooking is out, as we have an electric oven. Our stove stop is gas (even without that I have a camp stove) so we’re ok. So we’ll get that plastic tub of spaghetti leftovers and… oh yeah. Can’t microwave it. Power’s out. No problem, we’ll just put it in a saucepan, man! It’s frozen and won’t come out of the container. Put it in hot water. (Good thing we have gas heated water!) The frozen chunk of meat and spaghetti is out now, let’s cook it. But only the bottom of the chunk is touching the pan and melting! So we’ll break it up. *thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk…* after concentrated effort and team work (I’ll hold it down with the wooden spoon, you hold the pot and attack it with a knife) we have a smooth mix that is heating up nicely. Our cooking space is lit by a candle.

A candlelit dinner! It’s meat and spaghetti slop on bread (sorry, no toast, power’s out) but it tastes ok. Good thing everything was cooked to begin with.

Entertainment that doesn’t come in a box
So, what now? There is no TV or radio to catch the news. In fact, there won’t be any quiz shows, reality shows or any other kind of TV show! (Power’s out, remember?) Let’s play rummikub! Rummikub, (Grandma beat me every time! She’s a crafty one,) various attempts at me teaching Grandma card games and trying to get the dog to go outside and do his business (don’t blame him for not wanting to go outside in that weather!) And stories filled up our evening till 8 o’clock. There was nothing else to do but go to bed!

No TV, No internet, no lights (other than candles and battery torches), no car (stuck in the garage behind a button open roller door) (technically there is a way to open it by hand, but we couldn’t be bothered), no microwave, no toaster, no radio, no central heating, no light in the fridge (off fridge! good thing it’s winter), no electric blankets, no external CD drive, no electricity!

How we cheated
It wasn’t a totally energy free evening though, we still had running hot and cold water (city water, not relient on a pump and well system), the phone, both fixed and mobile (one because of the phone lines and one because of a battery), we still had gas, and the computer I’m writing this on now is on battery power.

Overall though, it was shocking to realize how dependent we are on power, especially for a long period of time in the evening when it is dark.

June 28, 2007 | 2 Comments |

messing with gelatine

Tomorrow, I am cooking dinner for some friends. I’ve decided to do Bolivian food. (Yay!) However, this means some prep the night before… the filling for a salteña needs to set. Hence the gelatine.

No pictures… it’s too complicated cooking without trying to be a journalist as well! Maybe when I can afford my own ‘embedded’ crew. As it is I feel coated… yech. Should taste great though.

Also on the menu: sopa de maní and chocolate flosh. I had planned to have some cuñape for an appetiser, but I don’t have the right cheese.

June 21, 2007 | 4 Comments |

ice cream homesickness

So, googling for “chocolate flosh” (as you do) I came across the web page of my favourite Bolivian ice cream parlour: Heladeria Dumbo! (to pronounce it with a Spanish accent, it sounds a bit like “doom-bow”.) You can also visit their competition (family spat, apparently) at Heladeria Globos. Mm… food pictures.

A chocolate flosh (roughly “choco-latte flawsh” (aw as in saw)) is an icecream served in a tall thin glass, with a scoop of ice cream, a scoop of cream, a drizzle of chocolate sauce, a scoop of ice cream, a scoop of cream, a drizzle of chocolate sauce, a scoop of ice cream, a scoop of cream, a drizzle of chocolate sauce, and a cherry.

June 19, 2007 | Leave a Comment |

random vegetable goodness

I’m a member of the Wholefoods vegetable co-op at Monash. For 15 Aussie dollars, this is the box of vegetables that is supposed to last two people a week, but actually lasts us a bit more than that.


[ vegetables in a box ]
[ contents of the box spread out ]


This time, we’ve got: a butternut pumpkin, four brown onions, four medium-large potatoes, four bananas, two large carrots, two oranges, two head of broccoli, a knob of ginger, four zucchini, two apples and eleven chestnuts.

It’s good because we get the staples, plus some variety. I now know, for instance, that you will never find all the remnants of an exploded chestnut. And that the flavour is ‘mmm. perhaps not my favourite.’ At 15$ for organic produce, it’s a pretty cool deal.

May 2, 2007 | 1 Comment |

chocolate: lent reflections

Mmm… Chocolate is good. Occasional bites, sweet goodness melting over the tongue. Yes, Lent is over and I’m back to enjoying sweet things. It was an interesting time, with out sugar induced highs and happiness. I was able to think about God a bit more, but in the end, realized that it was not a huge “God experience” – I’ve since learned that these come when God wants them to, not on demand.

The discipline I learned in giving up desert is something that I’d like to apply to other parts of my life, but it is a negative (don’t do) discipline, not a positive (do this) discipline. To motivate myself to do something on a regular basis- prayer would be a good one to start with- that is my goal.

At the end of the whole experience, I feel like I’ve grown a little more than just following the passage of time. And I have a new found appreciation for chocolate.

April 11, 2007 | Leave a Comment |

kitchen experiments: iced coffee

Last week, I was needing a caffeine boost, but it was too hot for a regular cup of tea or coffee. So, I made a concentrated coffee, and put ice and milk in it. It turned out quite well, here is the recipe I used.

[iced coffee from above, with a pink straw]

You Need:

So, I made the coffee in a couple of centimetres of hot water at the bottom of the tall glass, stirring it really well. Then I added the ice cubes- filling the glass. Milk fills in the gaps. Now, I wasn’t to impressed with the result, so I got out the blender and tipped in my creation, and hit the blend button, adding a bit of sugar. I stopped it when I couldn’t hear the chunks of ice clunk against the sides any more. I poured it into the glass… mmm. I forgot that milk froths up, so should have used less milk so I didn’t have extra in the jug.

It was really tasty and refreshing! Yum…

March 30, 2007 | 6 Comments |
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