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.