Thursday, March 20, 2014

Caramel Walnut and Chocolate Slice

Have you heard of the paleo diet or lifestyle? I only discovered it recently, as some of my friends have joined in this way of eating. I had my first paleo muffin yesterday and it was indeed a healthy snack. It's a far cry from the sweets I'm used to creating in my kitchen, and it made me think of how boney I would be if I followed the trend. I say trend, although my friends are certain it's not, and call it a lifestyle rather than anything. I suppose it has become popular recently though, as several paleo cafes have popped up in the area in the last year out of the blue. It's one diet that seems to be a sustainable way of eating, unlike so many diets that people use to lose weight, like the shake diet, which for me, is a recipe for fluctuation. It also seems to be a good thing to stick to if you're lactose or gluten intolerant. It cuts out many processed and refined foods, and steers clear of legumes, starchy vege, dairy and grains. It's a sort of cave man style of food--fresh vegies, meat, fish, nuts and fruit.
For myself however, I am sticking to "balance is key" and just eating a little bit of all the good and tasty stuff, even if it is processed. Life is too short to deny yourself one piece of slice--especially when it comes with a layer or chocolate, a gooey golden filling of caramel dotted with walnuts, and a buttery, shortbread base. Walnuts are healthy, right?

CARAMEL WALNUT SLICE  (Better Homes and Gardens)

350g butter
225g caster sugar
275g plain flour
395g sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup honey or golden syrup
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
200g dark chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 180C. Put 225g butter and 100g of the sugar into a bowl and beat until light and creamy.
Add flour and stir to form a soft dough.
Spread the dough in a lined slice or lamington tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.
Put remaining butter and sugar in a medium-sized pan and stir over low heat until the better melts. Add condensed milk and honey, stirring continuously until the mixture is combined and very thick.
Remove from heat. Stir walnuts through, before pouring over the slice base.
Leave to cool, and then spread melted chocolate over the caramel to the edges.
Refrigerate for 3 hours before cutting into 24 squares.

NOTE: You may want to use a hot knife to cut through the chocolate as it tends to crack a little when cutting.


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