It is film season in London with the London Film Festival taking place and last night there were two red carpets dolled out in Leicester Square. The two films I have been lucky to see have been vastly different and the beauty of cinema is the ability to stop life for a short time and become fully immersed in a story. A piece of someone else’s life, of pieces of culture, of lives you would otherwise never be exposed to.
Movies are like magic and they the ultimate form of story telling. A person can put a book down. They can change the channel whether it’s on TV or the radio. But stepping foot into a movie theater and getting comfortable when the lights go out to be fully immersed in a story that moves you to jump, laugh or cry. It’s a powerful art form I have a lot of respect for and this is something I am reminded of whenever I revisit that old friend the cinema.
This recipe originated on my treat Friday’s in New Zealand during my last job. The trip to this bakery would almost always result in purchasing this slice because it was the best one I’ve ever had. In fact, no other peppermint slice or grasshopper bar has every come close. Somehow these geniuses managed to make a light and fluffy filling and that was stacked two inches high. Despite my best attempts at recreating this in my kitchen, this is ninety percent of the way there and this went down like a treat with everyone who tried it.
Chocolate Peppermint Slice
Makes 20 bars
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup sugar
100 grams butter, softened
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
30 grams butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons peppermint essence
2 tablespoons creme de menthe
70 grams 70% chocolate, melted
Prepare a baking tin with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 180ºC/350F.
Sift the cocoa powder and flour into a bowl. Add the coconut and sugar and stir through. Add the butter and combine with a fork until the mixture holds together.
Pour into a baking tin and flatten with the base of a glass. Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes or until the mixture has browned on top. Remove and set aside to cool fully.
Spread the peppermint mixture on the base, followed by the creme de menthe mixture on top and set aside to set for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a double boiler until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Spread the chocolate mixture over the top and allow to set for minimum 2 hours.