As the rain came down and the trains weren’t working in London this morning, a walk through the park to work was unexpected. Most people are going back to work after their holiday break and their year began in a mess, meanwhile, storms are causing havoc to lives Stateside.
Yes, 2014 has come in rumbling and raging for most in the pit of winter.
Stepping back and re-focusing usually means swearing off cake and exercising more for those I’m surrounded with. Yes, the streets are fuller with people running and the grocery aisles are almost impassable around the fruit and veg section. What are your New Years resolutions? Do any contain the notion of being healthier? Portion control? Smiling more?
Its a good time to stand back and look at where life is and where you want it to be and while I don’t personally do New Years resolutions, I believe in working hard to achieve goals and not giving in to that lurking temptation to give myself a break. I can watch Ugly Betty and edit my novel or work on this blog. Multi-tasking is a friend worth holding close because the year will fly by again as did last year and I don’t want to let it slip through my fingers.
Similarly, it’s been some time since I posted a recipe from New Zealand cuisine. In fact, there are a number of countries that have not had a new dish posted on here in some time and that is something that will be rectified over the coming weeks and months.
While people are rugged up here, in the southern hemisphere, summer is treating all to heat and sunshine, as it should! My Instagram account has been filled with images of people swimming, camping and full of summer tans of late, while I’m wearing scarves they’re wearing swimsuits and I’m a little jealous. So I made a caramel and chocolate slice to appease myself.
I’ve also been dreaming of making some native Maori recipes so will try to attempt at least one this year.
The original recipe calls for only chocolate on top and that may well be how it was originally made, however, the ones I ate before I left New Zealand shores had slivers of chocolate in the base so I have kept it so in the below adaptation. A little digging didn’t give up any real history of where this came from. Also, the original recipe asks for golden syrup, however, I prefer maple and always have that on hand so changed it slightly.
Adapted from A Second Helping – More from Ladies a Plate
Makes 15 slices
170 grams butter, softened
1/3 cup superfine/caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
200 milliliter’s sweetened condensed milk
55 grams butter, cubed
1 tablespoon maple syrup
30 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Greaseproof a baking tin and preheat the oven to 180°C/350F.
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Add in the flour and combine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Pour one third of the mixture into the prepared baking tin and add the chocolate to the mixture, add another third of the base into the tin.
Pat down with the base of a flat bottomed glass or base of a fork to smooth out as much as possible.
Place in the oven and back until lightly golden, approximately 10 minutes, remove and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the sweetened condensed milk, butter and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted and mixture is simmering.
Pour the caramel mixture over the base and crumble over the remaining chocolate crumble.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden on top.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Slice into bars.