A slice of deliciousness

Many families seem to have a favorite treat that’s always requested for special occasions. In our small family it’s what has become known simply as “The Slice”.

Down Under where I live, a slice is a name to cover a sweet treat made in a rectangular baking tin (but not necessarily baked) and cut into squares or rectangles to serve. In other countries it might be known as a bar or a tray bake.

Whatever it’s called, it is invariably calorie dense in the extreme and totally irresistible to people like me who were born with a sweet tooth!

When my teenage daughter asked me what she could make me for Mother’s Day this past weekend, I only had to say “The Slice” for her to know exactly what I meant.

“The Slice” as served to me on Mother’s Day

“The Slice ” is correctly called Apricot and Coconut Slice and I originally found it on a Nestle ad in a magazine. It’s a decadent concoction made with crushed sweet biscuits (of the Australian and British type of biscuit), finely cut dried apricots, dessicated coconut, condensed milk and chocolate. (In Australia a Morning Coffee biscuit works brilliantly, in Britain a digestive, in the US, I think a graham cracker would substitute.)

One time my daughter and I made a tray the night before we had visitors due to our farmhouse. I’ve ashamed to say we ate the entire tray by the time they arrived and had to whip up a quick batch of cookies instead. (Needless to say we never confessed, because the visitors love “The Slice” as well.)

Last time we made it with marbled dark and white chocolate

The recipe is easily located on the Nestle Australia website for Apricot and Coconut Slice. But I’ll share it here anyway. (Note: Australian standard measuring cups are used in the Nestle recipe. An Australian standard measuring cup is 250ml, an American one is 240ml so there isn’t much difference in a recipe like this. For an excellent resource in converting baking measures and ingredients from other countries, visit Joy of Baking  .)

Recipe Ingredients

(Makes 24)

  • 250g plain sweet biscuits, crushed
  • 1 cup (150g) roughly chopped dried apricots
  • 1 1/2 cups (120g) desiccated coconut
  • 395g can NESTLÉ Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups (185g) NESTLÉ Milk Melts, melted

How to make

1. Grease and line the base of a 28cm x 18cm baking pan with baking paper.

2. Combine crushed biscuits, apricots and coconut in a large bowl.

3. Place NESTLÉ Sweetened Condensed Milk and butter in a medium saucepan; stir over medium heat until melted. Stir into dry ingredients. Press mixture into prepared pan.

5. Pour NESTLÉ Milk Melts over slice, allow to set. Cut into squares to serve.

NOTE: Allow setting time.

Preparation time:
15 minutes

Cooking time:

3 minutes

 

Food somehow plays a part in the novels I write–think I might have to work “The Slice” into one of them!

 

 

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Update on Ancient Albert

I sometimes wonder what a nearly 21-year-old cat dreams about.

Ancient Albert dreaming

My darling Albert looked so content and happy when I took this snap of him on the sofa. In a deep sleep, his head was tucked on his paw, ears and paws occasionally twitching. Memories of long ago mouse hunts? Meals? Who knows? His waking time revolves around wailing for food, nibbling at food, turning his nose up at food that he deems unsatisfactory, sometimes needing to be fed by hand (and I mean literally from the palm of our hands) and snuggling with his humans at any opportunity. Always a sociable cat, he totters down the hallway to greet visitors, still wanting to know what’s going on, still wanting them to make a fuss of him. So maybe he’s dreaming about food and parties!

It isn’t just us who looks after him. Our younger cat Tabitha–well, relatively young at age 12!–looks after him too, grooming him and letting him eat first. So sweet to see them together.

Tabitha (behind him) keeps him company

As the weather cools Down Under, Albert needs to keep his frail bones warm and loves nothing better than baking under the wood combustion heater. It gets hot under there and he eventually comes out for fresh air and a drink. He’s done it for years–so do the others–and it doesn’t seem to harm him though the vet is horrified to hear it.

Can you sport a cat under the old wood combustions stove at our farm?

There he is, baking his bones!

And when the fire dies down at night, he finds his favorite spot of all, snuggled under the covers with us. (My husband, who never had a cat in his life until he met me is unfailingly loving and patient with Albert. I never write a hero who doesn’t love animals–no wonder when my own real-life hero is so wonderful with them!)

Love that cat!

PS. People often ask me where I got the feather-embroidered pillow in the top photo. I got it online at Lands End, sadly they don’t have it any more.