I am one of those strange people that loves to smell my food. I love fragrance, aroma, perfume and scent in general, but the smell of certain foods just really does it for me. ha. That sounds crazy. And anyone that sees me mid-sniff of something delicious, like this very slice, may just think I am crazy!
I don’t know why, I don’t know what makes me do it, or where it came from, but I distinctly remember doing it as a kid with some version of muesli bar that I was eating at a friends house when sleeping over for the weekend. A muesli bar variety that my mother would never buy for us. You know, the kind that was covered in chocolate and filled with a bunch of caramel and a couple of peanuts and not much muesli at all. Flemings something or other. I always felt so hard done by that we were not allowed these in our lunchboxes, which may explain my need to inhale deep and get as much of that little bars (assumed) goodness into my being. Perhaps I thought if I smelled it deeply enough, it would taste better, or stay with me longer or some other such nonsense? Who knows. I just recall doing it. In the middle of a paddock on their farm. Just before a giant great bull charged at me. Which gets me to thinking, I’ve been ‘charged’ at a few times in my younger years: the aforementioned bull, a horse I was helping my older cousin groom when I was a young child and the scariest encounter of all, one night in the Hollywood Hills at the home of Mr Vin Diesel. I was about to open the gate to enter his property when his well trained Bull Mastiff let us know he was not expecting company, slamming himself into the fence with such ferocity, it almost killed me. And make no mistake, had we gone through that gate, without an escort, that dog most certainly would have killed us. But that my friends is another story, for another time.
So, back to this amazingly yummy slice. It tastes amazing. But it smells divine. Something about the combination of butter, golden syrup, sugar and coconut really hits the spot! It is chewy, it is dense, it is satisfying and talk about moreish. Mmmmm, if only there was more. It’s the kind of slice that is hard to stop at just one piece… which is why there is not a prettier picture above. I gave some away as a thank you gift, but the rest of it, I’ve taken care of myself. I have let my husband have a few pieces.
I have been searching for this recipe for the past few years. I have even tried googling it, but never knew what it was called or how to identify if in fact I’d stumbled across the correct recipe. It is a humble, homely looking slice that you find at bake sales, at old lady afternoon teas and in this case, my daughters’ schools 125th Celebration Morning Tea, where there were lots of past pupils – i.e. old ladies (and gentlemen). When I ate a piece and realised I had found the slice of my dreams, the one that I had been searching for, I asked around the PTA members present to find out who baked it. I found her. She was flattered. I asked for the recipe and she delivered it to me the very next week at school pick up.
And now, I’m passing it on. In case you love the smell of all these ingredients combined too. I have adjusted the sugar quantity and changed from caster to brown because I love the richness and added caramel element brown sugar brings, especially when combined with golden syrup and coconut.
- 125 grams butter
- 1 T golden syrup (or treacle)
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 C brown sugar
- 1 C dessicated coconut (I use half dessicated, half shredded)
- 1 heaped C sliced dates
- 1 C sultanas
- 1/2 C chopped walnuts
- 1 C self raising flour
- Spray a 20 x 20cm baking tin with oil and line with baking paper.
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celcius (fan-bake) or 180 classic bake.
- Melt the butter and golden syrup in a large saucepan.
- When cooled, break in an egg and mix well.
- Stir in the sugar, coconut, dates, sultanas, walnuts and flour - in that order.
- Place the mixture into the prepared pan. Mixture is very dry, pat down evenly.
- Cook for approximately 20-25 minutes until evenly brown on top. Do not undercook as it won't have developed the 'chew' if it's under-done.
- Cut whilst still hot.
- Can be made in a 20 x 23cm tin, or 27 x 17cm swiss roll tin. Just adjust cooking times accordingly.