This caramel slice recipe is the epitome of a homemade , traditional family recipe. It doesn’t come from a fancy cookbook, a celebrity chef or from the internet, instead it has been passed down to me by my Nanna, Maureen Beall.
I grew up on this slice. It was something that Nanna would always make us when we came to visit her in Glen Innes, a small country town in north-eastern New South Wales. Or, when she would travel down by train to Wollongong or Melbourne where we now live, she would carry this slice, packed between layers of baking paper in an old ice cream container. And let me tell you, it never lasted more than a day and we would beg her to make more.
My Nanna was born in England and apart from this caramel slice she would always make for us other traditional english treats. Think steak and deep fried chips, shepherds pie or a roast lamb with mint sauce for dinner and then for dessert or afternoon tea she is a master at steamed pudding, scones with jam and cream or pretty butterfly patty cakes. I hope one day that I can prefect the craft of english cooking just like Nanna.
As for the recipe for the caramel slice, it required a bit of trial an error before I finally got it right. When I asked Nanna for the recipe she told me it was in her head and that she would get my Poppy, Basil Beall to type it up and email it to me ( I guess even with a recipe like this you can’t escape the joys of technology). So Poppy did just that and I’m delighted to be able to share the recipe with you. I have posted the recipe, exactly how poppy sent it and like all handed down family recipes, there aren’t precise measurements or quantities.
A Few Tips on Perfecting Caramel Slice
That being said I can offer a few tips to you for getting this slice right but it might require a few goes to work out what works best for the size of your pan, oven etc.
Nanna uses a cookie tray that measures 32cm squared. I use a cookie tray that is about 30cm x 28cm. I find this is ok. In order to get the best ratio of base:caramel:chocolate I would recommend at tray at least this size. Anything smaller and you will have a thicker base (this is not necessarily a bad thing if you like a thicker biscuit).
Nanna also uses two tins of sweet and condensed milk for the size of her tray and so do I. Again if you have a smaller tray, have a go at using just one can.
Nanna only uses Cadbury’s milk chocolate and uses one and half blocks. I have found that for my tray size this works well. You could use one block if you have a smaller tray, again this is a personal choice. If you like a thicker top use a bit more.
Finally, Nanna always runs her fork though the chocolate when it is nearly just set. To me when we were kids if it didn’t have these fork lines, it wasn’t “Nanna’s slice”.
The final result of this slice, if you follow the measurements, is the perfect ratio of buttery biscuit crumb, sweet caramel and smooth chocolate. This definitely trumps those thick bricks of mass produced caramel slice that you can buy from cafes. We have paired this slice with Toby’s Estate coffee, ground and brewed by Alex. The combination is perfect for morning or afternoon tea. I hope you get as much joy from this slice as I have from having it prepared for me by my loving Nanna. She is someone who I admire not only for her delicious baking but for who she is a person as well. This post is dedicated to her.
Caramel Slice Recipe
- 1 cup self raising flour
- 1 cup coconut
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- 4 or 5 oz butter (melted), I tend to go with 5oz
- 2 tins of Condensed Milk
- 2 Tablespoons of Butter
- 4 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
- Grease a 32cm squared tray
- Mix flour and sugar and the coconut together in a glass bowl
- Pour melted butter over the flour mixture and mix till it comes together in a crumb...if dry add more melted butter
- Press mixture into greased baking tray
- Bake in a moderate oven of some quality for 15 -20 minutes or until golden brown
- Melt all ingredients together on low setting in a bowl in a microwave for 2 minutes at a time
- Stir every 2 minutes and eventually it will form fudge. The time taken to form fudge will depend on your microwave. The consistency you are after is that of a thick but runny caramel that is a yellowish/brown/golden colour.
- Pour fudge on top of cooked base
- Cook in a very slow oven for about 5 to 8 minutes or until FIRM
- Remove from oven and allow to cool
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave or over a saucepan of simmering water. When the base
- has cooled, cover it with the melted chocolate.
- Place the slice in the fridge to set.
- When the chocolate is nearly hard...make a pattern of creative lines with a fork onto the chocolate
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Dip a sharp knife in hot water and cut the slice into neat equal squares. Slice each sqaure in half to make a triangle.
- Slice must be kept in fridge at all times...only take out just before serving or if it has to travel freeze solid and carry to your destination