Chocolate and strawberry slice

A rather pointless little contraption from Tupperware recently made its way in to my kitchen, courtesy of my sister. The T-bar maker is basically a mould for making melt and mix snack bars. Up until two weeks ago, I had been more than happy doing the same job with a slice pan and a knife, but have to say, the plastic fantastic has gotten a bit of a workout.

The maker comes with around 15 recipes to get you started. I gave one, "Breakfast bars" a whirl, mixing things up a bit to cater to the non-sultana eaters in the family. Despite a hefty serve of cranberries in each bar, the amount of maple syrup needed to get the things to hang together makes for a very sweet breakfast. I'm somewhat hesitant to eat them on a normal day; these babies are strictly for fueling heavy exercise.

Next up, I decided to try something from outside the recipe booklet. The following makes eight bars so rich that they each serve two. If you're a traditionalist and stick with a slice pan, it should yield 15 - 20 squares of slice.




200 g Marie biscuits
3 tbsp cocoa
1 cup dessiccated coconut
220 g dried strawberries, finely chopped
125 ml sweetened condensed milk
100 g butter, melted

Method
Crush the biscuits to a fine crumb. Stir through the cocoa, then add the fruit. Combine the condensed milk and butter. Add to the biscuit mix and mix well. Press in to the slice pan and refrigerate until set.

If desired, top with melted dark chocolate or your favoutie chocolate icing.

Sour cherry slice

Aldi can be a surprising place. I don't tend to go there for my groceries, but their weekly specials are often fantastic. Just last week I picked up a rectangular springform pan, which is just brilliant for making slices.




Sour cherry slice

Base

2 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tspn vanilla bean paste
1 1/3 cups plain flour
1/3 cup cornflour
1 heaped tspn baking powder

Topping

700g jar morello cherries
3 eggs
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
4 tspn vanilla bean paste
3 cups ricotta
3/4 cup cornflour
2 tspn baking powder

Method

Grease and line a large rectangular pan. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

For the base:
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla essence and beat well. Sift together the flours and baking powder and fold in to the butter mix. Spread over the base of the pan and bake for 10 - 15 minutes.

For the topping:
Separate the eggs. Beat the whites with half the sugar - 1/4 cup - until stiff. Beat the yolks, remaining sugar, butter and vanilla together until foamy. Stir in the ricotta. Sift together the baking powder and cornflour. Fold through the ricotta mix. Add the cherries and egg whites and fold through. Spread over the base and return to the oven. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until golden brown.

Makes 30 serves.
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