Monday, 5 November 2012

Chocolate caramel slice

How you ever noticed how stressful situations cause cravings for comfort foods ?

You want to reach for something that makes you feel better and really enjoy to press your buttons to release the feel good sensation ... 'serotonin' in your brain.

Though the best way to stave off cravings is to not get them in the first place or to swap them for a more nutritious snack . Sometimes you just have to bite into more than an apple or 'activated almonds' .

I did come prepared to chemo today with cut up watermelon and rock melon but also this to share with my fellow patients in the chemo lounges.

Disclaimer - while I recommend the consumption of whole foods, fruits and vegetables over slices like this I don't think you can restrict your favorite treats completely because it can make you think about them even more.

They should be strictly occasional foods and sharing this treat in a portion-controlled amount is advised.

Of course at home when you are stressed you also try distractions ( taking a walk, ringing a friend or reading ...not a cook book) or substitutions - air-popped popcorn instead of chips or yoghurt instead of chocolate get it.

Try as I might I can think of a suitable substitution for this

Crunchy Biscuit Base:
1 cup (approx 125g) plain flour
1 cup (approx 150g) brown sugar (no more or even less I've also used caster sugar if I have no brown)
125g butter, melted
1 cup (approx 90g) desiccated coconut

Caramel Filling:
1 395g tin of condensed milk
30g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup (don't lick the spoon)

Chocolate Topping:
1x200-250gm block of milk chocolate ( never use compound chocolate ..if you are going to indulge do it properly)

Preparation ...20 mins


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Pour flour, brown sugar, butter and desiccated coconut into a bowl and mix until ingredients are well combined.

Line a slice baking dish (18cm x 28cm) with baking paper, and press biscuit base mix firmly onto the bottom. Pop in oven and bake for 10 minutes (or longer if you like it really crunchy...or if you forget - lucky it didn't burn)

Caramel Filling
1. Pour the condensed milk, butter and golden syrup into saucepan and place on stove over medium heat. Stir continuously as you bring to the boil . Keep stirring filling constantly until it starts to turn a caramel colour and it's thick and gooey.

2.Dollop (as it may not pour evenly) caramel over cooked biscuit base and smooth /level it - then return to the oven for a further 10- 15mins until the caramel changes to a golden brown colour. Put aside to cool ...don't pick the chewy bits off the sides (they might burn your lips and spoil it too).

Chocolate topping
1. In a double boiler or a metal bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate ( no sampling) stirring occasionally until smooth. (I don't melt chocolate in the microwave because it is so easy to burn it or render it useless in there! - plus hate using it now)

2. After caramel and biscuit base is cooled (or you think you have waited long enough...) pour the melted chocolate on top , tap lightly to smooth and place in the fridge for 1 - 2 hours until it sets, then cut into 'portion controlled slices' (just as big or as small as you'd like to share)

Please tell me who craves a crunchy carrot , even if you love them ?
What is your go to comfort craving food ?

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