Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shouldn't it taste of muesli?

I had quite a bit of muesli left over after filling the jar for Nana, so it seemed like a good time to make muesli slice (p64), which, as the name suggests, requires muesli as an ingredient. The other main ingredient in this dish is mixed peel - there's half a cup of peel in the slice, which, proportionally speaking (since it's not a very large slice) is a lot.

Aside from the muesli and the peel, it's a pretty basic mixture: it begins with the usual creamed butter/sugar/egg mixture, the you add the muesli and peel with the dry ingredients, and a bit of lemon zest for good measure. It takes about 10 minutes to get it mixed and into the oven, and 25 minutes to bake. So it's quite quick and easy, really.

Once the slice has cooled, you're supposed to ice it with chocolate icing. I contemplated leaving this out and eating it plain - I'm not one of those people who have to have icing on everything - but decided in the end that I'm really supposed to be following the recipe. So I mixed up a batch of chocolate icing and spread it over the slice.

It's interesting that every time I've looked at this recipe, I've pictured something a little like a muesli bar - almost entirely composed of muesli, held together by a small amount of dough. At the very least, I expected that the muesli would be the main ingredient, and quite prominent in terms of flavour and texture.

Oddly, this isn't the case: muesli slice is a very pleasant, soft, spongy slice tasting mostly of citrus. The mixed peel is most definitely the prominent flavour, and adds nice chewy chunks to the texture. The muesli is hardly noticeable until you come across a sultana, or sunflower seeds, which are jarringly firm in the midst of all that spongy chewiness. In short, I don't see how the muesli adds anything to this slice at all. If I make it again, I think I'll just substitute plain rolled oats.

I also find the recommended chocolate icing an incongruous addition. Perhaps it comes from the same school of thought that pairs chocolate icing with banana cake. It doesn't taste horrible, but to my mind, the combination doesn't make sense. I'd rather eat it plain or try a lemon icing.

It may sound like I'm being critcal of this recipe, but really these are minor objections. I'd definitely make this one again (with, of course, the slight alterations described above) because it's so simple and has such a nice flavour. If you like citrus, and especially if you like mixed peel, you'll like this.

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