Sunday, June 10, 2012

A bag of nuts

I'm well aware that I've been a bit lax in my entries lately. For this circumstance, I offer the following excuses reasonable explanations: I have been a) sick; and b) busy. So there. Of course, if I'm ever going to get this challenge finished, I'll have to pick up the pace a bit.

As it happens, I purchased a bag of walnuts the other day from a bloke who comes around every year selling potatoes and walnuts. Among the inevitable crude 'nutbag' jokes from the workmates, there were some suggestions that perhaps I might arrive on Monday morning with some sort of baked item containing said nuts. Though these suggestions were of course entirely motivated by self-interest, it was enough to get me back in the kitchen.

From the few remaining recipes I could use my walnuts in, I chose coconut dream (p63), a slice in which my walnuts could serve the role of unspecified 'chopped nuts'.

The first stage of this slice is the base. I creamed butter and brown sugar, then added flour and baking powder. This was supposed to create a dough that I could tip out and knead; instead I found myself with a bowl of powdery crumbly stuff, which might briefly hold together if you squeezed it, but could by no stretch of the imagination be kneaded.

Instead, I tipped the crumbly stuff straight into my sponge roll tin, and used the back of a spoon to press it all into a firm base. Before long, I had it smooth and even, so I popped it in the oven for 8 minutes.

While the base was baking, I grabbed my hammer and started breaking open walnuts to use for the topping. It would have made more sense had I done this before I started on the base, but (typically) I didn't think that through. By the time I had one cup of walnuts shelled and ready to use, the base was out of the oven and waiting for the topping.

I beat a couple of eggs, before adding more brown sugar and further beating until I had a nice thick mixture. Into this I folded a small amount of flour and baking powder, before mixing in coconut, vanilla and the chopped nuts. I spread the topping mixture over the base, popped it back in the oven at a reduced temperature, and left it to bake.

The cooking time given is 40-45 minutes; I felt mine was brown enough and took it out after 35. I've cut it into 24 squares as indicated in the recipe - the resulting squares are fairly small, likely representing the sort of serving sizes we should be eating, as opposed to the oversized chunks we're all used to these days.

I wasted no time in having a taste - baking is always so much nicer warm from the oven. The base, perhaps unsurprisingly, is a little on the dry side, but the topping is sweet, nutty, and pleasantly chewy at the edges. The walnuts are a major contributor to the flavour, so if you used different nuts, you could expect a different result.

Overall, a tasty little slice. Now, what am I going to do with the rest of these walnuts..?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular posts this week