Thursday, September 27, 2012

Baking paper trial

I'd been planning to make jam slice (p63) for some time. I kept getting put off by not having time, or the right ingredients, or more recently, no baking paper to line the tin with. I knew a jam slice would be sticky and absolute hell to get out of the tin, so there was no way I was making it without a sheet of baking paper underneath.

In the end, I made a particular trip to the local Countdown to get the baking paper I'd forgotten on several general supermarket excursions. When I got there, they didn't have my usual 'Mono' brand of baking paper, only sandwich paper. There weren't many other options, either: the Homebrand one seemed to be the only one described as baking paper - so I got that.

The base of the jam slice is sweet shortcrust pastry, so the first thing I did was to make some of that (to the Edmonds recipe, of course). I don't find shortcrust that difficult to make, but you could definitely substitute the bought kind.

When the pastry had chilled for a bit, I measured off the 200g required for my recipe, and went to roll it out to a suitable size for a sponge roll tin. It was very thin by the time I'd rolled it out enough, and fell to pieces as I tried to transfer it into the tin. There was a bit of patchwork involved in making the pasty cover the base right to the edge of the tin, and the base was dubiously thin throughout.

Next I spread on a generous amount of my home-made raspberry jam, then spread on a topping made by beating egg whites and sugar, then folding through coconut.

The baking time was 30 minutes, but I was nervous that the thin base might burn. After 20 minutes, the slice was a lovely golden brown, and tentative poking around the edges with a knife seemed to indicate that the base was cooked through too. I decided not to cook it any further.

After leaving the slice for a short while to cool, I used the edges of my baking paper to lift the slice out of the tin. It came away quite easily, but I was less successful when I attempted to separate the baking paper from the slice itself. The jam had oozed around the paper and it was cooked right into the edges of the slice. It had also stuck firmly into the pastry base, behaving more like newsprint than baking paper. Considerable mutilation of the slice was required in order to remove all the paper. I really can't say that a different brand of paper would not have stuck in the jam, but I do think it would have performed better under the base. Won't be buying that one again.

Once I'd got rid of the paper, the slice was pretty tasty. The coconut topping is far thicker than either of the other layers, so coconut is actually the dominant flavour, with a nice fruity jam background. The base was definitely too thin - not that I like a big thick base on a slice, but this one doesn't even hold together. A bit more than 200g pastry required, I reckon.

All in all, a nice easy slice - except for getting it off the paper. For all that I'm not impressed with that Homebrand stuff, I reckon the sticky edges of this slice would be a challenge for any brand of baking paper!


  1. Hi I just discovered your blog and I love it, i cant wait to read all your post. Kara xxx

  2. Hey thanks Kara! Just had a quick squiz at your blog and can already see you are far more competent in the kitchen than I am! If you do keep reading, (there's a lot here, I'll forgive you if you don't get through it all) you'll see some great examples of what I mean. :)


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