Friday, 18 June 2010

Rich Chocolate Almond Slice

Is it a cake? Is it a chocolate bar? Is it a petit four? Is it a dessert? This Rich Chocolate Almond Slice could be all of these; a thin layer of dark chocolate topped with a chewy almond macaroon-like layer, which is in turn topped with what I can only describe as a thick layer of chocolate fudge.

I love Australian Women's Weekly recipe books - particularly the baking recipes - perhaps because there's the occasional recipe which sounds so foreign and exotic, with ingredients we just don't get here. But with the older books it's always been the usual pain of translating the recipes from cups to grams  - while trying to remember that Australian cups aren't exactly the same as US cups. I don't know when it happened, but somewhere along the way, Australian Women's Weekly came to their senses and started using metric weights alongside the cup measurements. Hooray!!

This bar is a little time consuming as there are three stages, with waiting between, while things set or cool. None of the stages are difficult, however, so it's just a matter of being patient while things are happening without your input. The only change I made to the recipe was to use a tablespoon of DiSaronno (Amaretto) liqueur instead of brandy. I used 72% chocolate for the base and a mix of 72% and 85% chocolate for the fudgy layer, as it was sweetened a little. One word of warning though - don't press the hot fudge layer to see if it's set - a big fingerprint in the centre of the tray is not pretty! At the moment I'm storing the cut slices in the fridge, but will bring one up to room temperature to see if it gets too messy to eat easily.

Cut into small squares, these would be ideal as an after dinner sweet with coffee, larger squares make a luxurious dessert or tea time treat. The layers contribute more to the appearance than the flavour, as once you are chewing a piece it's hard to appreciate the difference between the almond macaroon and the chocolate fudge, although the base is crisp and snaps between your teeth. Overall it's very rich and delicious, but perhaps too decadent for everyday eating.

Update - these probably need to be kept refrigerated; even eating them cold is quite a messy business. As my son says - there's nothing to get hold of which doesn't melt!

Updated update - best stored in the fridge, but if you have the foresight, bring them up to room temperature before eating - the chocolate fudgy layer is tastier when not too cold.


C said...

They look really good - chewy and chocolately is a winner in my book.

I wonder why on earth I didn't twig that the AWW would have their recipes online. I've got a few of their little books (tend to jump into my shopping basket as a not too expensive treat...) and love them - like you say there are some recipes that just seem really exotic. I've made a couple of good cakes from them, and am always grateful that the more recent books have gram measurements in them.

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said...

Oh, this gorgeous looking treat is definitely a "slice". That's how they're known here, and it's almost an Aussie tradition of yesteryear - people's mums and nanas were always baking "slices". There are recipes for unbaked ones as well (often involving crushed cereal).

The AWW cookbooks have some wonderful recipes, even if they do look quite dated in style these days. I always loved them because they have a photo of every recipe somewhere, and they were usually very approachable. And as you say, C, very affordable!

Suelle said...

I've got a AWW book on slices, Celia - some of the unbaked ones are a triumph of imagination, but the one that intrigues me is a baked slice - the No-bowl Choc Bit Slice - everything is layered in the baking pan and condensed meal is poured over before baking. It looks edible! LOL!

Joanna said...

mmmmmm my sort of tea time treat! I have never made a slice but I do have a stack of eggwhites in the fridge waiting for a use. Thanks Suelle!

The Caked Crusader said...

I love AWW books too - your slice looks amazing

Suelle said...

Joanna - the egg whites in the macaroon layer are balanced by the same number of yolks in the fudgy topping - it won't help your egg white excess! ;)

TCC - thanks.

Joanna said...

Oh well, I might have to make them anyway.... typical of me not to read a recipe right through. Actually I did read it again later, but forgot what I wrote here, brain like a pea on a butterfly's wing these days. Financiers it is then as well. Or, (shakes in boots) maybe macarons. You ever tried your hands at those Suelle?

Suelle said...

Joanna - macarons are something I'm aiming for sometime.;) I need quiet, a calm mind, a cool kitchen and a lot of time to work carefully. I don't often find all those conditions at the same time!