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.