Formula 1 Foods. Caroline's partner is an avid Formula 1 fan and the new Grand Prix season starts this weekend. Caroline says she often bakes while the GP coverage is on TV, but admits that the fixtures dominate their weekend social life. Readers - we used to be like that! However, my husband's interest is waning a little, as the rules have changed (to the detriment of the sport, in his opinion) over the years and only the richest teams are competitive now. The fact that the races aren't all shown live on terrestrial TV doesn't help either, but at least we don't have to plan our activities around race times any more! He doesn't mind missing a race, or watching the highlights only.
I even chose the recipe for the base layer from one of my Australian Women's Weekly Cookbooks - Cakes and Slices. It was really simple to make - 125g melted unsalted butter was mixed into 155g SR flour, 2 teaspoons cocoa, 60g caster sugar and 20g desiccated coconut. Once everything was well mixed, the dough was pressed evenly into a lined 20cm (8") square tin and baked at 190C for 15 minutes.
The topping came from this recipe for Fudgy Mocha Brownies, which I've used once before. I left out the coffee and used 100g of roughly chopped macadamia nuts instead of the hazelnuts. I accidently left out the baking powder too, but this was an improvement, I think, as the first time I used this recipe I said the top layer was more cakey than fudgy, but this time it was denser and more fudge-like!
These squares (what do Australians call the pieces from a slice?) were delicious! A dense, rich, intensely chocolate, fudgy topping on a crisp buttery cocnut shortbread base, which had just a hint of chocolate in it. The base was a little crumbly, but made a good textural contrast to the topping. The macadamia nuts added crunch but not a lot of flavour - the small amount of coconut in the base had a stronger flavour!
I hope Caroline gets a good response to her challenge; it's relatively easy to get inspiration from Australia for all sorts of cooking, but I think some of the venues will prove more difficult, especially for people like me, who only want to bake.