“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
~ Charles M. Schulz
Chocolate and coconut is a heavenly combination, and this particular slice recipe delivers! It is quite light in texture, so it’s not rich and it’s not too sweet – a crisp biscuit base, a fluffy coconut centre and a succulent layer of real chocolate to top it off. This slice is a perfect accompaniment to a floral or fruity tea, or a good coffee.
It can also easily be modified to become gluten-free and diabetic friendly. Vegans – please use your favourite butter and egg substitute – I quite like replacing the egg with a 1/4 cup of applesauce or a 1/2 a banana, both of which compliment the other flavours.
Today’s recipe is another offering from the Family Recipe Book, our treasured ‘passed down’ and hostess-acquired recipes from three generations of women who love to cook.
Biscuit Base: 95 grams of butter (3.35 ounces or 0.85 of a stick of butter), 2 tablespoons of caster sugar (superfine sugar) or equivalent sugar substitute, 3/4 cup plain flour, 1/4 cup self raising flour (self-rising for my USA friends or 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 and 1/2 x teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt, sifted together), 1 tablespoon of cornflour, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
*Note: if using gluten-free flour use 1/2 cup of plain and 1/2 cup of self raising flour for a better result.
Coconut Filling: 2 cups of unsweetened desiccated coconut, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of sugar (increase to 4 if you prefer a sweeter slice) or equivalent sugar substitute, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 2 tablespoons of self raising flour, 3/4 cup of milk or your favourite milk equivalent.
Chocolate Topping: 200 grams (7 ounces) of your choice of milk or dark chocolate ( I like a combination of both!) broken into pieces, 25 grams (0.9 ounces) copha or vegetable shortening. If you’re diabetic please use a diabetic chocolate or a dark chocolate that is low in sugar.
Preheat oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).
Line a 28cm x 18cm (7 inch by 11 inch) slice tin with some baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together (using electric or hand beaters) until light and smooth. Add in the vanilla and dry ingredients and mix until combined. Mixture should be a crumbly paste.
Press firmly into the tin, taking care to push mixture right into the corners. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden all over. Remove from oven and rest for ten minutes.
Prepare this while the base is in the oven. Mix all ingredients together and leave sit for five minutes for coconut to swell and absorb any fluid. Spoon over the biscuit base, spreading evenly. Return to oven and bake another twenty five minutes or until set and lightly browned on top. Cool in tin.
Melt broken chocolate and copha in a saucepan together over low heat, stirring frequently until mixture is smooth and lump free. (You could also use your microwave – but we’re a microwave-free household so you’re on your own for instructions here!) Pour over Slice and spread carefully to the edges. Leave to set in tin, and then cut into small squares.
Store in an airtight container, and refrigerate if you live in a hot climate or like your chocolate layer crisp..
*Warning – this Slice is prone to evaporation and other mysterious disappearances.
* Evenly space walnut halves in lines before the chocolate sets so that when you cut the slice each square will have a walnut half decorating the centre.
* Add a tablespoon of Malibu (coconut flavoured white rum) to the coconut filling before baking.
* Spread a thin layer of Nutella on the biscuit base before adding the coconut layer. (This is especially good, and also goes well with the Malibu layer for a special treat.)