So this trend isn’t a new one – any Aussie should recognize the Caramel Slice. Here in the U.S., this might be labeled a bar cookie – like a brownie or a lemon bar – but in Australia and New Zealand, they’re referred to as slices.
I don’t remember where I first heard of slices, but I was so intrigued by them that I did a bit of research. I found out that the caramel slice became popular in the 70s, and one of the first mentions of it in print was in The Australian Women’s Weekly in 1981. Lots of Australian bakeries have caramel slice on hand, and lots of moms make it at home. It’s one of those sweets that shows up in Junior League-type cookbooks.
There are lots of slice traditional types – vanilla slice (there’s even a vanilla slice baking contest!), hedgehog slice, cherry ripe slice, lemon slice – but the one that grabbed my attention was the caramel slice. So I made it!
I found several recipes, and all called for golden syrup (and specifically Lyle’s). It’s not an ingredient I’ve ever used before (or ever seen in a recipe), but I found it at Central Market and got to baking.
Caramel slice is kind of like Millionaire’s Shortbread – it has layers of a butter shortbread crust, a sweet milky caramel, and dark or milk chocolate. I used this recipe – I didn’t have the right sized pan, so mine came out with pretty thick layers, making it a bit messy to eat. But it’s still delicious – super sweet, but delicious.
I think next I’ll try baking a cherry ripe slice, or maybe a vanilla slice. And truthfully, the most popular slices right now are raw/vegan, which is fascinating to me. At any rate, me + slice = happy. :)