First there were cupcakes. Then there were macarons. Earlier this year people overseas were predicting glorious cream-filled éclairs to be the baked good to watch in 2014. In any event, I think the cronut’s days are finally behind us.
Here in New Zealand, I’m predicting the return of the humble slice. Not one to make a fanfare, this sweet treat has been hanging out in the background, and gracing Crown Lynn plates at afternoon teas for years. One of my favourite things about baking is taking a classic and giving it a modern twist. I definitely didn’t invent adding oats to a ginger slice base, or sprinkling the top with pistachios, but they’re both now standard practice whenever I make this ever-popular classic. The pistachios add something just wonderful to this sweet and spicy treat.
Ginger slice, or ginger crunch, is notoriously high in butter, but with a decent hit of ginger you need only small squares. The base/icing ratio differs with preference: I like about a two-thirds base to one-third icing ratio, but it’s really up to you. There’s nothing worse than a large biscuity base and only a thin smattering of icing.
A nice slice is great to have on call for visitors, and baking generally is one of my favourite things to give as a gift. Dust off those square tins, get out your favourite floral apron, put a twist on your old favourite, and make someone’s day – but not without taste-testing it yourself first of course.
Ginger Oat Slice
- ¼ cup golden syrup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 150g butter
- 1½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ cup thread coconut
- ¼ cup flaked almonds
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- ¾ cup flour
Icing and garnish
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- 150g butter
- 2 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- ½ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 180˚C. Grease and line a square slice tin measuring about 20cm ×
- Place the golden syrup, brown sugar and butter in a saucepan with the ginger. Stir on a medium-high heat until melted together.
- Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter mixture and mix well.
- Press the mixture into the tin and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before icing.
- For the icing, put the golden syrup, butter and ginger in a saucepan over a medium heat.
- Cook gently until melted, then add the icing sugar. Mix well to combine, then pour the mixture over the base. Sprinkle over half the pistachios.
- Leave to set and, before serving, cut with a hot, sharp knife and sprinkle with the remaining nuts.
Makes approximately 16 slices.