Stynes, who worked as a cook in pubs and cafes before her media career took off, has called her book The Zero F∗cks Cookbook, inspired by her philosophy that making delicious food should be both fun and free of fuss.
Of this recipe, she writes: “This is a way to eat condensed milk without feeling guilty. The slice has nuts in it and therefore counts as both a protein and a health food! It’s also a cinch to put together.”
Milky Caramel Pecan Slice
Makes 24 slices
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Prep time: 5 minutes
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
50g (½ cup) cashew nuts
¼ teaspoon salt
50ml maple syrup or rice malt syrup
150g (1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
Milky caramel topping:
1 × 325g tin sweetened condensed milk
75g soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 tablespoons maple or rice malt
300g (3 cups) pecans
Line a 23cm square brownie tin with baking paper.
Put all the base ingredients except the flour into a food processor and whizz until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Add the flour, then whizz for just a few seconds until everything comes together in a sticky ball.
Roughly press the base mixture into the tin, then transfer to the fridge to firm.
Preheat the oven to 175C (345F).
Add all the topping ingredients except the pecans to a very clean non-stick frying pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring continuously, for 10 minutes until reduced by about a third. (It doesn’t really change colour, so setting a timer here is important.)
Remove the tin from the fridge and flatten the base dough evenly across the bottom (don’t worry about it being perfect – no one sees it). Working quickly, stir the pecans through the caramel topping mixture then pour the whole lot over the base, levelling it off with the back of a spoon.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the top has bubbled and browned just slightly. Leave to cool, then transfer to the fridge for 2 hours to firm before cutting into fingers using a sharp knife.
- Try replacing 50g of pecans with 50g of macadamia nuts. Very delicious!
- If you can’t wait for the slice to chill in the fridge after baking, you can attack it straight away – it just won’t cut neatly.
This is an edited extract from The Zero F*cks Cookbook by Yumi Stynes, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $39.99. Photography: Chris Chen
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