Sunday, March 11, 2012
I never thought of myself as the kind of girl who would need, at the end of any romantic liaison, to delete said liaison's number from my phone. I'd sit smugly when hearing friends tell mortifying stories of drunk-texting, pretending to myself I was far too mature for such behaviour. Whether the end came about due to distance, or bad timing, or because I was the victim of the dreaded communication-cut-back, I remained of the opinion that even after a few wines, my ego would be bruised enough so as not to entertain the thought of putting yourself back on said person's radar with a cringe-inducing text message.
I also never thought I would be the kind of girl who would be promoting a recipe which contains half a block of butter and an entire container of golden syrup. It turns out I was wrong on both counts, but life is more interesting when we continue to surprise ourselves now, isn't it?
So that's how I find myself on a grey rainy Sunday evening encouraging you to fill your life with rolled oats and plums, and just delete the goddam number. I am not to be trusted with golden syrup in the cupboard or numbers in my phone and there are few things worse than waking up with that feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach, and then having that fear confirmed when you roll over and read through your sent messages folder. Except I suppose waking up and having that feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach confirmed not with a phone but in fact another body. I wouldn't know though: like I said, I'm not that kind of girl. And this is a food blog for goodness sake!
"Slice" is not the sexiest baked good around, and it probably sits somewhere on the baked goods popularity scale between muffins and macarons. It sometimes entices me into buying as an accompaniment to a coffee though; if it features fruit and comes with yoghurt on the side.
This recipe popped up in the most recent Life section of the Dominion Post and comes from Wellington's Cafe Mamba, somewhere I admit to never having been (nor heard of, despite it having been on the Plimmer steps for over 15 years). The simplicity of the recipe appealed, as did the fact I had all the ingredients. I had mulled some of the Kitchen Maid's plums having received a big old bag of Martinborough's finest black doris from my friend the weekend before. I had also, in an uncharacteristic moment of self restraint at girly Friday wines a couple of weeks earlier, cracked open a bottle of Martinborough Pinot Noir, and hidden the only-half-finished bottle away in the cupboard when sleep time rolled around. I thought the remaining singing dancing guests had polished it off after I went to bed, but on Saturday morning I was pleasantly surprised to rediscover it. To the stovetop it went and into the slice the spicy rich plums went a few days later. I took it to work on Thursday for morning tea, and mulled plum oaty slice was welcomed with satisfied sounds of mmmmmm.
Mulled plum Oaty Slice
(From Cafe Mamba, Dominion Post Wednesday 7 March)
500g golden syrup
4 cups rolled outs
1.5 cups wholemeal flour
(That's all the recipe says as far as method goes. I softened the butter a lot, and mixed it up with a wooden spoon and then my fingers.)
Press half the mixture into an oblong baking tin (I used a standard brownie pan). Cover with fruit, such as berries, banana, pineapple and coconut, plums, peaches, etc. As noted above, I used these plums. If you use raw fruit you might want to add some cinnamon or other spice to the slice mixture. Also, simply because I had them in the cupboard, I added a couple of decent tablespoons of black sesame seeds which added a teency bit of crunch and a smattering of colour.
Cover fruit with remaining mixture and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown (again, that's all the recipe stipulates, but I went with 30 minutes at 180C). Serve warm or cold, on it's own or lightly dusted with icing sugar and alongside some natural yoghurt.