An American friend made a slice for Big A’s birthday several years ago. And my family likes it so much that I now make it for most birthday parties. It looks fairly plain, and nestled among plates of fluorescent coloured lollies and hundreds of thousands, it often sits patiently waiting for someone to take their first bite. But as soon as they do, they are hooked! When I am doing up leftover party bags, people always ask me to include several pieces and give them the recipe. And I always find myself sneaking back to the freezer for seconds or thirds of the slice, even when I have hidden it right at the very back so that I can’t get to it.
Last weekend, I made the slice for a high tea with friends. Then I snacked on it a bit more, only to find when I stepped on the scales that I had put on 1kg within a week! So I took it into work for an impromptu morning tea, along with moon cakes, to share with my colleagues. It languished for a while, but disappeared by the end of the day. “I can’t stop eating this slice,” one of my colleagues said. “It’s so good, but you’ll have to take it away from here.”
What makes it so irresistible?
Well, many things but I think the comforting combination of oats, chocolate and brown sugar helps. It is sweet, yet not sickening sweet. And goes really well with coffee. Which means you want to come back for more.
It is also a surprisingly frugal slice to make, as the main ingredient is rolled oats. So it is a perfect if you are entertaining, bringing along a plate to a pot luck event, or organising a high tea — while still maintaining a budget.
This slice oozes decadence served warm from the oven, when the chocolate is still slightly molten. But I like to make it the day before, and freeze it slightly to ensure that I can cut it into small neat pieces. It is deceptively rich. However you serve it, I guarantee it will be a hit.
225g butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips (generous)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
- Mix the rolled oats with the melted butter. Allow to sit for five to ten minutes.
- Stir in the vanilla and eggs, then incorporate the white and brown sugar. Gradually add the remaining dry ingredients, stirring well to incorporate.
- Line a 20cm by 20cm square baking pan with baking paper. (I have never perfected the art of folding the corners expertly, nonetheless the slice always comes out okay.) Spoon in the mixture, then use a spatula to pack it in firmly. The mixture will not rise much during baking, so ensure that it is as flat as possible.
- Bake in at 175C for around 20 minutes or until slightly golden on top. Remove and allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy!