Tan slice

Tan slice is one of those treats you find at the traditional corner bakery or teahouse, nestled next to the lolly cakes and the ginger slices. I would love to know when this became part of the New Zealand vernacular because it’s definitely a national treasure.

The combination of shortbread and caramel is utter decadence. Tan slice differs from caramel slice which is has a chocolate top layer. This recipe is superbly easy, and the recipe is forgiving. It’s best to make this the evening before, as it does need to cool down completely.

Shortbread mix:
150g butter
75g sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
275g plain flour

Caramel:
4 Tbsp Golden Syrup
6 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
85g butter

handful of dark chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put golden syrup, condensed milk, 85g butter into a saucepan. Bring to boil over a low heat, stirring all the time until thickened (10-15 minutes). Cool (I put the saucepan into a sink with some cold water).

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla essence until pale and creamy. Add the flour and stir through until you get a crumbly mix.

Press ¾ of the mixture into a lined 22cm square tin (you can also use a slice tin).

Spread caramel over the base mixture in tin. Crumble the rest of the mixture and chocolate chips over the top. Bake for about 30 mins.

Cut while warm, leaving in tin until cold.

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