Wednesday, July 14, 2010

grown up chocolate rough

Outside it was hailing. The steep green hills were shrouded in precipitation and it felt like the school holidays from my childhood all over again. Marooned in the suburbs all I could do was go with the flow and revert to what I used to do when school was out in winter.

Either bake or have a tantrum.

I chose chocolate rough.

My mother, the baker’s daughter, always had homemade biscuits or slices in the tins for a snack after school. Chocolate rough, a thin biscuit base with a slab of chocolate and coconut icing, was a family favourite. I doubt that I’ve eaten it since I left home.

Other than having a stab at converting the recipe to metric without the aid of the internet or other references (I ended up mistakenly cooking it at 150 c, it took twice as long but worked just fine) compared to the original recipe I’ve reduced the sugar and added more cocoa, as well as concocting a wickedly adult icing. Not being a fan of the over-sweet, I went for 85% chocolate for the icing. Though initially worried it would be too bitter, the combination balanced out perfectly. For this version a thinner layer of icing is better. It made a richer, more grown up slice than the original recipe. For children, or for those who are not a fan of dark chocolate, make the icing as directed in the original recipe (see photos below).

Update: This could be easily veganised - I reckon replacing the butter with (semi solid) coconut oil would be fantastic. The chocolate I use is already vegan and it's a lovely egg-free recipe. Likewise for the wheat-free/gluten-free folk, the flour is used to bind rather than for a fluffy texture and is easily replacable.



Shirley’s chocolate rough
(A note on quantities: This yielded 2/3 of a small baking tin. I’d recommend you double the quantities if you wish to use a Swiss roll or medium sized tin)

115 gm butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tab cocoa
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup coconut (shredded)

Heat the oven to 175 C.

Cream butter and sugar, then mix in the remaining ingredients with a wooden spoon. The mixture will be a little on the dry side but don’t worry. Press into a greased tin, until even. It only needs to be about 2 cm deep.

Bake at 175 C for 10 minutes.

Allow the biscuit base to cool a little in the tin til it is firm to touch but still warm.

Icing

100 gm chocolate (70-85% cocoa solids)
20 gm butter
1cup coconut

Melt chocolate carefully in a double boiler, then stir through butter and coconut. Remember to ice while the base and the icing are still warm.


Warning - you may have to fight your family for the last piece!


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6 Comments:

Blogger Ann ODyne said...

that final tip to 'ice while warm' is the mark of a good Recipiste.

Baked-goods are a rare treat for me, and I always think that commercial bakeries use far too much sugar.

Has China succeeded yet in buying our CSR in QLD ? If they do, I predict we will see a subtle shift against excessive use of sugar.

I'd pay good money to see you have one of those tantrums though, and the wind-chill factor is high today out here on The Western Plains.

9:54 am  
Blogger Lisa (bakebikeblog) said...

oh yum! Chocolate and coconut are such a winning combination!!

10:55 am  
Blogger Johanna GGG said...

sounds excellent - I think it sounds like a slice my mum used to make - never heard that name but I love chocolate icing and coconut because it is a bit like chocolate rough - a great way to cope with hail!

9:50 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

I was wondering if this was a popular '70s slice in Australia, UK or anywhere out of NZ? Or is it like Afghan biscuits and just a kiwi thing?

8:31 am  
Blogger janet said...

Fantastic recipe, thanks! I was hunting for my mum's recipe (actually her mum's, and the original looks a lot like the images you include) and couldn't find the email. And she's on a plane heading to Europe today. This turned out just like my Ma used to make it, and much better than my recent attempts. I used trad icing because I need to use up some of my vast stock of icing sugar - next time i will do your grown-up version, sounds gorgeous.

My mum grew up in nz, so while chocolate rough was part of my Australian childhood most of my friends have never heard of it.

8:32 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Janet - glad this bought you joy. Spread the love around :)

8:06 am  

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