It's all be going well so far, but I find that the first hurdle when you go somewhere new is often to make connections and new friends. I remember going to residential writing courses when I was a youngster, I loved them, but I'd have to share a dorm-room with up to 4 complete strangers and it was always a bit of pot-luck as to whether you'd get on... I learnt from those early days that the best way to disarm people was to reach out to their stomach. The whisper of a midnight feast is enough to make any pre-teen grin with delight. I employed a simular tactic when I moved into Halls at university; I propped open my door, and whenever anyone walked past and made eye contact I offered them a gummy sweet... bizarrely that too seemed to work too.
So the time has come to reach out to my new colleagues - and as I feel that this might require more than a bag of Haribo - so I've been busy baking. On Day Two a box of brownies accompanied me on the commute, and we're dutifully wolfed down by my delighted colleagues, and in fact I've had a number of people comment on them subsequently... so in terms of making an impact I appear to have hit my mark. But my new office is a lot bigger than my last workplace, so I decided this weekend that one batch of brownies just wouldn't be enough. And so I've gone for something a little more adventurous.
|I needed something good enough to follow these fellas...|
I've always tend to make something with chocolate, so I wanted a sweet alternative, and this Butterscotch and Marshmallow slice recipe, inspired from one from the Hummingbird Bakery seemed to tick the box...:
Butterscotch and Marshmallow Slices
10ml milk (depending how well your pastry combines you may not need this this)
- Preheat the oven to 170C; grease and line a 22cm x 31cm baking tray.
- Mix the ingredients for the base until a dough forms. Hubby and I struggled here a little bit, so we added in a very small splash of milk to encourage the pastry dough to bind together. However this did make a very sticky dough, and so we had to roll it rather than press it into the baking tray.
- When you add the pasty to the baking tray make sure that there is a slight lip around the edge (this is to stop all the liquid topping oozing everywhere later) and bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are a light golden brown and the middle is pale but cooked. Keep a close watch, as the base is very thin and can burn really easily.
- Once the base has cooked remove from the oven, and scatter the marshmallows on top - as the base is still warm they'll start to melt almost immediately so make sure you spread them out evenly.
- Place both types of sugar with the golden syrup and 240ml of water and bring to the boil.
- Keep boiling for between 5-10 minutes, or until a small drop of sugar syrup forms a soft "ball" in when dropped in cold water.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
- Bring the butterscotch back up to the boil and allow to bubble away for approximately 3 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat and stir in the double cream, vanilla essence and peanut butter. Stir continuously until the peanut butter has melted.
- Pour the mixture on to the base and sprinkle the chopped nuts on top.
- Allow to set at room temperature for a few hours or preferable overnight. To be honest, this is the hardest part of the whole bake... because it just looks and smells divine!
- Slice into bars and serve.