Hungry Games and Scott’s Farewell Square

As of late, I have been immersed in what is known as YA (Young Adult) fiction. It happens to involve a lot of ‘end of the world’ type scenarios. It is here we usually read of a hapless teenager who has found him or herself in a dystopian society where survival of the fittest is the order of the day. They fall chastely in love with another luckless adolescent or mayhaps a vampire, all whilst changing the course of history.

I have come to the conclusion that if I were to be suddenly transported into such a scenario, I would not last long. I would simply poop my pants and suffer a major heart attack whilst being shot at/hunted by mutated animals/jumping from train to train/taking part in a battle to the death or wearing a shimmering on fire mockingjay type outfit. I would be the sad loser who lay down and just died of fright.

With that, I give you this old school Weet-Bix slice. In my own adolescence there was often a version of this wheaty bake waiting at home. Made by mum in an attempt to ward off any ‘Hunger Games’ type scenarios that may have occurred between myself and my three sisters. In turn, it is now one of my lads fave morning or afternoon tea delights.

My mum usually baked a melt and mix version but I have provided here a creamed butter and sugar version from my fave NZ baking cookbook, ‘Ladies: A Plate’. This slice is named Scott’s Farewell Square due to the fact that the famous explorer Captain Scott’s last expedition, sailed from Port Chalmers New Zealand, in November 1910. Alexa Johnston, the author of this cookbook, tells us that the recipe appears in a 1960’s Dunedin church recipe book. She imagines that a plate of this moreish slice may have been given to the ill fated Scott and his team before they sailed away to the South Pole.

This is the kind of hearty baking that will sustain hungry adventurers of all ages. (I have decided to enrol my lads in a survivalist course, just to maximise their chance of staying alive if things go bottoms up in the future. At the very least, they need to know how to shoot a bow and arrow or stake an evil vampire if needs be.)

SCOTT’S FAREWELL SQUARE

WHAT YOU NEED
115g butter
1 cup/140g brown sugar, coconut or rapadura sugar
1 egg
2 tsps golden syrup
1 1/3 cups/170g wholemeal flour
1 pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbl Cocoa powder
4 Weet-Bix finely crumbled
1 cup/85g desiccated coconut
3/4 cup/100g chopped dates

Icing
3/4 cup icing sugar
2 tbl Cocoa powder
1 tsp butter, melted
Extra coconut for sprinkling

WHAT YOU DO
Preheat oven to 180C and line a shallow tin with baking paper. (The slice is roughly 22 x 22cm so I used a bigger tray but not all of it.)
Cream butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl (I used a mixer) until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and golden syrup and mix until it comes together.
Sit in the flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder.
Mix in the Weet-Bix, coconut and dates and stir thoroughly to combine.
Spread evenly (about 1.5cm – 2cm thick) into a baking tin and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let cool in the tin for about 15 minutes then put on a wire rack to cool.

Icing
Sift the icing sugar and cocoa together into a bowl.
Make a thin chocolate icing by adding the melted butter and a little hot water to mix to a spreading consistency.
Spread over the cooled slice, sprinkle with the extra coconut and cut into squares when the icing has set.
Makes 16 squares.

Cooking Notes: the original recipe also calls for 55g each of raisins and chopped walnuts. I leave them out due to sproglets preferences but feel free to chuck them in. I have knocked back the amount of sugar and icing sugar from the original recipe and used wholemeal flour.

A Slightly Cheergerm adaptation from ‘Ladies A Plate’ by Alexa Johnston.

A gluten free Weetbix made from sorghum was recently released in Australia so a GF version slice will be posted in the near future, as well as a melt and mix chocolate Weetbix slice recipe.

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29 thoughts on “Hungry Games and Scott’s Farewell Square

  1. Looks very tasty and not dissimilar to an old one of my own. Will happly try this version, with moreyummy bits in it, since I have a few vita brits / wheat bix lurking around.

    • I know, it’s a pretty nifty baked goodie and a big hit with little and big kids. No, not a teacher just a voracious reader and for some reason, started reading this genre recently. It’s cool to be in touch with what the ‘young folks’ are reading….ha ha. (Although I know that I will never be cool again..as my ten year old likes to tell me.)

  2. You crack me up Cheery, I imagine there is never a dull moment when you’re around! I think the Aussie/NZ alliance is close than we realize, yummy simple and economical slice were my Mum’s mainstay too. You could force feed the attackers gluten, they would finish them off!!

    • Thanks Mrs Recipe! 😊 I agree, these old school faves really do tell the story of our mothers and grandmothers. And I think between the two countries there are many similarities. You have cracked me up with the thought of trying to force feed gluten filled goodies to all those who were trying to bring me down….I really do think it would be my only defence. 😁

  3. The YA genre has changed a lot! When I was a kid there was Judy Blume’s “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” which talked about the issues in a tween-ager’s daily life. Now there are mutants and apocalypses.
    I enjoyed the Scott connection with this treat! And the photos are drool-worthy. Especially the golden syrup. For some reason I am in love with the very idea of Lyle’s Golden Syrup. (You do use Lyle’s?) To us it is very exotic and sounds like the elixir of the gods…

    • I know! I read Judy Blume as well. The closest I can think of to today’s YA torturous scenarios is Lee Hardings ‘Displaced Person’ which was rather creepy and frightening now that I think about it… Far worse than making out with a vampire! Glad you liked the photos! I adore golden syrup as well, I have used Lyle’s but mostly I use our more common sugar brands version. (CSR) It’s used in quite a lot of old school NZ and Aussie baking. I hope poor old Scott and his crew had some lovely treats before they left NZ. Crikey, it all went down hill after that!

      • Yes, why all the creepy and disturbing stuff in today’s YA fiction? I would have disliked that. A little dystopia goes a long way.
        And yes, poor old Scott… I like to think that at least he and his lads ate well before they set off on their heroic journey…

    • Yes, a philosophical question that has been raging for, Ummm, centuries. Vita or weet bix? We came to Melbourne when I was 7, so maybe the weet bix thing was a NZ thing? Not sure what NSW welsh people eat most of but there seems to be a lot of weet bix on the superdoopermarket shelves! Yes, it’s a big hit in this house. 😁

  4. Okay, I’d certainly take up arms to get at a slice of your slice. Anyone getting in my way would find themselves sliced and used in the next recipe of stew. Okay, I might have taken that a bit far, but you get my point. Your cooking could be a plot in my next YA novel. I may have to work it in. 😛
    And to top it all off, I’ve got a nearly perfect dram to go with it. A bottle of Ernest Shackleton’s South Pole Nimrod Expedition’s Whisky. YUM! Must have something to fend off the oncoming cold–and a bow and arrow won’t quite cut it.

    • I don’t think you took that too far at all! Anything for a slice of the action? Maybe I can be the disaffected chef who when the rebellion starts, throws cream pies at the advancing enemy as its my only defence? Um, on second thoughts, I think I will let you work on it…. 😁 How appropriate is that whisky for a Captain Scott type scenario? A nip o that and a bite of this slice would keep any adventurer such as yourself, warm.

  5. Hahahhaha @ ‘die of fright’
    I can see that so clearly lol. You bringing your wrist up to your forehead as if you’re holding a hanky and gently swooning, “Ah!”
    Great post, Mrs. Cheergerm 🙂

  6. Damn your squares look so much better than our effort. I’m minded to show the boys this post and remind them that, should armageddon befall us, I will be expecting their unquestioning support.

    • Thanks and they tasted darn good! I was just reading your post….what was with those cray cray brownies? Did they set in the end? At least your boys have some decent pumpkin carving skills that should come in handy when the time comes. 😁

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