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
1 cup/140g brown sugar, coconut or rapadura sugar
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
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.
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.