Strangely, I've got out of the habit of baking. Heaven knows I haven't lost my sweet tooth, there just seems to have been a steady supply of chocolate, a few tubs of ice-cream and the odd restaurant dessert keeping it busy through winter and spring. I've got to missing the heartiness and satisfaction of a homely dessert.
So I made one. I recreated Steph's caramel slice and I tested the tweak I've been plotting since I first blogged it - I replaced the margarine in the caramel layer with 1/2 cup of peanut butter.
As you might expect, this altered its consistency. The caramel rapidly thickened and I had to cut its simmer short as it began sticking to the saucepan and flicking up in dark brown blobs. In the oven it browned and set like a cheap, cheesy pizza. (I spent the rest of the night craving melted mozzarella, which seemed cruel given the effort I'd gone to to make dessert.) Unexpectedly, the base was different too. This time it was all crunchy caramelised coconut after just 15 minutes in the oven.
Perhaps it's just a sign that I need to replicate this slice further to understand its processes and variability. I think the caramel could take a stronger peanut butter flavour, but I'm unsure whether the caramel's texture will hold up to further dilution. There are one or two fun ways to find out.