Sunday, 5 July 2015

Jeanette's coconut date slice

Just as the Brits have their traybakes and Americans have their bars, Australians have our slices.  These are traditional baking or no bake sweet treats that have been made by generations for fetes, cake sales and lunchboxes.  The are usually easy to make and kids love them.

I stumbled upon this great article in the Age Epicure called Slices to Savour.  As well as lots of great recipes it has a wonderful introduction to slices that I highly recommend you read.  The author writes of the reassuring nature of the humble slice that has been comfort food for Smiths, Jones and O'Briens.

I have already shared many slices that I grew up with.  Chocolate caramel slice, Coconut ice, Hedgehog, Lemon slice, Marshmallow weetbix slice and White Christmas were all regular fixtures in my childhood and continue to be my comfort food.

Upon reflecting on them, I notice that they feature some common ingredients.  Condensed milk, Marie biscuits and various cereals are often included because these would be shelf stable pantry items.  The other ingredients are butter, sugar, dessicated coconut, dried fruit and other items that would be easily found in most traditional Australian kitchens.

In recent years I have discovered the rice krispie slice that seems so popular in America.  I love it because it reminds me of Aussie slices but it has problems a bit like our Aussie chocolate crackles (which use an old fashioned copha that I now avoid). It is traditionally made with marshmallows which have gelatine are aren't really vegetarian.  There is a great vegan alternative that I have made with nut butter but this makes it unsuitable for sharing in schools and cake stalls that are often nut free.

I was delighted to discover this date, coconut and rice bubble slice recipe that the editor had begged from the author of the Slices to Savour article.  This slice has the pleasing crunch of rice bubbles held together by fudgy dates.  The dates make it healthier than rice krispie slice but it had enough sugar and butter that I would not claim it is health food.  It was like wonderful comfort food.  I would beg for the recipe too.

I love this recipe so much that I want to share it widely.  I am sending it to Jac for Bookmarked Recipes; Camilla and Helen for Credit Crunch Munch: Kimmy for Healthy Vegan Fridays #54; Lisa, Lauren, and Danielle for Fabulous Foodie Fridays #58; and Emily for Recipe of the Week.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Mashed potato chocolate cake
Two year ago: Homemade lemonade and winter picnics
Three years ago: Sam Stern's Lancashire burgers
Four years ago: CC Orange, lavender and almond syrup cake
Five years ago: Lemon slice and some nostalgia
Six years ago: Slideshows, nostalgia and hedgehog
Seven years ago: Sparkles the rabbit cake
Eight years ago: Mexicale pie - an old favourite

Jeanette's coconut date slice
Adapted from Slices to Savour in The Age Epicure

1 cup dates*
1/2 cup sugar
90g butter*
4 cups rice bubbles*
1 cup dessicated coconut
extra coconut for sprinkling

Gently heat dates, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat (do not boil) for about 15 minutes until dates are mushy.  Stir in rice bubbles and coconut.  Spread into a lined slice tin*.  Sprinkle generously with coconut.  Chill in the fridge to set about 2 hours.  Return to room temperature and cut into squares.

*NOTES:  The original recipe calls for dried dates but I used medjool dates because I had them to use up.  Rice bubbles is what Australians call rice krispies.  I used a vegan margarine.  A slice tin is 18 x 28cm.  I found that if the slice was kept in the fridge, that it would shatter when cut or eaten.  It is best kept at room temperature to be chewy and fudgy.  I think ours lasted about a week.

I slightly changed the recipe because I was so sure the coconut would be mixed in with the dates and once I discovered it called to toss the slice in the coconut instead I was too set on mixing it in.  Tossing it in coconut seemed too much work so I just sprinkled it on top.  I would quite fancy trying it with melted chocolate on top. 

On the stereo:
Great Big World: Justine Clarke


  1. You know you're right! We all have a version of slice/traybake and bar! I love them because they're so easy to put in a lunchbox :D

  2. Whatever you call it, I'll take a square (or five)!

  3. This does sound great! Such a nice made over version of the classic rice krispie / chocolate crackle / condensed milk type slices.

  4. Those looks and sound DIVINE - just the sort of bake we love here at Chez L and L!

  5. I remember those rice crispie marshmallow bars from a dim and distant pre veg*n past! I was very fond of them, but your version is obviously way more up my street. I found some amazing vegan marshmallows a while ago - I meant to use them for cooking, but I don't think they lasted long enough!

  6. I logged on this morning and Mozilla suggested a unicorn theme for the day, I say 'why not!' Then I visit your sight and you are sharing this magical coconut date slice with rice bubble base, its a sign I reckon... This week is going to be ace. Two things I most loved from my childhood. LOL!
    Cant wait to have a go at your recipe. Happy week ahead to you. :)

  7. Love the look of this! My Sylvia loves anything with rice bubbles in it :)

  8. I've not heard of Jeanette's slice. I do like slices made with rice bubbles. This looks like it's a perfect snack xx

  9. Slices will always rule in my books! I'd like to make a version of this, I'm a sucker for treats with rice bubbles but don't like Copha either so I haven't had chocolate crackles in years!

  10. No way!!! Thats so easy!! I am definitely going to try this one - I already have all of the ingredients at home!

  11. Did you say dates?! Anything dates especially in a slice and I'm there!
    Thanks for linking up with our Fabulous Foodie Fridays fun, loving the treasures you've been sharing with us! Have a great week lovely :)

  12. Yum - this looks so good - and I have all of the ingredients in the cupboard!

  13. Yes this reminds me of my child hood when you could eat as much slice as you wanted in a day and never got fat. Rice bubbles and coconut the perfect friends.

  14. Ooo love the summery sounding flavours in these bars. I want one now!! #recipeoftheweek

  15. These look so good! They are called slices, huh? I always find the dialect differences very interesting =)
    Thank you so much for sharing these at Healthy Vegan Fridays! I am pinning this and can't wait to see what you have in store this week!

  16. Fab recipe! I would never have guessed there were rice krispies in there looking at the pics... But it makes absolute sense and the recipe is so simple! Love it!

  17. Oh yum. This sounds absolutely delicious. I think this may just be my next play date food contribution... after I have (ahem) tested it out appropriately myself first of course :-)

  18. Just thought I'd pop over to visit the link you shared with me Johanna, it seems great minds think almost alike ;)
    Now that I've read through it I remember it from our Fabulous Foodie Fridays party a few weeks ago.
    I saw a recipe in my Super Food Idea's magazine that inspired me to make my cornflake one, along with the fact that the kidlets love honey joys (and so do I!)
    I love the idea of coconut sprinkled over the top of your rice bubble slice, I'll have to give it a whirl. The kidlets love their rice bubbles too!
    Have a great weekend xx

  19. I could just do with a slice of this delicious cake right now! Thank you for entering #CreditCrunchMunch:-)


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)