My Granny gave me my red hair and my love of knitting, but as far as I can remember, she wasn't a great cook. She did, however, have a couple of things in her repertoire that we always looked forward to. One was her tomato chutney. Another was her french onion dip. And then there was her chocolate caramel slice. Unfortunately, no-one thought to get these recipes off her, and in the houseful of possessions she left behind, no lovingly hand-penned notebook full of culinary secrets was found, so the recipes went with her to the grave. I've baked a few different versions of Granny's slice, and this one by Bill Granger is as close as I've found. The base isn't as dark as Granny's, and I am sure she used copha in her chocolate layer. But as far as flavours go, it's spot-on. In her waning years, long after my sisters and I had barged in and taken charge of Christmas and all its trimmings, Granny was always asked to bring her slice. There was rarely any left on Boxing Day. So it's become a tradition to bake Granny's slice, or some variation on it, at Christmas time.
Last Friday, I found a tin of condensed milk in the back of the pantry, and when the three o'clock sweetie cravings hit, I decided to get baking. When they hit again yesterday, I thought I'd try out a new recipe. But instead I baked Granny's slice again. For tradition's sake.