Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vanilla Slice

Squee! This post got a mention on the Vegan Mofo daily roundup. Check out their blog if you haven't already - it leaves me drooling on a daily basis. :)

These are a few of my favourite things... my computer, coffee, and dessert! I have an awful lot of favourite things, though. Life's more fun when you get excited about everything.

I apologise for not having photos of the process of making this slice, or even of the entire slice when it was finished. I made it to take to lunch at the house of some good friends, and I was entirely distracted with making sure that it turned out properly. Quite honestly, I was using completely unfamiliar puff pastry and custard powder, and I expected it to be a disaster. Thankfully, it turned out beautifully and was enjoyed at the lunch. I really ought to be more optimistic sometimes, because I'd probably have a lot of photos in times like these.

Still, I was made to take home a slice (I wasn't exactly protesting, but I'd eaten more than my fair share already!) and some of my friend's amazing vegan lemon cupcakes. I'm always spoiled rotten when I go to their house! The slice looks a little worse for wear after the journey home (two hours) but I always maintain that imperfect food tastes the best. The cupcakes survived beautifully. They are pretty addictive, and they don't often make it back to my house... I might have still been full from breakfast, but there's always a need to snack on the train. I mean, today I certainly wasn't doing the study that I was supposed to be doing, so it's only fair that I was otherwise engaged. Ahem.

Vanilla Slice
serves a large table of guests, plus extra for you to nibble while you drink red wine, instead of having dinner.

1 box (of 6 sheets 10x15cm) of puff pastry*
2x sachets custard powder (in German, "vanilla pudding") or 6 heaped Tbsp
2L soymilk
sugar, to taste (about 4Tbsp is good if your custard isn't already sweet)
1 lemon
250g icing (powdered) sugar
4 Tbsp dessicate coconut

Cook the puff pastry according to the box directions. Mine took 12 minutes in a 200 degree oven. Allow to cool slightly, until you're able to easily touch them, and press them down with your hand to compact the sheet. It doesn't matter if it shatters.
Cover the bottom of the dish with one layer of pastry, saving the other for the top, and nibbling on any pieces that you had to cut away to make it fit.
Put the custard powder into your pot and add about 1 cup of soymilk, or enough to mix all the custard powder so that there are no lumps. Add the rest of the soymilk and cook over a medium-high heat until it's really thick. If you stand a spoon in it, you want your spoon to hesitate before it slides over.
Pour the hot custard over the puff pastry and lay remaining other puff pastry on top, so that you have an incredibly delicious custard sandwich. Allow to cool.
To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with lemon juice and a tablespoon of finely grated zest. How much juice you add depends on how thick you like the icing. I find it easiest to drizzle my icing over the pastry, because it's broken, but you can do something of a 'crumb coat' if you double the icing and simply spread the first layer.
Spread the icing evenly over and sprinkle with the coconut (for the authentic 'Australian' touch). Refrigerate for 2 hours to allow for a firm set, and therefore easier slicing.
*Size of the puff pastry doesn't matter. I recommend using a 9x9in baking dish, in which case, you can just buy the full-sized sheets. I bought the mini ones and just trimmed them to size for my non-standard dish.

10 comments:

  1. Life's more fun when you get excited about everything.

    Ha ha... I agree with this so hard!

    And a vanilla slice and red wine sounds like an absolutely lovely meal to me.

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  2. This looks truly yummy. Oh dear - there is little hope for my waistline now that I know that it's possible to make a vegan vanilla slice! Congratulations on making it onto the daily roundup.

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  3. That looks delicious! So glad to see the recipe is so simple, I'll definitley be making this next time I have an excuse (so I don't eat the whole thing myself!)

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  4. Yeah, I do have to confess that it's easiest to make this and take it somewhere else, otherwise there's no hope for my waistline, either! I have been known to eat a litre of vanilla custard in one sitting. But I use unsweetened soymilk and don't usually add sugar, so that makes it ok, right? ;)

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  5. That looks beautiful and delicious.

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  6. That looks awesome. I used to love vanilla slices but never thought of making them vegan. May have to try this recipe at some stage!!

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  7. Trust me the vanilla slice was even better than the best vanilla slice in the world which I buy once a year on holidays. Your chocolate brownies were also super fantasticsh! Glad to be used to taste test experimental cooking.

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  8. This looks so fantastic, and I love that it's not a complicated recipe. Adding this to my "to-make" list!

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  9. I'm going to make this for Christmas dinner to go along with my vegan lasagna.

    2 liters of soymilk seems like a lot of liquid. Does all of the custard fit into the 9x9in pan?

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  10. Yep, but it makes it really tall; which suits me perfectly, because then I get more custard per slice! If you're into more manageable desserts (such as the size of the slice in the picture) then make it in a tall-sided 9x13 in pan, or only make 1.5L custard. But really, then you'd be eating less custard... ;)

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